Accord Mortgages review: Is it the best mortgage lender for you?

12 min Read Published: 26 Oct 2021

Accord Mortgages review What is Accord Mortgages?

Accord Mortgages is a mortgage lender that is part of the Yorkshire Building Society Group. It is an intermediary-only lender, which means you have to use a mortgage broker to access its range of products. As a member of the public, you can't apply for a mortgage directly with them. This is mainly driven by the fact it offers some specialist products alongside its core range, including buy-to-let, offset, Help-to-Buy and deals designed specifically for contractors. It also has some products that are suitable for those with mildly adverse credit, as well as the potential for those with higher salaries to borrow at a higher income multiple.

The main feature that characterises Accord Mortgages is what it calls its "common-sense" approach to lending, which includes a degree of flexibility in its underwriting. It encourages dialogue between the broker and the underwriters as it may agree to lend to someone who doesn't meet its lending criteria, depending on their individual circumstances. This makes it popular for those who fall just outside of the more stringent criteria of the mainstream lenders.

Accord Mortgages Key Features

  • Intermediary-only mortgage lender
  • Flexible underwriting means you may be approved for a loan even if you don't meet the lending criteria
  • Lending at multiples of up to 5 times income
  • Residential and buy-to-let mortgages
  • Special offers for first-time buyers, including up to £500 cashback

Accord Mortgages Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
tick Excellent range of products including new-build and help-to-buy

tick Offers 95% LTV up to £600,000

tick Can overpay up to a maximum of 10%

tick Income multiples of up to 5 times if salary is more than £60,000 per year

cross Only access through an intermediary

cross Does not accept CCJs or bankruptcy within the past 6 years

cross Does not offer 95% LTV mortgages for buyers purchasing flats

What types of mortgages does Accord Mortgages offer?

As you might expect, Accord Mortgages offers both fixed rate and variable rate mortgages in its range of products, which covers both residential and buy-to-let properties. It offers new mortgages for first-time buyers or movers, as well as remortgage deals. There is also a facility for existing customers to take out additional borrowing, perhaps to fund home improvements or to cover other large expenses.

Accord Mortgages has a more diverse range of products than some of its competitors, as it also offers:

  • Offset mortgages - which allow borrowers to balance their savings against their mortgage debt to either reduce the monthly repayment or shorten the mortgage term
  • Contractor mortgages, servicing borrowers who work on a contract basis and may struggle to secure a mortgage with many mainstream mortgage lenders
  • New-build and Help-to-Buy mortgages, which is another niche sector within mortgages
  • Large loans of up to £5m

How much can I borrow with Accord Mortgages?

The amount you can borrow with Accord Mortgages will be determined by its affordability assessment, which will take into consideration your income as well as your existing financial commitments and expenditure. As part of this assessment, it will apply a basic income multiple calculation. At the moment, this means you can borrow up to 5 times your income if you earn more than £60,000 a year, with those earning less than this amount offered a multiple of 4.48 times income.

The amount you can borrow - and the interest rate you will pay - will also be determined by the amount of deposit you are contributing. For higher risk loans, including large loans or those on new-build properties, Accord Mortgages will typically require a larger deposit, which means the total loan-to-value (LTV) is reduced. For example, to secure a mortgage with only 5% deposit (95% LTV), the maximum amount Accord Mortgages will lend is £600,000.

What is the maximum loan size and loan-to-value (LTV) with Accord Mortgages?

Loan type Maximum amount Maximum LTV
House purchase/remortgage/new build Up to £5,000,000 75%
House purchase/remortgage (excluding new build) Up to £2,000,000 85%
New build Up to £1,000,000 85%
House purchase/remortgage Up to £2,000,000 85%
House purchase/remortgage Up to £750,000 90%
New build house purchase (excluding flats) Up to £750,000 90%
House purchase/remortgage (excluding flats and properties in Northern Ireland) Up to £600,000 95%

What interest rates does Accord Mortgages charge?

To get the most up-to-date deals, it is best to consult with your mortgage broker as rates frequently change. If you don't have a mortgage broker, consider using Habito*, which offers independent, whole-of-market mortgage advice, including sourcing deals from Accord Mortgages.

As an example, at the time of writing, based on a property valued at £250,000, with a repayment mortgage of £200,000 paid over 25 years, a 2-year fixed-rate mortgage has an initial rate of 1.75%, with initial monthly repayments of £823.58. A 5-year fixed-rate deal is 1.80%, with initial monthly repayments of £828.37.

After the initial introductory period, the rate reverts to Accord Mortgages' standard variable rate, which is 4.49%.

What fees does Accord Mortgages charge?

The main fees borrowers face when taking out a mortgage with Accord Mortgages is the product fee and the valuation fee. In terms of the product fee, this ranges from £0-£1,845, depending on the product you choose. Your mortgage broker should inform you at the outset what the product fee is and give you the option of either paying it upfront or adding it to the mortgage.

For valuation fees, this covers the cost of Accord Mortgages undertaking a basic assessment of the property to make sure it is valued appropriately and is generally sound. The cost of this ranges from £115 for properties worth up to £100,000 through to £530 for properties up to £1,000,000. This is not the same as a homebuyers' report or structural survey, which incur a separate cost.

Can you make overpayments with Accord Mortgages?

Borrowers are allowed to overpay by a maximum of 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance each year without facing any kind of early repayment penalty. For most products, if you want to repay the debt or change mortgage before the end of the introductory period, you will have to pay a percentage of the balance as an early repayment charge. The amount you have to pay varies from product to product, so it pays to check with your broker before taking out the deal.

It's worth noting that a few products in the Accord Mortgages range are "portable", which means that if you move house, you can move the mortgage with you without incurring any additional charges. Again, it is worth checking with your mortgage broker if you think this is a feature you are likely to need to utilise.

What is the maximum mortgage term for Accord Mortgages?

The maximum mortgage term is 40 years, although the loan must be repaid in full before the oldest applicant turns 80, which means you would need to take out the mortgage before you are 40 in order to get the full maximum term.

Is Accord Mortgages an adverse mortgage lender?

Accord Mortgages does not accept CCJs or defaults that have occurred within the last 6 years, which means it doesn't fall into the category of being a specialist sub-prime or adverse mortgage lender. However, it does consider applications where there have been missed payments on secured and unsecured loans and mortgages, as long as they haven't occurred in the previous 24 months.

It remains a popular choice for mortgage brokers when their client has a patchy credit history as the flexible underwriting means a potential borrower may still be approved for a mortgage, even if they don't meet these criteria.

Which credit reference agency does Accord Mortgages use?

When applying for a mortgage, you should expect to go through a credit check, where the potential lender assesses your credit history and overall credit rating in order to decide the level of risk you pose and whether you meet its lending criteria. The lender gets this information from one or more of the main credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

In the case of Accord Mortgages, it uses Experian to get the credit report, credit score and overall credit rating. In the first instance, it carries out a soft search of the file to generate the initial agreement in principle, which does not show up to other lenders or impact your credit score. If you decide to proceed with the mortgage, a full search will be carried out before your mortgage is approved.

Accord Mortgages customer reviews

According to independent customer review site Trustpilot, Accord Mortgages is a "poor" company, scoring only 2.3 out of 5. However, this is based on only 150 reviews and also masks the fact that 31% of respondents rated the company as "excellent", while 58% ranked it as "bad".

The negative reviews centre on poor customer service and offers being withdrawn, impacting upon house purchases. Meanwhile, the positive reviews mainly praise the underwriting process and the ease and simplicity of the application process.

 

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