In this section we cover:
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||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.
Recruit and Retain (RRP)
This must be shown on all payslips in the last 3 months.
If the header includes the words Reserve/Reserve Band/Reserve Banding, it can’t be used.
If the daily rate* is the same across all 3 months it can be used as basic pay (average of the last 3 payslip amounts).
If the daily rate* is not the same it can only be used as overtime.
*The daily rate is the payslip amount divided by the number of days in the payslip month.
This must be shown on all payslips in the last 3 months / 8 weeks AND supporting evidence (employer letter/contract) is needed confirming the payment is ongoing and is permanent/guaranteed.
If the amount paid across all payslips is the same it can be used as basic pay.
If the payment varies it can only be used as overtime.
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.
New applications – first DIP completed on or after 3 November 2020
We won't use income from applicants who are fully or partially furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme or any subsequent schemes launched by the government. The applicant must have fully returned to work and be able to provide evidence of this.
Therefore, where the applicant is furloughed you should enter their occupation and key the income as £0. This includes those who:
- have returned to work on a part-time basis, but are still receiving some furlough (referred to as flexible furlough)
- are on furlough and receiving an employer top up
- are on furlough but due to return to work – partially or fully – and will no longer receive furlough
- have fully returned to work from furlough but are unable to provide their latest payslip(s).
If an applicant is still fully in work but has agreed to a salary reduction or a reduction in hours, then key the lower income. This applies even if there is a known date for the salary to revert to its previous level.
Our standard proof requirements apply. Please see our providing proofs page for details about the documents we'll need and what we're looking for.
Where applicants have returned to work after a period of furlough, this must be evidenced by providing the latest payslip (4 payslips if paid weekly, or 2 if paid fortnightly) which must not show any element of furlough income.
This applies to any pipeline applications, whether started before or after 3 November 2020.
If you are informed of a negative change to the applicant’s income (e.g. loss of job, reduction in income, return to furlough/flexible furlough) 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.
This means that any pre offer application where the income is impacted making the case unaffordable will require the latest payslip, not showing any furlough income, before the case will offer.
If you inform us of a change post offer, either pre or post exchange, we'll fully review the application and we may require additional proofs in order to proceed. Where an application has exchanged, please contact your BDM.
If the application is unaffordable, and the exchange has not taken place, please see ‘Paused applications’ below.
Pipeline – Return to Work letters
Between 13 August and 2 November 2020 for applications where the first DIP was completed on or after 13 August, we would accept a Return to Work letter from an employer, provided the applicant was due to fully return to work by 2 November 2020.
Where a Return to Work letter has not yet been received / assessed, we may require you to provide confirmation that the applicant/s have not been re-furloughed.
Additional evidence may also be required for any cases where we see furlough income on the payslips. This could apply to cases where the first DIP was completed before 13 August 2020.
To help support the applications which have been submitted prior to 3 November 2020 and have been furloughed, we'll look to temporarily ‘pause’ the application. This will also apply to applications submitted after 3 November where the applicant was employed, but has since been furloughed.*
Where we are notified that an applicant has been furloughed, the following will apply:
- The income will be removed from the application and affordability re-calculated.
- If the application fails affordability, it will be ‘paused’. If you wish to cancel the case, please contact us. This will allow us to prioritise work on applications that are progressing.
- The ‘paused’ application will show as ‘Declined’ within NFI online.
- There will be a proof requirement added – this will be displayed as ‘Additional information required’. This can be used to upload the proof of income once the applicant has returned to work from furlough.
- Once the applicant has returned to work from furlough, you will need to attach the proof.
- When we have accepted the relevant proof, the case will be amended and the application will be able to proceed, providing all other aspects of the application remain acceptable**
*If an application is reviewed and both the Decision in Principle and the product have expired, the case will be cancelled and a new application will need to be submitted once the applicant has fully returned to work.
**If the DIP expires whilst the application is ‘paused’, or requires a rescore, the applicant must pass the new DIP. If the new DIP results in a Decline, they'll be unable to proceed. If the product expires whilst the application is ‘paused’, you'll be required to choose a new product from our current range. If a satisfactory proof is not provided before an offer expires, a new application will be required. New applications will be subject to lending criteria and product availability at the time.
Income from bonus, overtime and commission
For all new DIPs started on or after 22 April 2021 or existing applications which are amended, the following criteria will apply:
- For all applications where Bonus, Overtime* or Commission (BOC) is required, the lowest amount of any frequency will be applied.
- If you're using a combination of BOC, all proofs will need to show evidence of the income being used.
- It's important to ensure that the income is entered into the correct income type. For income not labelled bonus, overtime and commission see here.
- For the period being reviewed for each income type, there must have been an amount received. Income can't be used if any period has £0.
Below you'll find what to use when keying your application within NFI Online, and the proofs to evidence this.
Bonus / Overtime* / Commission
|Monthly / 4 weekly||Lowest amount from the latest 3 payslips||Latest 3 consecutive payslips from the same employer|
|Fortnightly||Lowest amount from the latest 6 payslips divided by 2 (e.g. if the lowest fortnightly amount is £50, you would key £25 as the weekly amount)||Latest 6 consecutive payslips from the same employer|
|Weekly||Lowest amount from the latest 8 payslips||Latest 8 consecutive payslips from the same employer|
Bonus / Commission
|Quarterly||Lowest amount from the latest 3 payslips or award letters/statements||Latest 3 consecutive quarterly payslips or award letters/statements from the same employer (the oldest payslip must not be dated more than 12 months before the original DIP date)|
|Half yearly||Lowest amount from the latest 4 payslips or award letters/statements, multiplied by 2 (e.g. if the lowest amount is £500, you would key £1,000 as the annual amount)||Latest 4 consecutive half yearly payslips or award letters/statements from the same employer (the oldest payslip must not be dated more than 25 months before the original DIP date)|
|Annual||Lowest amount from the latest 2 payslips or award letters/statements||Latest 2 consecutive annual payslips or award letters/statements from the same employer (the oldest payslip must not be dated more than 25 months before the original DIP date)|
*Tronc is a common term for tips and service charge payments in restaurants and hotels - this is treated as Overtime.
Additional income - not labelled bonus, overtime and commission
|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||Treat as overtime|
|Additional income is variable across all payslips*||Treat as overtime|
|Additional income is the same or variable but not on all payslips*||This income can't be used as it does not appear on all payslips.|
*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 2020, 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. 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.
We're aware that there is currently a delay in obtaining Tax Year Overviews from HMRC. Please only submit SA302s where the Tax Year Overview has already been obtained.
|Acceptable income||Proofs required|
|Income figures are required for the last two years.|
View our employment criteria for more information.
|Fixed Term Contract||
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.
Download our guide to HMRC tax calculation and tax year overview requirements
|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)|
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|
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.
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.
If your client’s due to go on, or is already on parental leave, they must provide either:
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.
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|
||Treat as self-employed income|
|Income Protection Insurance (IPI)||
||Treat as employed 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|
|Credits and benefits, including:
||Universal Credit/Tax Credits|
Disabled benefits, including:
||State Disability Benefit|
*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.
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:
- 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.
- The applicant must have been employed on this basis for at least 12 months.
- The latest P60 and most recent payslip are required to calculate the income.
- The income should be the lower of the latest P60 total or the most recent payslip year to date annualised.
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 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.
Please key Zero Hours Contracts as permanent employment.
- 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. 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.
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.
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
- The borrower(s) will only own one mortgaged property at completion.
On 'Like for Like applications, we'll still require all generated proofs to be provided, including Proof of Income.
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 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.
If you're completing a Let to Buy application with The Mortgage Works, then further guidance can be found in our Let to Buy processing guide.
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:
- 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.
View what proofs we require for different types of employmentRead our employment criteria
Search our A-Z criteria to find what you’re looking forA-Z criteria
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