Don’t overlook the speed of a second charge loan

Barney Drake | Specialist Mortgage Group
18th February 2021
Barney Drake
"Working with the right second charge packager can not only improve the satisfaction of your clients, but also ensure funds are in a position to be delivered that much faster."

One of the big benefits of second charge loans, which simply doesn’t get the attention that it should, is how quickly the funding can be provided. Second charge lenders were already doing a superb job on this front, but in recent months they have raised their game to a new level.

We had a case last month of a client who needed to carry out essential home improvement work. They came to us on the Tuesday, and we found that Optimum Credit would be the best option for this particular loan. The client had been approved by the lender on the Friday of that week, with the funds in their bank account by the following Monday lunchtime.

The whole process took less than a week - an incredible turnaround. And that sort of speed can genuinely make an enormous difference to the lives of clients who aren’t having to try to hold things together for weeks or even months while the lender drags their heels. They can get on with putting those funds to use, whether it is home improvement works, debt consolidation or some other purpose for needing a second charge loan.

It isn’t an isolated example either. The likes of Oplo, UTB, Shawbrook Bank and Together have all done an outstanding job in raising their service standards, and delivering a first-class experience, which is precisely what our industry needs.

Going the extra mile

But while second charge lenders deserve enormous credit for the speeds at which they are now turning around cases, they are inevitably only one part of the process. Working with the right second charge packager can not only improve the satisfaction of your clients, but also ensure funds are in a position to be delivered that much faster.

It’s an ethos we take seriously at Specialist Mortgage Group. We offer a ‘rapid response’ facility to all customers, irrespective of how much they are borrowing, which sees all documents delivered and collected by our couriers Tony and Brian. We are all in awe at the miles they put in - each courier travels an average of 7,006 miles a month - over a year that’s the equivalent of driving around the world 3.4 times.

The benefits of this service are enormous for everyone. Obviously from a speed perspective, it’s a winner, as it saves a good week on processing times compared to going through the postal service. Customers love this standard-service, hands-on approach, as not only it ensures expediency, but as Tony and Brian take copies of passports and other important documents, it means customers don’t have to part company with them. It cuts out the potential for delays and distractions impeding a case, and leaves clients feeling valued. Overall, this service is hugely valued by our customers, as shown in the many positive comments on our Feefo page.

Offering this sort of facility brings its own challenges in a time of Covid of course, but it will take more than a pandemic to stop us.

Time-sensitive clients are provided with a ‘drop and collect’ service, where one of our team drives to their house and leaves the relevant documents with a pair of surgical gloves for the customer. They then go back to their car and call the customer, so that they can talk them through the paperwork and provide any support needed. Once the customer has completed the paperwork, they leave the pack of documents outside their front door. The courier then picks it up and brings it back to our office.

A fast case turnaround doesn’t happen by accident. It requires a commitment and focus from every party in the case, as well as the ability to adapt to the changing environment. But that work makes a huge difference to the speed in which clients get the funds they need, and to their lives.

That’s why it’s so crucial that mortgage brokers think carefully about the second charge firms they work with, to ensure they not only understand the market but also go the extra mile in delivering the levels of customer service and personal attention (of which our courier service is just one example), that we take so much pride in providing as standard.


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