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    For many people, the chances of getting a foot on the property ladder any time soon appear to be slim to none. However, there is a glimmer of hope for first time buyers, as ‘Rent to Buy’ schemes emerge. One building society in particular that has launched just such a scheme is the Saffron Building Society, which operates in the South of the country.

    This particular scheme allows people to borrow if they can show that they have a record of paying rent, on time, for as little as 12 months. For Saffron Building Society, this would, in many cases, be proof enough that the borrower ids capable of making monthly mortgage repayments. In addition, the borrower would have to be able to place just a 5% deposit on the mortgage.

    The arrangement would mean that someone who paid rent of £1,000 per month and was able to put down the 5% deposit would be able to buy property worth up to £155,000.

    Many would-be first time buyers are unable to proceed with the purchase of property due to poor credit history. Although the borrower will still be subjected to credit checks, this scheme adopts a much more manual approach rather than the usual, automated system where you’ll be declined if there are any blemishes on your credit history.

    Broker, John Charcol, has been quoted as saying:

    “The common sense way affordability is calculated for this mortgage will be a breath of fresh air to any first-time buyer who has suffered from the ‘computer says no’ approach adopted by too many of the major lenders.”

    Many households are paying rents equal to or more than they would pay on monthly mortgage repayments. Credit history and large deposits are the main factors keeping many people from making their way on to the property ladder. Schemes such as this make the property market far more accessible to first time buyers and will be welcomed with open arms by many people looking for alternatives to paying ‘dead rent’.

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