You have questions, we have the answers.
Who are we?
Proportunity is a tech-driven mortgage lender that combines smart technology and financing to help homebuyers get on the property ladder. We bridge the gap between your affordability from a main mortgage lender and the home you really want because we know current borrowing systems that limit lending home buyers to 4.5x their income does not keep up with rising house prices. Proportunity offers a solution that allows aspiring home buyers buy with confidence and own sooner.
Is Proportunity regulated?
Proportunity Loans is a trading style of SSM One Limited which is authorised by the FCA (firm reference number 716565). SSM One Limited is based in the UK with Companies House reference number 09273700 and has its registered office at GG 405, Metal Box Factory, 30 Great Guildford St, London SE1 0HS, United Kingdom. We are backed by international investors with industry experts on our board.
What is the difference between Proportunity and Help to Buy?
We've designed our shared equity loan to be similar to the government's Help to Buy scheme, but with fewer restrictions. You can use our loan for existing homes as well as new-builds, and you don't need to be a first time buyer. With Proportunity, you will be 100% owner of your home.
What are your eligibility criteria?
• Your deposit (minimum of 5%)
• Your income (min. £40k as an individual or £50k combined)
• You have a clean credit history
I have a CCJ/ default/ missed payment on my credit history. Can you still help me?
As a responsible lender we consider your payment & credit history as part of your application:
• We can accept no more than 3 missed payments within the past 2 years, and no missed payments within 6 months prior to application.
• We can accept no more than 3 defaults, totalling less than £500. All defaults must be satisfied 6 months prior to application.
• Unfortunately, we are unable to lend to any customer with a CCJ or IVA from the last 6 years, even if they have been satisfied in full.
Can I buy with someone else?
For sure! Once you've created your own account, it's easy to add another person to it. Just visit your profile and click on the button 'Add joint applicant'. You can then add in their income and savings to find out your joint home budget.
I'm not a first-time buyer, can I still use Proportunity?
Absolutely! Proportunity is not limited to first-time buyers. It's also great for people who are looking to purchase their next home. This is a key difference between Proportunity and the government's Help to Buy Scheme. However, the home you are buying with Proportunity must be your main place of residence.
Can I use Proportunity if I'm not a UK national?
If you have indefinite leave to remain (ILR) or have lived and worked in the UK for more than 5 years, you may be able to proceed with Proportunity, subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria. If you do not have ILR or have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, the mortgage products available to you may be more limited. You can speak with a mortgage advisor to for more details regarding your visa eligibility status. The lender who provides the main mortgage may have additional requirements.
Can I use Proportunity if I am self-employed?
If you are self-employed, you will need to show records and tax audits as proof of steady income for at least 2 years with a minimum of earnings of £40,000.
Can I use the savings in my LISA / Help to Buy ISA with Proportunity?
Yes! You can use these to finance your home purchase with Proportunity. We advise checking the conditions of the government bonus before you start looking for a home, as it is only valid on homes under a certain purchase price. You can check these conditions here: https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/help-to-buy-isa/who-is-eligible/
How much deposit do I need to use Proportunity?
We require a minimum of 5% deposit to put towards the purchase of your home, but you are welcome to come up with more! We can then top up your deposit by an additional 10-25% which can allow you to access a wider product range from your main lender or help you obtain a larger mortgage. A different mortgage provider (typically a bank or building society) would then lend for the remaining value of the property to reach the total purchase price.
What is a shared equity loan?
You may be familiar with the government scheme Help to Buy, which is also a shared equity loan. We're just like Help to Buy, but with more flexibility.
Here's how it works
Rather than lending you a fixed sum of money to repay, Proportunity lends a percentage of the value of the property (a shared equity loan). With the help of a mortgage adviser, you can choose between 10-25% of the home that you are buying. When you pay back the loan, the home is re-valued, and you pay back the same percentage as agreed for the loan. This may mean a higher repayment if the value of the property has appreciated, or a lower repayment if the value of the property has fallen. For example, if we provided a 20% loan to you, at the time you chose to re-pay the loan, the property would get re-valued and you would pay back 20% of the new value of the property.
Can I use Proportunity alongside the Help to Buy scheme?
Unfortunately, as Proportunity and the Help to Buy scheme are both second charge loans, you cannot use them both at the same time.
Can I use Proportunity to help with the other costs of buying a home?
As a second charge mortgage, Proportunity can only be used towards the purchase of your property and cannot be used for other costs (i.e. stamp duty, legal fees, renovation costs). However, using Proportunity can help you set aside some of your savings to put towards the additional costs, without having to compromise on your dream home.
How much can you lend me?
We can lend up to a maximum of 25% of the property value, capped at £150k. Our main lender's limit is £500k, and the calculators on our website reflect this figure. However, we do work with a few lenders with higher limits. Get in touch with us to learn more.
How do you determine my budget?
Your home budget is determined primarily by your income and your deposit savings. You'll need a minimum of 5% for a deposit. Any monthly credit commitments (student loan payments, pension contributions, credit card bills, etc.) will also be factored into to your overall affordability.
Does your calculator give me an exact budget amount?
While our budget calculator is pretty good, we can only take certain aspects into account. Please bear in mind that it won't get a full overview of your credit record and financial situation. Our calculator will show an indicative amount, which is a good basis on which to start your property search. Only a qualified mortgage broker can confirm your exact budget amount.
Do you run credit checks?
We do not perform credit checks at the initial stages of the process (e.g. when you register or when you use the platform). When applying for the Proportunity Loan through a mortgage broker (adviser), a soft credit check will be carried out, but only with your consent. Later in the process a hard credit check would be necessary in order to finalise the Loan application.
How do you fund the loans?
We have committed lending fund backed by institutional investors. We draw down from this fund to lend to customers via a solicitor upon completion of the home purchase
How does your technology work?
We look at the property's price per square metre and compare it to that of similar properties sold in the same neighbourhood in the last year. Many other factors are also taken into account too, such as the condition of the property, and proximity to schools and public transport.
What lenders do you work with?
Proportunity works with a variety of lenders such as high street banks and building societies. We are constantly looking to expand our panel and your mortgage advisor can help you find the best product for your circumstances.
How do I get started?
You can get started in three simple steps:
1. Create an account on our platform: https://app.proportunity.co/signup
2. Browse our platform and enquire on some properties that suit you by adding them to your shortlist. If you already have a property in mind, copy-paste the link and add it to your shortlist.
3. Once we have pre-approved some properties you're interested in and you're getting ready to view & put in an offer, we can introduce you to one of our partner mortgage brokers who can assess your mortgage eligibility and help you apply for both the Proportunity Loan & your main mortgage!
Do I have to go through a mortgage adviser to use Proportunity or can I do it directly through you?
Yes, you must access our loan through a qualified mortgage broker (adviser). The broker will give you full advice on Proportunity as well as what interest rates apply for you. They will be able to assess your situation further regarding your incomings, outgoings and give you advice on whether Proportunity is the right solution for you. Ultimately, your mortgage adviser will also apply for both Proportunity as well as your main mortgage on your behalf.
How can I speak with one of your mortgage advisers?
Once your profile is complete, and you've had one more properties pre-approved, you will be automatically introduced to a broker of your choice to arrange a free initial consultation. Please note that if you do not select a broker within 24 hours of receiving the email, one will be assigned to you - but you will be in good hands no matter what!
I have my own mortgage adviser already - can I still use Proportunity?
Yes, certainly! We will have to check if they are eligible to work alongside us though and get them fully onboarded, which can take up to 2-3 weeks. If you're in a hurry, we would be happy to connect you with a broker is already familiar with our product.
I'm a mortgage adviser, how can I work with you?
Head to our intermediaries page (https://intermediaries.proportunity.co/) and arrange a call with us to get the conversation started!
What is the fixed interest rate?
The interest rates & cost of the loan will depend on the property you would like to purchase and your financial circumstances. As interest rates constitute financial advice, this would need to be confirmed with a mortgage advisor who can show you which rates apply for your specific case. You can get an idea of our average product in our illustrative example. Check out our interest rates page for more information: https://proportunity.co/interest-rates
What is the variable interest rate?
A variable interest rate is linked to the Bank of England's rate and fluctuates with the market rate. You can get an idea of our average product in our illustrative example.
Why is Proportunity's APR much higher than other mortgage providers?
APR (annual percentage rate) is calculated according to a standard formula to enable customers to compare loan products easily and clearly. As a standalone product, the Proportunity APR is higher than many other mortgage products. However as a combined product, Proportunity with a main mortgage can have a lower overall cost for you. An mortgage adviser would be able to advise you on the cost of the loan combination that Proportunity is designed for, to help you move into better homes, faster. You can also check out the calculators on our website to see how we'd compare with a bank-only option. Visit our interest rates page for more information: https://proportunity.co/interest-rates
Why do you have to charge interest and how does this work?
Put simply, interest is the fee paid for borrowing money - a bit like paying a rental charge on a hire car. We offer a fixed interest rate for the first 5 years of the Proportunity Loan. This means your monthly payments to Proportunity will stay the same for five years before interest payments change to a variable rate. This rate will fluctuate depending on the Bank of England's base rate.
How do I repay the loan?
The Proportunity Loan is an equity loan with interest-only monthly payments. This means you pay only the interest every month (without having to repay the borrowed amount monthly) - making it more affordable in your early years as a First Time Buyer. Proportunity products come with fixed interest rate for the initial 5 years. At the end of this period, the interest changes to a variable rate or you may choose to pay back the loan in part or full. Paying the loan back before the end of the 5 years would incur early repayment charges, as is typical of any fixed-interest loan.
When do I have to repay the loan?
The term of the Proportunity Loan will match the term of the main mortgage (typically 25-40 years). We offer a fixed rate interest for the first 5 years of the Proportunity Loan, after which it changes to a variable rate.
Are there any restrictions for when I can repay the loan?
You have the full term of the loan to repay it in full (the Proportunity term matches the term of your main mortgage). However, if you repay any portion of the loan within the first five years, early repayment charges will apply.
Are there early repayment fees?
Our early repayment fees are as follows, and apply as a percentage on the amount you are paying back:
Proportunity loan at 5.99% interest rate
• 7% in the 1st year
• 7% in the 2nd year
• 5% in the 3rd year
• 4% in the 4th year
• 3% in the 5th year
Proportunity loan at 8.49% interest rate
• 5% in the 1st year
• 4% in the 2nd year
• 3% in the 3rd year
• 2% in the 4th year
• 1% in the 5th year
After the 5th year, there are no early repayment fees.
How do I repay the Proportunity Loan?
Your monthly payments are interest-only, however these payments do not go towards your Proportunity Loan amount. You can repay us in 3 ways:
You can pay back more than just the interest on the loan. Any extra payments on top of your monthly interest payments decrease the amount of the loan you borrowed from us. That means your monthly interest will also go down as a result. Learn more about how Overpayment works here.
The Proportunity Loan is available at a fixed-interest rate of 5 years. This means after 5 years, the interest rate becomes variable and subject to change by the base rate set by the Bank of England. To avoid this uncertainty, many home buyers will aim to pay off the Proportunity Loan before the 5 year mark. If overpayment isn't an option or preferred, you can remortgage, which means taking out a brand new mortgage loan with Proportunity or a different lender. When you do this, you’ll pay off your existing mortgage. You can also use money from remortgaging to pay off the Proportunity Loan. Basically, you’re rolling the outstanding balances on your old mortgage and your Proportunity Loan into one mortgage. Learn more about how Remortgaging works here.
Wait until you sell your property
If you're looking to move up the property ladder, you can repay the Proportunity Loan when you sell your home.
Your Proportunity Loan will have the same term as the main mortgage you choose. You could make the minimum monthly payments (interest only) until you decide to sell. When you sell, money from the sale will pay off any remaining amount on the main mortgage and on the Proportunity Loan. Learn more about how Wait until you sell works here.
For all repayment options above, at the time of Overpay, Remortgage, or Sale of the property, your property will be valued so you can pay the same proportion you borrowed of the home value at the time of purchase.
What happens to my loan if Proportunity goes out of business?
The terms of your loan are secured, so the interest rate during the fixed rate period will be guaranteed to stay the same. You will still have to re-pay the loan in full and the interest payments on time.
If I make significant changes to my property, will they be taken into account with the property's revaluation?
If you decide to make changes to the property which also increases the floor area, for example building an extension, this would be taken into account in our valuation of the property due our weighting on the price per square metre. If your improvements make no change to the floor area, as it stands we would be unable to take this into account when re-valuing the property. While we thoroughly encourage customers to make any changes to their new home, it is important to remember that superficial (non-structural) changes to a property are subjective. It is impossible for us, or indeed anyone else to calculate the value added by a new carpet vs. a new boiler vs. replacement kitchen fittings.
Will you lend on all properties?
Since we are investing in your home alongside you, we are quite choosy about the homes we provide a loan on. To check whether a property is eligible, you'll need to add it to your Favourites List for us to evaluate it. While we offer loans on most property types, certain purchase types are excluded from the Proportunity Loan. For instance, we cannot lend on properties sold at auction, 'cash buyers only' homes, or shared ownership properties.
Where is Proportunity available?
The Proportunity Loan is currently available in and around urban centres across England and Wales. If you are unsure if we lend in your area, use the 'Add home' button to paste the link of the property listing and we will evaluate its eligibility for our loan.
Am I limited to the homes that are already on your website?
Not at all! If you come across homes on Rightmove or Zoopla, for instance, that you don't see on our app, you can still add the property to your Favourites List by using the 'Add home' button on your dashboard to submit the link. We'll check the home and give you and outcome within 24 hours.
What is the maximum property value I can buy with Proportunity?
The maximum property price with Proportunity is dependent on your deposit amount, the maximum of 25% of the home value (or £150k) with the Proportunity Loan, and the maximum loan amount of the main mortgage provider lending in conjunction with Proportunity. We are constantly expanding to onboard more lending partners to offer you the best options on the market.
Can I buy a property that has a lease shorter than 90 years?
We will review properties which have a shorter lease on a case by case basis. If we believe they are a good investment and have strong potential for growth, we may be able to accept this property.
How do you work out whether a property is over or undervalued?
Our machine learning technology checks your shortlisted home’s value based on the price per square meter of the property compared to other similar properties in the neighbourhood using both current and historical data. We also take into account the desirability of the neighbourhood - looking at everything from crime rates to local schools to how easy it is to get around on public transport. The idea is that our technology predicts where the market is going so you can buy smarter, and with confidence.
What does it mean when my property is not eligible?
If your property is not eligible, we will aim to give you as much information as possible as to why your property is ineligible. If we feel that it is overvalued, it doesn't not mean we absolutely will not lend on it. Our technology allows us to make clever predictions on property price, and we will come back to you with a rough value we feel the declined property is overvalued by. If you are able to negotiate a discount by this value on the property, we can reassess and may be more likely to pre-approve it for you.
We know it can be disappointing to find that a property is not pre-approved by us, but we always want to be completely aligned with our customers, and hopefully our insights can help with your search.
Can I make changes to the property?
You have full, 100% ownership of your property and can make any changes you'd like to your property (subject to planning permissions). However, only structural improvements that change the floor area will be considered in the property's revaluation.
What if my circumstances change and I need to rent out the property?
A Proportunity Loan is only available for a property purchased as a main place of residence. We understand that changes in circumstances happen which may lead to you having to sell the property, or let out the property. If you have a special change in circumstance, you would need to let us know. Your case would be considered by our lending team and consent to change the mortgage type may be given if the circumstances call for it. There is no obligation from Proportunity, nor from the other mortgage provider to approve it.
Can I use Proportunity for a Buy to Let investment?
Unfortunately, no. The property you purchase using Proportunity must be used as your main place of residence. Proportunity is not available to use for Buy to Let investments.
Can you arrange the viewings for me?
No, you will need to contact the estate agent to book a viewing of a property you are interested in.
Do you lend in London only?
We can lend against most properties in England and Wales, as long as they’re within 30 minutes travel to a city, or 60 minutes to London.
What happens when I sell my property?
When you decide to sell your property, your property will be valued and gains earned from the sale will pay off any remaining amount on your main mortgage and on the Proportunity Loan.
The amount you pay back is worked out as a the same percentage that you borrowed at the time you choose to repay. If the value of your property goes up, so does the amount you owe on your equity loan. And if the value of your property goes down, the amount you owe us falls too.
Remember, we only lend on properties that we believe will appreciate in value. We are investing with you and we want to make sure you're making a smart investment that will see a positive return. As we are a responsible lender, we want to ensure you have the confidence and security that you will have no problems settling up at the end of your stay in the property.
If you sell and repay in the first five years, there are Early Repayment Charges, ranging from 1% - 7% of the amount paid back.
How does remortgaging work?
As a repayment option, you may choose to remortgage. This means taking out a brand new mortgage with the same lender or a different one. When you do this, you’ll pay off your existing mortgage. You can also use money from remortgaging to pay off the Proportunity loan. Basically, you’re rolling the outstanding balances on your old mortgage and your Proportunity loan into one mortgage.
When you remortgage, you can borrow as much as your property is worth at that future date. So, if property prices go up, you could borrow more money than you borrowed when you first bought the property.
There are three important things to remember:
- Proportunity only ever lends 10% - 25% of the purchase price. Since its a shared equity loan, the amount you repay will be the original amount borrowed + a percentage of the price growth (10%-25% of it – whatever percentage we lent toward the purchase)
So our loan value changes according to whatever percentage we of the purchase price we originally lent. But look at it the other way around. You get to enjoy the lion’s share of the price growth.
If we lent 15% toward the purchase, and you had to pay us 15% of the price growth, you get to keep the rest of the price growth: 85% of it! As long as your property goes up in value, you’re always way better off than we are.
- We only lend against properties we believe are going to do well in the future. When we check the property you want to purchase, we’re checking that it isn’t over valued in today’s market. But we’re also checking that the value is likely to go up tomorrow.
If it’s a bad investment for you, it’s a bad investment for us, and we wouldn’t lend against a property that we don’t believe would do well. We don’t have a crystal ball though. There are no guarantees that things will turn out the way we hope - and prices could go down as well as up. Remember, if the house price goes down, the loan shrinks as well. We’re in this together, after all.
- If you make remortgage to repay in the first five years, there are Early Repayment Charges, ranging from 1% - 7% of the amount paid back.
Remortgaging in a few years unlocks cash from property. If the property value went up while you owned it, you could take out more cash than you borrowed when you originally bought it. Use that cash to pay off your Proportunity loan. With our tech by your side, you can have more confidence that you’re choosing a property that’s going to appreciate in value.
Can I repay the Proportunity Loan before 5 years?
Yes, you can! You can pay back more than just the interest on the loan. Any extra you pay decreases the amount of the loan. That means the interest payments come down as well!
We ask that you limit overpayments to one per year as we have to value the property each time you do. If you make an overpayment in the first five years, there are Early Repayment Charges, Ranging from 1% - 7% of the amount paid back.