Homeowners Not as 'Crunched' as They Think

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Well-established broker Greenhill Finance claims that despite the so-called 'credit crunch' plenty of borrowing options remain open to people with their own homes.

What's in a phrase? When the phrase is 'credit crunch' a lot it seems.

With household debt in Britain now running at the highest level ever recorded, more and more people are finding it harder to borrow.

Recent figures show that families in the UK now owe a record 173 per cent more than they earn, a massive 44 per cent increase on just five years ago and the highest of all the G8 developed countries.

Placed against the current background of falling house prices (an overall drop so far this year of 6.3 per cent), reduced mortgage products (down two thirds on last year) and rising interest rates, the problem of 'bad debt' is worsening by the day. But is the situation really so negative and as gloomy as it is being painted?

Finance broker Greenhill Finance of Sandbach, Cheshire, insists that the present 'crisis' is not only not as bad as it is being portrayed but also that there are still sensible and responsible options for homeowners in need, finding it difficult to identify sources of finance through traditional routes because of a poor credit record.

Greenhill Finance, a company that has been arranging secured loans and mortgages for almost 20 years, points out that the spectre of negative equity is still pretty remote for the majority of houseowners. The BBC programme 'Truth About Property' found in a recent survey that that the average houseowner still had some £167,000 of equity in their property.

So is the much heralded recession really only a well overdue market slow-down? David Reid, Partner at Greenhill Finance, thinks so.

He says (14 July 2008): 'Today's market has been over-inflated due to a number of reasons, principally the ease of getting credit, better selling estate agents, and low interest rates. The result of this was that more and more money became available, pushing prices up. Now the credit crunch means those easy mortgages are nowhere to be seen and we are seeing truer prices.

'Things are only worth what people are willing to pay for them. I'm not sure a recession is on the way but certainly there will be an adjusting of what people's estate is worth. It was always going to happen. Things were never going to carry on they way they were.

'But with the stiffening of house prices many more people are going to stay put and invest what they can in making their homes nicer through re-mortgaging or taking out secured loans. For the most part homeowners have done very well from property, and probably still will.'

For people whose homes are still worth more than they paid for them Greenhill Finance offers to help select the best secured loan and have the money in your bank within 21 days.

But the company points out that all loans and mortgages are secured against property and therefore applicants should think carefully before securing other debts against their home. Homes may be repossessed if repayments are not kept up on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

For more information call 0800 916 4148 and ask to speak to an adviser or visit http://www.greenhillfinance.co.uk.

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