Pregnancy hidden for mortgage | Otago Daily Times Online News

Pregnancy hidden for mortgage | Otago Daily Times Online News
Written by Publishing Team

A Dunedin woman said her mortgage broker “strongly advised” her to hide her pregnancy during a meeting with a bank last year.

While that was before the government changes to the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act (CCCFA), the woman, who declined to be named, believed the bank was preparing for the changes.

Earlier this week, another Dunedin woman said she had been told by a bank that they would not consider giving her a mortgage unless she returned to work within 90 days of giving birth.

She was one of many people who described their challenges in obtaining a mortgage under the changes to the CCCFA.

The new rules mean that banks require a detailed analysis of applicants’ spending habits and a dive into their personal lives before approving mortgages.

Now one mum has come forward describing her experience before the new rules came into effect last month.

The woman, who was pregnant at the time, and her husband were trying to refinance their home with a different bank in the middle of last year.

They had bought the house about five years ago with a 40% deposit and “healthy income” to meet the repayment.

Despite this, the mortgage broker warned her not to hide her pregnancy when they met the bank.

“We have been told that the banks have become very strict about their lending criteria and may reject us if they find out that I am pregnant,” she said.

The woman wore a puffer jacket and “very loose clothing” during the meeting to discuss her request.

She was asked if having more children was in the couple’s five-year plan, she said.

“I had to sit there in my puffy jacket, eight months pregnant, and say no. It was awful.”

The woman believed that if she admitted that she was pregnant, her mortgage would not be approved.

She described the situation as “incredibly frustrating” given that they have previously had a mortgage, have never missed a payment and have an excellent credit rating.

She said asking personal questions, such as their plans for children, is “very disrespectful”.

“They can’t ask you in a job interview if you want to have a baby so why would the bank let it?”

Another Dunedin woman, who agreed not to be named, refused a mortgage nearly two years ago after telling the bank she would not return to work after having her child.

The woman, who was working in the bank she was applying to and was pregnant at the time, decided that she would not work for a few years to raise her children due to her husband’s income of $2,000 a week.

“We could very comfortably make ends meet with his income, but they said no. Once I told them I wouldn’t go back to work,” she said.

The couple then applied to a new bank and their application was accepted “without problem”.

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