Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much can I borrow?

Deduct payments to credit commitments from salary and then, as an approximation, multiply by 4 for a single income or 3 for a joint income. Your credit status may increase or reduce the multiple.

Q. Who has the cheapest mortgage?

This will depend on your individual requirements, from which we can determine the lender you could use, the type of scheme you prefer (fixed, variable, cash back..), how long any special rate lasts for (e.g. fixed for 5 years), whether you go for a low rate with fees or a higher rate with no fees, redemption penalties, tie in period or not, plus many other factors.

Q. Which is best, an interest only or a repayment mortgage?

A repayment mortgage guarantees to repay your mortgage, interest only does not. Most lenders insist on a repayment vehicle for an interest only mortgage – the interest plus the cost of the repayment vehicle will be no cheaper than a repayment mortgage. You might be able to pay off your mortgage early using a repayment vehicle but then again it might take longer – there is no guarantee. How much risk are you prepared to take? Do you understand the risks? The answer depends on your own individual circumstances.

Q. I have experienced difficulties with making credit payments. Can I get a mortgage?

This will not prevent you from getting a mortgage unless you are bankrupt. The rate will be higher than normal and it may cost more to arrange. You will need a bigger deposit, usually at least 10%. During the recession lending criteria is much tighter and it is more likely that you will need a deposit in excess of 25%.

Q. I have changed jobs and have a probationary period, can I get a mortgage?

Most lenders will insist that you have passed a probationary period but we know some that are very competitive and will not concern themselves with a probationary period.

Q. What is the maximum period a mortgage can run for?

Most lenders will allow a mortgage term of 35 years or to your retirement age. You can extend a mortgage term beyond retirement age if you can demonstrate that you can afford the payments. Most lenders are not willing to lend beyond age 75 unless the mortgage is a lifetime mortgage (equity release) mortgage. These are special types of mortgage that require very careful thought

Q. Do I need a deposit?

Historically, some lenders did not require a deposit and then came the credit crunch and banking crisis. It is no longer possible to get a 100% mortgage.

Q. I pay rent of £800pm and can easily afford a mortgage, why can’t I borrow more?

You may be able to afford a mortgage at today’s rates but what about in the future? Our mortgage calculator could help you work this out, have a play with the interest rate. If rates go up you may not be able to afford the mortgage and you risk losing your home and potentially some or all of the equity in it. Lenders therefore use an affordability matrix which may be a multiple of your salary or a combination of this and your credit profile to determine a level of lending that is not too risky for you or them.

Q. I want to buy a house with 3 friends, can we all get a mortgage on one property?

Yes you can but there may be restrictions on the number of incomes will be taken into account. Most lenders will only take two incomes but there are some that take three. Each person on the mortgage will be responsible for each others payments (i.e. if one person decided not to pay any more the others would have to meet that person's payments or risk affecting their own credit rating)

Q. I've heard about self certification mortgages, can I borrow as much as I like?

No, this is a risky strategy. If you state that your income is greater than it really is then you are committing mortgage fraud, which is a criminal offence. Safeguards on maximum borrowings are in place for your good as well as the lender, if you cannot meet the payments because circumstances change (e.g. interest rates go up) you could lose your home.