The idea of these posts is to give you a review on the specialist lenders from a mortgage brokers perspective. There are more reviews on some of the other specialist lenders here. It is easy to read reviews online, you are more likley to find negative reviews but that is down to people more inclined to jump online and vent their frustrations online than they are their happiness. So I thought a brokers perspective, someone who has dealt with all of these lenders on a number of occasions may give a more balance view.
My history with Pepper Money
Pepper Money is one of lenders I have had a love hate relationship with over the years.
When they first launch (as Pepper Home loans) they were terrible. If you were to ask me about positive points when they first launched… some of their products were marginally cheaper than the competition. Thats about it – aside from that, there was nothing good about them, however that was in or around 2013.
Since then they have gone through a lot of change. They took quite a few big steps forward when they brought in new management, but they also took a couple of steps back at some point.
The good points
Since around 2018-19 however I think they have been making big strides forward.
They have a clear product range now, with products like Pepper 12 and Pepper 18, the numbers refer to how many months you need to have been default/CCJ free for, so Pepper 12 would mean no defaults/CCJs in the last 12 months.
Their turn around times are second to none, I submitted an application last week which had an initial underwrite within about 3-4 hours! HOURS! Most of their competition is around 2-3 days.
A very good support team, the underwriters generally use common sense, our account managers are on hand to support us if we need it and the whole team seem to want to work with us to get the application over the line.
The not so good
There are things I do not like however:
They review bank statements line by line (as do the bulk of their competitors) to assess affordability. Unlike the high street banks who use ONS figures, this does mean we need to add every single transaction and assign it to one part of affordability or another. It makes our job harder and takes more time.
They charge a non refundable application fee, again nothing too different to eh rest of their competition but still a little frustrating.
I like Pepper, they are not as easy to work with as high street lenders but I suppose that can easily be defended as they are looking at customers who can not get a mortgage on the high street.
Looking back at the applications I have sent them this year, they have not declined one. So far they have all either completed or had the Mortgage offer issued with the exception of one we submitted last week which has been underwritten but we are just waiting on the valuation to be returned.
I think that shows that we have a good success rate with them and they are generally a good consistent lender in the specialist market. Even during the times where Pepper were not so good I do not recall many (if any) declined applications and they are a lender I think highly of.
We like Pepper Money and would not hesitate to recommend them.