Tuesday 23 July 2019

Student loans hit mortgage potential, first-time buyers can borrow less

Former students are finding it difficult to get a full mortgage if they still have a student loan, according to research by student organisation ISO.

Banks are looking at the original amount of debt when looking at mortgage requests and do not take what has been paid off into account, the ISO says. This contravenes a motion passed by MPs in 2015.

Today’s graduates leave with an average debt of around €21,000 and this reduces the amount someone earning €40,000 can borrow to buy a home by €25.418, ISO said.

The student body bases its claims on a poll of the five biggest Dutch mortgage lenders. Students grants were scrapped in 2015 and replaced by loans.

The ISO says many former students find they cannot buy a house. ‘Students are told that they can borrow money cheaply, but when it comes to buying a house, they hit a brick wall,’ ISO spokesman Tom van den Brink said in a statement.

Student loan body DUO is failing in its duty to properly inform students about the risks attached to a loan, Van den Brink said.

Debt register

Student loans are not included in the BGK national debt register. The BKR lists credit agreements with banks, mortgage providers and other official credit agencies.

However, both the VEH home owners lobby group and the BKR say student debts should be included in the register to prevent home owners taking on irresponsibly high loans and getting into financial trouble later.

BKR research in 2016 indicated 39% of former students do not tell their mortgage advisor about their student loan.

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