Martin Lewis has been at the forefront of consumer activism for many years, but has been an invaluable source of information and advice on financial issues since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
Through the website he founded, MoneySavingExpert.com, he and his team have helped thousands of people across the UK save money, get the best energy and broadband deals, or simply manage their finances more efficiently.
The consumer champion is a regular on TV and radio and on Monday used his Q&A slot on This Morning to give one concerned viewer advice about securing a mortgage during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A caller named Sophia rang into the show to say that she and her husband are looking to buy a new house, but she stated she had been thrown “curveballs” along the way, reports Express.co.uk.
Sophie explained that the house had no chain, and the couple were in a strong financial position, but they were facing problems.
She went on to explain how her husband had claimed financial support through the UK Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
Sophia explained mortgage lenders were often reluctant to provide them with a deal, given the instability of her husband’s income at present.
Martin offered advice which could be extremely useful for Scots who plan on buying a new home once lockdown restrictions are lifted and the housing market reopens.
He said: “When you apply for a mortgage, they have to do two checks – credit score and affordability check. An affordability check looks at your income.
“If you are on furlough right now, and your income is at 80 per cent of what it normally is, then that is your income and what most lenders are looking at.
“If you are getting funding from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme then lenders will look at that too. The idea you are being ruled out seems rather bizarre, as you can work.
“What you should do in this case, and this is an absolute no brainer, is to go to a mortgage broker.
“Their job is to have access to the information that we as consumers don’t, about which lenders will give you a mortgage in different circumstances, and which will be cheaper and best for you.”
Martin advised going to a solid mortgage broker with a good reputation, whole of market, and one that only takes a fee if they get a customer a mortgage.
Mortgage brokers act as a middleman, between potential lenders and customers and their role is to find the best deals and interest rates.
In England, moving home was re-permitted from mid-May in an attempt by the UK Government to return the industry to its normal functions, on the condition of strict social distancing measures and health and safety procedures.
Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh markets still remain closed in an effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.