04 Mar 2017
More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for lenders to accept rent payments as proof you can afford a mortgage.
Buying a home is now cheaper than renting for the first time since 2008, but some young people still find that a mortgage is out of reach.
Lenders want proof that the money can be paid back - and showing a track record of successful rent payment is not enough.
Instead, they base their decisions on things like payslips and tax returns, abiding by strict criteria set by the Bank of England.
However, more than 100,000 people have signed a petition to change that, calling on lenders to take past performance as a tenant into account.
Jamie Pogson, who set it up, said: "Since living on my own I have paid £70,000+ in rent on time, yet still I struggle to get a mortgage.
"Unless you're getting handouts, are wealthy or are in receipt of inheritance, it's almost impossible.
"I want paying rent on time to be recognised as evidence that mortgage repayments can be met."
As the petition has passed 100,000 signatories, it will now be considered for debate in the UK Parliament.
First time buyers are almost £1,500 better off owning their own home, according to recent research from one of the UK’s biggest banks.
An annual study by the Bank of Scotland has found that average monthly buying cost, including mortgage payments, associated with a first-time buyer were £525 in December.
That was £120 lower than the average monthly rent in Scotland, which stands at £645.
The bank estimates that average monthly rents have risen by £46 over the past year, compared with a £9 decrease in monthly buying costs.
The last time renting was the cheaper option was in 2008.
Throughout February, we are offering first time buyers a £250 discount on their legal fees when they arrange their purchase and mortgage through one of our branches.
If you would like more information about stepping on the property ladder, you can read everything you need to know in our first time buyer guide.
We have also produced a video with some handy tips, which you can view here.
If you would like to visit one of our branches to speak to an expert face to face about buying your first home, contact us here to book an appointment.