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How to get a mortgage for your first home

Find the right deal for you

We’ll show you how to get a mortgage from start to finish, including what you need to tell us and the steps you’ll need to take.

How to get a mortgage

  1. Save a deposit or get help if you’re struggling to do this.
  2. Use our mortgage calculators.
  3. See if you could qualify for a mortgage.
  4. Apply for a mortgage with us.
  5. Respond to any requests we send you. 
  6. We’ll send the money to your solicitor.
  1. Save a deposit or get help if you’re struggling to do this. Most lenders will ask for a deposit of 5% to 15% of the property value. If you're having trouble saving what you need, take a look at our Family Springboard Mortgage, which lets your loved ones put up a deposit to help you buy your first home without having to spend their savings. You can also find out about Help to Buy and shared ownership schemes in your area.

  2. Use our mortgage calculators. Find out how much you could borrow based on your income and spending commitments, and what a mortgage could cost you each month and in total.

  3. See if you could qualify for a mortgage by getting an Agreement in Principle (AiP). An AiP will tell you if we could lend the amount you need – without affecting your credit score. It usually takes about 15 minutes to complete one online. It isn’t a guarantee we’ll lend to you, but it will save time at your mortgage appointment if you decide to apply.

  4. Apply for a mortgage with us. This means booking an appointment to speak to one of our mortgage advisers to talk about your finances and circumstances. If we think you can afford the amount you want to borrow, we’ll recommend a mortgage based on your situation.

  5. Respond to any requests we send you. After your appointment, we’ll be in touch if we need any more details, to tell you about any fees you might need to pay or if we need to arrange access to the property for a valuation. Once everything’s done appropriately, we’ll send you a mortgage offer that you’ll need to sign and return. You can also track your application progress online using the mortgage reference we’ll give you.

  6. We’ll send the money to your solicitor. Your solicitor will let us know once you have a date to complete your property purchase, so we can arrange to send them the money you’re borrowing.

Common questions about getting your first mortgage

How do I know if I qualify for a mortgage? The first step is to complete an Agreement in Principle to see if you could borrow the amount you need from us.  We’ll tell you whether we can definitely lend to you when you submit your mortgage application. The amount we agree to lend could change based on the information and documents you submit with your application. 

How do I get approved for a mortgage? When you apply for a mortgage, we’ll ask you to speak to us at a branch or by phone and provide some documents that show us proof of your income. We’ll talk to you about your finances and personal situation, and go through your regular spending commitments and any debts you might have. Then we’ll recommend a mortgage that we think is right for you. If you agree, we’ll check your credit history and help you submit your application. Then we’ll aim to tell you as quickly as possible whether we can offer you a mortgage – and we might  

How long does it take to approve my mortgage application? It depends on your situation, but we’ll aim to give you a decision as quickly as possible. On average, it usually takes about four to six weeks.  We might need to ask you some more questions, so look out for any messages, emails or letters from us after you submit your application. 

Need some help?

Chat to us online

Start a web chat if you a question about applying (we can’t give advice about choosing a mortgage during web chats).

Call us

Call us1 any time – lines may be closed at off-peak times on bank holidays and during Christmas.

0800 197 1081