Income criteria

Acceptable income and proofs required

Please see the below tables for the type of income and proofs we accept. We'll seek to validate your client's income using credit bureau information, if we can successfully do this, we won't request to see any proofs.

For interest only, the minimum income criteria is £75,000 for sole applicants or £100,000 for joint applicants* (This is based on basic income only. Secondary income, bonus, overtime or commission can’t be used).

Download our packaging support guide for top tips when submitting proofs.

Please don't attach proofs to an application if they aren't requested, as this may delay the progress of your case.

Income from employment (including second jobs*)

Download our guide to payslip requirements

Acceptable income and proofs required table for income from employment
Acceptable income Proofs required
Basic pay** Latest payslip***
Car Allowance, Location Allowance, Mortgage Subsidies, Shift Allowance, Teaching & Responsibility Payment (TLR) 1 & 2, Value account, Pension Benefit Fund Latest payslip

*Second job income can only be used where the applicant has been in the job for at least 6 months.

**For National Rail and supermarket workers, we will require the last 3 months payslips. Contact us for more information.

*** If a payslip isn't available or your client has a new job, please read our employment criteria

Employer's references will only be requested if your client is working temporarily via an agency.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

What is the scheme?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for Employed workers provides a grant to UK employers to enable them to continue paying part of their employees’ salary to PAYE employees that would otherwise have been made redundant.

The scheme covers 80% of furloughed employees wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500pm (£30k per annum). The employer can opt to fund the difference between the payment and the employee’s salary but is not obliged to do so.

If your client has a shareholding in the business they work for, and provided their share is less than or equal to 20%, any income payable under PAYE may also follow this.

The scheme ends on 31 October 2020.

New applications – from 13 August 2020

Where the applicant will be fully returning to work no later than 2 November 2020, and has a firm Return to Work (RTW) date, we will use up to 100% of basic income (including income that we currently treat as basic).

Income can’t be used where the applicant does not have a firm RTW date, or their RTW date is after 2 November 2020.


  • Provided your client has a firm return to full work date of no later than 2 November 2020, and there have been no changes in their terms and conditions of employment, we’ll use up to 100% of basic income*.
  • If the applicant does not have a firm RTW date, or their RTW date is after 2 November 2020, the income can’t be used. An exception applies for furloughed applicants on or about to go on parental leave, please see our Proof Requirements.

*100% is the lower of pre-furlough income or income on return to work, and includes income that we currently treat as basic.

Where the applicant’s return to work pay is higher (e.g. as a result of a pay rise) and the higher income is needed to meet affordability, please refer to your BDM providing full details, including the amount and reason for the increase.

Proof requirements

In addition to the standard income proof requirements, we’ll request the following:

  • The latest pre-furlough payslip/s (where the annual salary isn’t shown on the latest payslip)
    • for variable pay this will be the latest 3 months / 8 weeks / 6 fortnightly pre-furlough payslips
    • the latest pre-furlough payslip must be dated not earlier than February 2020.
  • A RTW letter from the employer confirming the firm date the applicant will be fully returning to work**, and either:
    • confirmation the applicant’s terms and conditions of employment will remain unchanged as at 2 November 2020 and they will be returning on the same basis as they were employed pre-coronavirus, or;
    • where there will be a variation in the employment contract (e.g. change of contract type, reduction in hours worked or remuneration, changes in, for example, Shift/Car/Location and TLR 1 & 2 allowances) full details must be provided.

The RTW letter must be addressed directly to the applicant and should typically be a letter the applicant has already received from their employer outlining the terms and conditions of their return.

**Where a furloughed applicant is on, or due to go on parental leave, and their RTW date is due after 2 November 2020, we require written confirmation from the employer as to what the RTW date would’ve been had the applicant not been on parental leave. The RTW letter must also confirm that they will be returning on pre-furlough terms and conditions. Where your client notifies you they will be returning on a lower salary due to an anticipated change to their working contract, then you will need to declare this.


These changes apply to all cases that have their first DIP on or after 13 August 2020.

For cases that had their first DIP prior to 13 August 2020, if you are informed of a negative change to the applicant’s income (e.g. loss of job, reduction in income) then the changes detailed above will apply. This also applies to cases where an offer extension is requested, and negative income changes have been declared.

  • Your applicants can choose to use the new approach where eligible to do so, e.g. if they'd like to increase the loan amount, but the increase isn't affordable using furlough income.
  • For offer extension requests, where furlough income was verified before the original offer was issued, the changes detailed above will not apply unless there has been a negative income change (e.g. loss of job, reduction in income).

Income from bonus, overtime and commission

From 2 April 2020, we won’t accept BOC income on any new applications. This also applies to any additional income that we currently treat the same as BOC.

If anything is keyed to the BOC fields it won’t be used in our affordability assessment. A proof requirement will still be generated but please ignore this.

Pipeline applications - pre or post offer

The changes outlined above apply to all cases started on or after 2 April 2020.

From 2 July, the changes will also be applied to any reprocesses on cases started before 2 April.

Additional income - not labelled bonus, overtime and commission

Acceptable income and proofs required table for additional income
Acceptable income Proofs required
Check the unacceptable income list to see if the income can be used. If it can be used, please ensure it is keyed correctly.
Weekly / Fortnightly / Monthly / Four Weekly Quarterly / Half Yearly / Annually
Additional income is same amount across all payslips* Treat as basic

eg monthly payslips 1, 2 and 3 = £100

Average = £300/3 = £100 monthly basic

Treat as overtime

eg quarterly payslip 1 = £100,

payslip 2 = £100, payslip 3 = £100

Average = £300/3 = £100 quarterly overtime

Additional income is variable across all payslips* Treat as overtime

eg payslip 1 = £100, payslip 2 = £200, payslip 3 = £300

Average = £600/3 = £200 monthly overtime

Additional income is the same or variable but not on all payslips* Treat as overtime

eg payslip 1 = £100, payslip 2 = £100 but £0 on payslip 3

Average = £200/3 = £66.67 monthly overtime

*To calculate any basic, bonus, overtime, commission or additional income we must be in receipt of the correct number of payslips as per the income from employment table above.

Income from self-employment

From 1 May, all applications where there is any element of self-employed income will be fully underwritten, receiving an individually tailored underwriting decision.

The process for these applications:

  • Submit a Decision in Principle – the outcome will either be ‘Refer’ or ‘Decline’
  • If the case is a ‘Refer’, you’ll receive a ‘Subjective Accept’ decision via email within 24 hours. At this point the application won’t have been reviewed, but will confirm the requirements needed on the case when you submit a Full Mortgage Application (FMA).
  • When you are ready to submit the FMA, you’ll need to attach all the requested documents. If you've made amendments to the application and it has reverted back to a ‘Refer’ decision, please wait for the case to move to ‘Subjective Accept’ before submitting the application.
  • If there’s any additional requirements needed, these will be requested once the case has been reviewed

We need to underwrite some cases in more detail, for example, first time buyer applications at 85% LTV or above and self-employed applications. To prevent delays for your clients, please see our key information for DIP refer cases.

Bounce Back Loans

If your client has taken a Bounce Back loan, we’ll consider these cases. If you’re asked for evidence in relation to these please provide the following:

  • Upload an additional document to the case via NFI Online labelled ‘COVID-19 Business Loan’. This document should detail if it’s a Bounce Back or Business Interruption loan, the amount of the loan, the monthly payment* and whether the loan will be secured against the proposed security address or not. It should also state whether the Lender is seeking a personal guarantee. *For Bounce Back loans a payment will become due after the initial 12-month period of the loan, the payment amount must still be provided.

The loan should not be keyed as an outgoing on the application.

Pipeline applications - pre or post offer

The changes outlined above apply to all cases started on or after 1 May 2020.

From 30 July, the changes will also be applied to any reprocesses on cases started before 1 May.

Acceptable income and proofs required table for income from self-employment
Acceptable income Proofs required
Income figures are required for the last two years.
  • Sole trader/partnerships - Applicant's share of net profit
  • Director's salary
  • Director's dividends
  • The latest 2 years HMRC Tax Calculation (SA302*) forms and Tax Year Overviews OR
  • An accountant's certificate covering at least the last two years

      View our employment criteria for more information.

Fixed Term Contract
  • The latest 2 years HMRC Tax Assessment forms OR
  • An accountant's certificate covering at least the last two years OR
  • The latest employment contract if income is being assessed as employed).

      View our employment criteria for more information.

We reserve the right to request additional information such as Company Accounts. Accounts must be Final Accounts (drafts and projections are not acceptable) and the end of the latest financial period must not be more than 18 months ago. If the last accounting period is greater than 12 months, the income figures will be annualised. Where the latest two years HMRC Tax Calculations are supplied, the corresponding two years HMRC Tax Year Overviews are also required.

*The only two SA302’s that are currently acceptable are those covering the years 2018/19 and 2019/2020.

Download our guide to HMRC tax calculation and tax year overview requirements

Retirement income

Acceptable income and proofs required table for income from other sources
Acceptable income Proofs required Key as
State Pension Latest annual statement of pension Pension income (if the proof shows State Pension is awarded jointly, please key 50% against each applicant)

Private/Company/Occupational Pension


  • Latest annual statement of pension, or
  • Latest payslip from the pension provider, or
  • Latest letter from pension provider, or
  • Latest P60 from the pension provider
Pension income

War Disablement pension

War Widow(er)s pension

War Disablement/War Widow(er)s Pension Notice Pension income
Income from a company the applicant owns that will continue to provide an income into retirement Accountant's certificate Investment income

See Lending into Retirement for more information.

Income from other sources

Acceptable income Proofs required Key as
Investment income Documentary evidence of value and nature of investment income i.e. Solicitor/Accountant/Trust Administrator letters. Only income of a guaranteed amount, which will continue for the foreseeable future is acceptable. Investment income
Dividend income from a portfolio of shares Accountant's certificate Investment income
Dividend income from an applicant that owns a share in a business Accountant's certificate Investment income
Rental income from a mortgage free property

Latest 3 months' bank statements^ or you can use a statement/letter from an Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) registered letting agent if this shows a breakdown of payments received, evidencing the latest three months’ net rental payments. Rental income must be paid by Direct Debit/Standing Order.

Rental income from short term or holiday lets, "rent a room" lodgers or foreign property is unacceptable.

Rental income from an unencumbered property
Rental income from a letting business with a mortgage The last 2 years' income figures via an accountant's certificate covering the applicant's share of net profit, or HMRC tax assessments are required. Treat as self-employed income
  • Three months' bank statements^ as evidence of payment.

We'll only accept payments that have been received for at least three months. Where there is a difference in the amounts received, the lowest figure received in the last three months will be used for affordability. The payments cannot be accepted if they have been received in a joint account where the applicant and ex-partner are both named.

Maintenance income
Parental leave

For applicants who are on or due to go on parental leave, the existing and future child care costs should be included as an outgoing, and the future number of dependents declared.

Employed applicants

If your client’s due to go on, or is already on parental leave, they must provide either:

  • the latest payslip which shows the client is on parental leave, e.g. Statutory Maternity Pay information and the payslip prior to going on parental leave or
  • a copy of the letter received from their employer confirming the terms of their parental leave or
  • a copy of their return to work letter.

The letter from the employer must be addressed to your client (not to Nationwide or to whom it may concern) and should state the return to work income. Where the letter does not confirm the return to work income, the payslip issued before parental leave started will also be required.

Self-employed applicants

Refer to self-employed income

Bonus, overtime or commission

Bonus, overtime or commission can only be accepted when an applicant has been on parental leave for less than 3 months or where the parental leave period taken was less than 3 months. If your client has returned to work, the bonus, overtime or commission received during the parental leave period can still be used.

Depending on the employment type, treat as employed income or self-employed income
Foster Income
  • A letter from the Foster Agency confirming the total income paid for each of the last 2 years and that the most recent year's figure is likely to continue at the same level for the foreseeable future.
  • The children in foster care of the applicants must be keyed as dependents
Treat as self-employed income
Income Protection Insurance
  • Latest payslip/letter confirming the monthly income
Treat as employed income

Benefit income

Applications where income is made up primarily of benefits and maintenance are likely to be declined. 

Benefit income must be keyed in the relevant fields under 'Other Income'. Benefits must be likely to be paid for the foreseeable future, at their current level or higher and must not be used as income if the client, or proof provided, confirms the payment is about to stop.

Acceptable income Proofs required Key as
Child benefit
  • Accepted if neither applicant's total income is more than £50,000
  • No proofs are required
Child benefit
Credits and benefits, including: 
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Employment & Support Allowance
  • Adoption Allowance
  • Widowed parents allowance*
  • Latest 3 months bank statements
  • An average of the last 3 months benefit payments will be used. If the latest bank statement doesn’t show the payment, we can’t accept that income.^
Universal Credit/Tax Credits

Disabled benefits, including:

  • Disability living allowance (DLA) - DLA paid to an applicant for a child under 16 is also acceptable
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Latest award notice (Pages 1 and 2 only)
State Disability Benefit
  • Carers Allowance (CA)
  • Attendance Allowance (AA)
  • Latest award notice (Page 1 only)
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Disablement living allowance on behalf of a child under 16
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (Applicants who receive an Armed Forces Independence Payment will not be eligible for PIP, DLA or Attendance Allowance)
  • Latest award notice
  • We only require the pages that evidence the benefit is paid to the applicant and the amount payable. We don't need any pages that show any health/medical information.

  • Reduced Earning Allowance (REA)
  • Reduced Earnings Allowance Letter
  • We only require the pages that evidence the benefit is paid to the applicant and the amount payable. We don't need any pages that show any health/medical information.

*Please note, this can only be taken where the application includes a dependant aged 11 or under.

^Please note, for all applications where bank statements are held in joint names with an unknown third party, we will require further proof of eligibility.

Casual employment

Zero hour contract (ZHC) income

For all cases from 2 April 2020, we’ll now only accept ZHC income from:

  • NHS Bank Nurses and Locums
  • Non-NHS Bank Nurses
  • Care Home workers
  • Supermarket workers (including delivery drivers)

We’ll still accept income from Retained/On-Call Firefighters and Armed Forces Reservists which should continue to be assessed using the ZHC income criteria.

We’ll still require the applicant to have been employed on this basis for at least 12 months, but we have removed the ‘same employer’ requirement.

We won’t accept ZHC income from any other roles – if you consider an applicant outside of this to be a designated key worker in the COVID-19 response and they meet the criteria, please contact us.

The following continues to apply:

  1. Income from the above is only acceptable where it's not the primary income i.e. there must be another employed/self-employed/pension income, which is higher, it doesn’t have to be a second job.
  2. The applicant must have been employed on this basis for at least 12 months.
  3. The latest P60 and most recent payslip are required to calculate the income.
  4. The income should be the lower of the latest P60 total or the most recent payslip year to date annualised.
  5. Bonus, Overtime or Commission must not be used.

Pipeline applications - pre or post offer 

The changes above don’t apply to cases started before 2 April 2020. They only apply to all cases started on or after 2 April 2020.

Acceptable income and proofs required table for casual employment
Acceptable income for cases started before 2 April 2020 Proofs required
Zero Hours Contracts, Piece Work, Bank Nurses, Retained Firefighters and Armed Forces Reserve.

Applicants on Zero Hours Contracts (Piece Work) must have been employed by the same company in the same role for a minimum of 12 months.

For sole applicants, this income can only be used where it's secondary income. If there is more than one applicant, the income can only be used where it’s not the main income: if it’s for the second applicant, it doesn’t have to be a second job.

Bonus, overtime or commission can't be used.

Please key Casual Employment as Employed and Sub contractor as open ended.

  • Latest P60 and payslip. We’ll use the lower of the annualised year to date or P60 figures.

Unacceptable income

  • Expenses / Subsistence payments
  • Mileage / Fuel allowance
  • First Aid
  • Broadband and phone allowance
  • Shadow Pay
  • Educational Grants / Bursaries
  • Teaching and Learning Responsibility 3 (TLR) payments
  • Foreign Currency
  • Housing Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Income from lodgers
  • Income from short term or holiday lets
  • Third jobs
  • Income from ad-hoc employment
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Guardians Allowance / Kinship Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Flexible pension income / Income drawdown
  • Fixed Term Annuities


Maximum borrowing is based on individual affordability, up to a maximum of 4.75 times gross income. The actual income multiple will vary depending on the application. We take a range of factors into account to determine how much can be borrowed and the minimum affordable term. Our calculation aims to ensure individuals have a sufficient proportion of their income remaining, after their mortgage repayments to cover their outgoings.

Top tips on affordability

  • Ask your client to provide their income proofs up front, and ensure they match the income they've declared, before you submit their application.
  • Remember to check the following for any further expenditure or outgoings: payslips; bank statements; credit reports (if available from your client)
  • Check if your client has any unsecured debt, which will still have more than six months to run, and how this could impact their application.
  • Once you have the full picture on your client's outgoings, make sure they are all entered fully and accurately in the appropriate field when keying their affordability/DIP/application.

Affordability calculator

Our affordability calculator will allow you to check how much we might lend your client without having to undertake a full Decision in Principle which will involve credit scoring your client.

Stress testing

We will conduct a stress test on all applications as part of our affordability assessment; this will be completed as part of the Decision in Principle. Where your client is porting an existing product to their new property, we may be required to stress test at a higher rate due to the interest rate of your client's existing product. Where this is required, we will conduct this additional stress test within NFI Online once you've selected that you would like to port the applicable account. Therefore, it may be possible for our affordability decision to change between DIP and Reserve Product if your client does not meet our affordability criteria after the additional stress testing has been applied.

Applicants remortgaging with no additional borrowing may benefit from a stress test at a lower rate. Please see our Remortgages with no additional borrowing section.

Like for like

If your client(s) is an existing Nationwide mortgage customer moving home, and they fail affordability, we can consider their application on a ‘Like for Like’ basis where:

  • The total amount of the borrowing, excluding product fees if added, is no more than the existing borrowing
  • There is no change of applicant(s) (i.e. not adding, removing or replacing an applicant)
  • The borrower is not changing their current repayment method
  • The term of the new mortgage is not shorter than the current term. Term extensions are allowed unless the borrower(s) is already retired, the term extension takes the borrower(s) into retirement or further into retirement.

Where the application is 'Like for Like', we will suppress our need for Income Proof, all other proofs generated will be required.

The application will receive a 'Refer' decision (subject to our standard checks) and this will be reviewed by our underwriting team.

If any of your client(s) mortgage is on Interest only and meets the above criteria you will still be asked for Income Proof, but this will not be required unless requested by our underwriting team. You must manually appeal these cases through your BDM.

Lending into retirement

The maximum retirement age is 70. The mortgage term must not extend beyond the 75th birthday of the eldest applicant.

Where the mortgage term extends into retirement, the following criteria apply

Retirement is less than 10 years away

  • Details of both current income and anticipated retirement income must be provided
  • The lower of the current income or anticipated retirement income is used for affordability purposes

Retirement is 10 years or more away

  • Current income is used for affordability purposes
  • Evidence of the existence of a current and/or past pension (other than State Pension) e.g. payslip showing a pension deduction, or a pension payment on a bank statement, or a pension statement.

Clients with additional properties

Where your client has, or will have on completion, only one mortgaged property, standard LTV limits will apply. Maximum 85% LTV will continue to apply if the client will own two or more mortgaged properties on completion and will be treated as a Second Property application, even if the property being purchased or remortgaged will be your client’s main residence.

For information about products please see our products, loan size and maximum LTV criteria. If your client owns more than one property, we require all addresses and mortgage details.

We'll consider the outstanding balance of any mortgages that are continuing, unless there is a simultaneous TMW Let to Buy application submitted for the existing residential, or they are let and satisfy the following:

  • Let properties are treated as self-financing where the rent received is at least 145% of the current mortgage payments.
  • Where the rent received is less than 145% of the current mortgage payment, the difference will be included in the affordability calculation
  • Latest three months' bank statements^ or you can use a statement/letter from an Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) registered letting agent if this shows a breakdown of payments received, evidencing the latest three months’ net rental payments.
  • Rental must be paid by Direct Debit / Standing Order.
  • Each rental property owned by your client will be assessed individually, unless they are owned as part of a property letting business (see above Rental Income from a Letting Business).
  • We cannot use rental income from properties let abroad, however you should still key the mortgage details into the application where the mortgage is continuing (if the mortgage debt is in a foreign currency it should be converted to sterling).

There is no requirement to obtain past payment history proof for foreign currency mortgages but normal requirements apply to mortgages in sterling secured on properties abroad.

^If your client has an existing Nationwide current account or mortgage, there’s no need for you to provide their statement(s) if it’s generated as a case requirement. Simply complete this form, then Scan and Attach it to clear the requirement.


As well as considering your client's income for affordability, we'll also need to consider any regular outgoings they are committed to. These include:

Credit commitments:

  • Outstanding credit card balances, including store cards, mail order and budget accounts
  • Outstanding mortgage balances, including mortgages held abroad (see Clients with Additional Properties above for details of when mortgages are treated as self-financing)
  • Monthly payments for personal loans and hire purchases with more than 6 months to run
  • Deferred purchase agreements with more than 6 months to run, including current or future payments

Non-Credit commitments (monthly outgoings):

  • Child care
  • School fees
  • CSA / Maintenance
  • Additional cost for financial dependents
  • Student loans
  • Monthly travel costs for regular travel (e.g. to work and school) - to include for example:
    • Season ticket loan deductions
    • Rail/Bus company deductions that the customer confirms will be regular
    • Regular car costs e.g. fuel, car tax, parking fees and car insurance
  • Any other regular expenditure your client would like us to consider when assessing affordability.

Non-Credit commitments (annual outgoings)

  • Council Tax
  • Ground rent
  • Service charges
  • Buildings insurance
  • Shared ownership rent

For joint applications, if the outgoings are shared between your clients, you should key half the amount against each applicant.

Employment criteria

View what proofs we require for different types of employment

Read our employment criteria

A-Z criteria

Search our A-Z criteria to find what you’re looking for

A-Z criteria

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