Council reject loan application saying they ‘asked for too much’
Annmarie Dalton and Eoin Matthews were rejected a Local Authority Home Loan

Council reject loan application saying they ‘asked for too much’

A RENTER who applied for a Local Authority Home Loan and was rejected has described the experience as “awful” and said she is now “stuck renting” and “can’t go anywhere”.

Annmarie Dalton, 42, and her partner, Eoin Matthews, 41, live in rented accommodation in Tallaght with their seven-year-old daughter Éabha. The couple applied for the loan last March.

The Local Authority Home Loan was introduced by the Government last January, to replace the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan and give first-time buyers loans at a reduced rate.

In the South Dublin County Council administrative area, the maximum market value of properties purchased using the loan is €320,000.

The combined income limit of joint applicants must not be greater than €75,000 annual gross income, according to the council.

Annmarie works part-time as a childminder, while Eoin works full-time in retail. The couple were certain they’d be ideal candidates for the loan as they earn under €70,000 combined.

They currently pay €1,138 a month to rent an apartment in central Tallaght.

“We applied last March,” Annmarie told The Echo. “We had to give them a year’s worth of bank statements, six months of payslips and details about our savings.”

The couple had already saved €50k by the time they applied for the loan, and Annmarie said they used a Local Authority Home Loan calculator which estimated they could apply for €280,000.

“We applied for €230,000 because we already had €50,000 saved,” added Annmarie. “We had a glowing reference from our letting agent to say that we’ve never reneged on our rent.

“They can see on paper that we’ve always paid our bills, and they can see that we have no debt and that our credit is completely clean.”

Despite this, Annmarie said the couple’s application was recently rejected by South Dublin County Council as they had “asked for too much”.

“They said that we asked for too much,” she explained. “We thought this scheme was there to help people like us to get out of the rental market.

“Now we can’t go anywhere, we’re still stuck renting, and the rent will keep going up and up, even though the council can see on paper that we can afford the loan.

“We applied for €50,000 less than what the calculator states. We feel this is very unfair, as we are able to pay rent, household bills and save – we have never defaulted on our rent.”

Last August, figures released by the Department of Housing showed that 55 per cent of the 1,310 applications for the loan received by that point in the year had been recommended for rejection.

Reasons for the rejections included an unsatisfactory credit history, a failure to demonstrate the ability to repay the loan, and monthly repayments exceeding the allowable percentage of monthly net income.

For Annmarie and Eoin, the rejection of their application has meant they now have to reapply to the scheme but will do so seeking a lower loan of €200k.

“We just feel so disappointed in the whole scheme,” said Annmarie. “It’s awful, we just want to get out of the rental market.”

The Echo contacted South Dublin County Council to ask how many applications under the scheme have been approved so far this year, and for comment on Annmarie and Eoin’s experience, but a response wasn’t received at the time of going to print.

Share This