Christmas can be an expensive time, and 2014 was no different, with the Bank of England reporting unsecured spending on loans and credit cards rose at the quickest rate since 2007. It is felt that this will continue to rise over the coming months, as the recovery of the economy continues.

Lenders have reported that their attitude to risk is evolving, which has driven a greater availability of credit to some degree. For those people with unsecured borrowing who own their own property and have available equity, there is the option to take further borrowing against their property to consolidate, taking advantage of the rates that are sitting at an all-time low.

This is due to the fact that the Bank of England base rate has sat at 0.5% for a number of years now, and there is an indication that it may start to rise at some point this year. Lenders are releasing market-leading rates, as they clamber to increase their market share. For some borrowers, it means they can choose to secure their monthly payments for a longer period of time.

Within your role as a mortgage advisor, having completed your CeMAP training and passed the final exam, you will need to complete an affordability assessment with your customers as part of the process to ensure that you not only comply with the regulation set out by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but also to make sure your customers can comfortably maintain the repayments.

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