Car Finance for the over 65s
It’s hard to believe, but some UK car finance companies still won’t work with the over-65s.
Don’t get us wrong – we don’t mind. A lot of our best customers are in that age bracket. And the more the high-street companies turn them away, the more they’ll come to us.
We’re talking about the richest generation this country has ever seen. 36% of the UK’s household wealth belongs to the over-65s. And one out of every five ‘boomers’ is a millionaire.
Anyone who can’t understand the value of working with customers like these shouldn’t be in business. They’ve got the best asset portfolios. They’ve got sound investments that have been maturing for decades. And they’re way more reliable than most people half their age.
So why do lenders refuse credit to the over-65s?
There are a few reasons why lenders get shy when it comes to retired people.
• No regular income. Lenders are reassured by a steady wage.
• No long-term incomes. Older customers aren’t as likely to be still earning a wage in a few years’ time (many of them will be planning to live on their assets or investments instead).
• Higher risk of non-payment. It’s an unavoidable fact that the over-65s are more likely to have their income streams interrupted suddenly by illness, or the illness of their partner.
• Ethical concerns. Older people are a PR liability in the eyes of some squeamish lenders. Some of the risks we’ve listed here will necessarily result in a higher rate of interest. This is a purely practical measure, and something easily understood by most borrowers.
However, many lenders are worried that they’ll be perceived as ‘taking advantage’ by applying these higher interest rates.
They worry about diminishing mental capacity of the customer. They also get concerned that if the customer defaults on their payments, any attempts to recoup losses from the customer will result in bad press. So their response? A flat refusal of anyone over-65. Hardly seems fair, does it?
Here at SCF, we would never place an age cap on our products. We’re happy to assume (until proven otherwise) that our customers are of sound mind and body, regardless of their age.
If one of our customers becomes ill, they’ll be treated with the same dignity and respect we would extend to any of our customers, and we’ll work with them as closely as we can to find a way to resolve any outstanding amount.
We’d never assume that because a customer is nearing retirement age, their financial situation is somehow more precarious than everyone else’s. The majority of these people have spent much of their working lives wisely saving and preparing for these autumn years, and their money is as good as anyone else’s. To assume otherwise is disrespectful – and it’s really bad business sense.