Good Service Matters. At Co-Ownership we’ve been working on ways to improve our service and speed up the application process for customers. We asked for feedback earlier this year on how we could improve our service and you suggested, amongst other things, more online functionality, looking at our eligibility criteria, and processing applications quicker.
Putting Co-Ownership buyers on an equal footing
We know that Co-Ownership buyers can sometimes miss out when agreeing a sale because they have not yet been approved by us. We are changing our processes so that we are now approving the customer first, based on their financial situation. If successful, we’ll issue an approval-in-principle letter, which the customer can share with estate agents and lenders to show that they have already been approved by us. After that, their chosen property just needs to be approved, as is required in any other house sale. We believe this will put our customers in a stronger buying position and speed up the time from sale agreed to completion. A copy of the new approval-in-principle letter is attached for your information.
Online portal for applications and use of credit reference agencies
We’re updating our website to reflect our new process and have developed an application portal which both mortgage brokers and customers can use to submit applications online. The application has been streamlined to make it quicker to complete and we’ve made changes to our criteria to better reflect people’s circumstances. This will replace the existing paper application forms. Our criteria have been built into the portal and we’ll be using Experian to do a full credit check, so the process is similar to that of a lender.
When is this happening?
This a big change requiring a lot of technical development, and we’re aiming to go live on Monday 10th September 2018. In order for us to gear up for the new way of working, we want to get all existing applications through the current process before then. To do this, we’re going to stop accepting the current paper applications from 17 August 2018 and start the new process from 10th September We’re on track to meet these dates but if there are any changes we’ll let you know. Please note, these changes apply only to our Co-Ownership product, Rent to Own remains as is.