First time buyer and Helping Hand

Remember to read our enhanced 95% LTV criteria for first time buyers before submitting an application.

To increase the LTV on a case, you can do this by updating the DIP or by using the 'Amend Case' function for a Full Mortgage Application.

Please note, making changes may result in a decline and any previous decision being invalidated.

Helping Hand products available here

Applicants who haven't held a mortgage in the last three years (this includes UK and non-UK mortgages).

All applicants to the mortgage need to be first time buyers to qualify for first time buyer products/discounts.

Applicants who are capital-raising on a mortgage free (unencumbered) property must be classed as remortgage customers, regardless of the length of time they have been unencumbered. "First Time Buyer" should only be used for a purchase transaction.

First time buyers are not eligible for interest only purchase applications.

We need to underwrite some cases in more detail. To prevent delays for your clients, please see our key information for DIP refer cases.

We're helping your clients get on the property ladder

  • Mortgages up to 95% LTV from our homebuyer product range (on 95% LTV products for first time buyers, the maximum loan size is £500,000). Please read our enhanced 95% LTV criteria for first time buyers before applying.
  • Further access to low deposit mortgages through our support of affordable housing and government backed schemes
  • £500 cashback* available on all products
  • No standard valuation fees
  • Help to Buy: ISAs accepted from any lender towards the property purchase price
  • 10% annual overpayment allowance on fixed rate products
  • No ERCs on tracker products
  • Maximum term of 40 years
  • Fully portable products, helping your client to move again in the future
  • Helping Hand offers first time buyers an increased loan amount when taking a long term fixed rate product.

Helping Hand

Helping Hand applications are not available via MTE.

As house prices continue to rise, affordability remains a major issue for first time buyers. This is why we’ve developed Helping Hand, which will give your eligible clients the option of borrowing a higher loan amount when taking a 5 or 10 year fixed rate product.


Below you'll find the eligibility criteria for your clients:

  • All applicants must be first time buyers
  • Available up to:
    • 95% LTV on second-hand houses
    • 85% LTV on second-hand flats
    • 85% LTV on New Build houses
    • 75% LTV on New Build Flats
  • Minimum income of £37k sole applicant, £55k for joint applicants. All income sources (except self-employed income) can be included.

We won’t accept applications with the following:

  • Self-employed income for either applicant
  • In conjunction with any scheme or non-standard ownership type (for example Deposit Unlock, Shared Ownership, Genuine Bargain Price, Forces Help to Buy, Right to Buy and Help to Buy)
  • Interest Only

Please note: Helping Hand is only available to first time buyers on the original purchase. It won't be available on any subsequent transactions, such as additional borrowing where standard criteria applies.

Next Steps

  • To find out if your client requires the higher borrowing offered by Helping Hand please use the Affordability calculator.
  • For all eligible first time buyers, the Affordability calculator will indicate two maximum affordable amounts, one for standard and one for Helping Hand
  • Where Helping Hand is required for affordability, you'll need to select ‘Fixed Rate (5 years or more)’ on the ‘Product Type’ question within Loan Requirements of your Decision in Principle (DIP).

  • If you key a DIP on a standard lending basis but this is unaffordable, you'll be given the option to resubmit the DIP using Helping Hand on a 5 or 10 year fixed rate.

Amending a fully submitted application to Helping Hand

If you've already submitted a Full Mortgage Application which fails affordability and you want to amend it to Helping Hand to increase the affordability, you'll need to state that the application now requires 'Helping Hand' and change the product to a Fixed Rate of 5 years or more.

You can do this by either:

  • using the ‘Amend case’ option (see our Amend Case page for more information).
  • or by contacting us to make a change to your application.

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Housing schemes

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Product benefits

Check the great options and benefits in our mortgage range

Mortgage features

*First time buyer cashback eligibility:

  • Only one £500 cashback will be paid per mortgage and is payable to your client within one month of completion of the mortgage.
  • This cashback offer only applies to customers whose product was reserved on or after 13 May 2015.
  • To qualify as a first time buyer your client mustn’t have held a mortgage in the last three years (this includes UK and non-UK mortgages).
  • All applicants to the mortgage need to be first time buyers to qualify for first time buyer products/cashback.