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English want 90 times more savings to feel secure

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The English wish they had savings worth ninety times their existing deposit in order to feel financially safe, a poll by Legal & General has shown.

Respondents said they wanted on average £93,730 in savings to feel financially secure. However, in practice the average amount held in savings by UK families is little over £1,000.

Chadney Bulgin mortgage partner Jonathan Clark said proof of a steady accumulation of savings was becoming more important at the underwriting stage of a mortgage application.

“From a purely mechanical point of view, a credit scoring system doesn’t take into account savings at all. But of course, if a first time buyer says they have £20,000 in most cases these days lenders tend to ask for evidence of the deposit, and in some cases, like it to be evidenced as having been accumulated over a period of time.”

Lenders liked the commitment savings over time demonstrated, he suggested. “Lenders don’t want someone to suddenly decide to buy a property on a bit of a whim and then get gifted £50,000 from mummy and daddy. They prefer them to be committed to saving it.”

The survey found expectations were highest among those in their late 40s and early 50s, where respondents wishaed they had £115,570 safely in the bank. By contrast, 18-24 year olds felt they needed just over £40,000.

Expectations also differed by geography – those in London wanted over £100,000 to feel secure, compared to £73,910 in the South West.

An Experian spokesman said while finding a deposit might be the biggest challenge for mortgage applicants, savings levels were not a factor in credit scores.

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