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Free financial health checks for would-be homebuyers

Getting onto the property ladder can be difficult enough for anyone but if you’re not particularly well paid, debt free or money-savvy, it can seem almost impossible.

However, valuable help is being offered to people in North Manchester to improve their credit rating and get them into a position where a lender would consider giving them a mortgage.

The special ‘help’ event has been organised by housebuilder Redrow Homes in association with Manchester City Council, Manchester Credit Union, Help to Buy agents Plumlife, mortgage specialists Acumen, Citizens’ Advice and local solicitors. It will be held at Redrow’s Woodville Gardens development in Moston from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, August 17.

Would-be home owners will be able to get a free financial health check and advice from several different experts on how they can make themselves more attractive to a potential lender.

They will also be able to discover more about alternatives to the £2 billion payday loans’ industry, which the Archbishop of Canterbury slammed last week.

Claire Jarvis, sales director for Redrow Homes (Lancashire), explains: “Quite often people want to buy a new home and have the means to do so. Unfortunately one missed credit card payment or a history that includes taking out a pay-day loan or gambling online can be enough to mean their mortgage application is rejected.  However, if they can change their habits and resolve any issues then they could find themselves in a position to re-apply successfully just a few months down the line.

“Working closely with Manchester City Council we’ve put together a line-up of experts and agencies who can help people learn how to manage their finances, get themselves out of debt and improve their credit rating.”

Redrow’s own sales staff and Help to Buy agents Plumlife will also be present to talk to potential customers about how the Government-backed Help to Buy scheme could help them purchase a brand new home at Woodville Gardens or nearby Hanson Gardens.

The scheme allows them to take out an equity loan for up to 20% of the initial property price, which will reduce the monthly mortgage payments and means they should only need a 5% deposit.

It’s available on three and four-bedroom properties at both Redrow developments and, for a property that’s priced at £134,995 on the open market, the Help to Buy price is just £107,996. The remaining 20% is covered by the equity loan, which is interest free for five years.

Under this scheme, savings of around £7,000 could be enough for the deposit and visitors to the event will find out how they could save for their deposit with Manchester Credit Union, as well as boosting their credit score.

Christine Moore, chief executive officer of Manchester Credit Union, says: “Some people find that they can’t get a mortgage either because of their credit history or because they don’t have any credit history at all. Those without a credit history could take out a small loan with us and, as long as they keep up the repayments, this could actually boost their credit rating. Or, we can look at why someone’s credit score is poor and help them do something about it with tips on budgeting.

“Those who are thinking of buying can even save with us or they could take out a loan to help with their deposit. A lot of people who are in debt to payday lenders and other companies are coming to us for help as we offer much lower interest rates, which are capped.”

Credit unions are non-profit financial organisations, where members mutually benefit as there are no profits for share-holders. This means they can offer more affordable loans and an alternative to pay-day loans, which have had such a bad press and are being investigated by the Competition Commission.

To give your finances a health check and talk to the experts about potentially buying a brand new home, visit Woodville Gardens in Moston from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, August 17.

For more information about the homes call 0161 312 2122 or see


   Redrow Homes is one of the UK’s leading house builders, operating across England and Wales, with a strong emphasis on high quality family housing in prime locations. Its New Heritage Collection of family homes combines traditional looking, ‘Arts & Crafts’ influenced exteriors with bright, modern, high specification interiors. Established more than 35 years, the company has won numerous awards over the years. Redrow received a 5* Award in the Home Builder Federation (HBF) annual customer satisfaction survey in 2011, 2012 and 2013; collected the Silver award in the Large Housebuilder category of the 2012 What House? awards; and its ‘Share a little bit of joy’ campaign was named best marketing initiative at the 2012 Housebuilder Awards.