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Ways to apply

As a responsible lender, we’re careful when it comes to offering mortgages. Eligibility criteria are below – if you’re not sure, please give us a call.

All customers

To apply for a first direct mortgage, you and any joint applicant must:

  • be a permanent UK resident and UK tax payer
  • be able to provide evidence of your income and outgoings to show that you can afford the mortgage.
  Repayment Offset
Minimum loan £10,000 £30,000
Minimum salary - Sole applicants must have a minimum salary of £50,000, joint applicants must have a combined salary of £75,000, or one party with a minimum salary of £50,000.
Maximum term 40 years 25 years
Minimum term 2 years 2 years
Maximum loan
to value (LTV)
95% 75% up to £1 million
65% over £1 million and up to £2 million
50% over £2 million

How we assess the application

In order to assess self-employed applications responsibly, we need to ensure we take into consideration any future government backed loan liabilities, such as Bounce Back Loans (BBLs) or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Our underwriters will deduct any government backed loan liabilities from the latest year’s net profit figure to give us an adjusted net profit position, as these will be ongoing costs for the business.

We'll accept self-employed incomes which include government Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant income.

A commercial credit search of the business may also be completed.

This isn't a full credit check and won't appear on the business’s credit file.

Depending on your circumstances, we'll need to see the following documents:

 
Sole trader, General Partnerships or Limited Liability Partnership with fewer than 200 partners
  • your last 2 years’ worth of the following documents (the most recent year must be dated within the last 18 months):
    1. Tax Year Overviews, and,
    2. Tax Calculations, evidenced by:
      • a print out from HMRC website, or,
      • an SA302, or,
      • the computation produced by your accountant that is submitted to HMRC.
NOTE: Additional information (i.e. business bank statements, further HMRC documentation) may be required by the underwriter to support the application.
Limited Liability Partnership (LLPs) with 200 or more partners A letter from the company finance director or accountant detailing your earnings over the past 2 years, dated within the last 3 months.
Limited company director with 25% or more shareholding
  • your last 2 years' finalised financial accounts (the most recent year must be dated within the last 18 months)
NOTE: Additional information (i.e. business bank statements) may be required by the underwriter to support the application.

If there are multiple Directors within the business, and the financial accounts don't confirm the distribution of salary to each director, we’ll need evidence from either of the following:
  • the last 2 years’ P60s
  • the last 2 years' tax calculations and corresponding tax year overviews (a print out from HMRC website, an SA302 or the computation produced by your accountant that is submitted to HMRC).
Limited company director with less than 25% shareholding We'll consider you to be employed - please go to the 'Permanent employment' section.
Self employed customers trading less than 2 years
  • we'll require a minimum of 1 year's finalised financial accounts (limited companies) or 1 year's tax calculations and tax year overviews (sole trader or partnership) dated within the last 18 months
  • your latest 3 months business bank statements. The latest date showing on the statement must be within 35 days of the application start date.

If you're in permanent employment we'll need to see evidence of your income. The table below summarises the documents we'll need, depending on how frequently you're paid:

Income Type Basic income (including any permanent allowances)1 Shift allowance1 Variable income (bonus/overtime/commission)12
Weekly Latest 4 payslips Latest 6 payslips Latest 6 payslips
Fortnightly Latest 2 payslips Latest 6 payslips Latest 6 payslips
Four Weekly Latest payslip Latest 3 payslips Latest 3 payslips
Monthly Latest payslip Latest 3 payslips Latest 3 payslips
Quarterly N/A N/A Latest 4 equivalent payslips or award letters showing payment. The payslips or award letters must include a payment that has been paid within the last 3 months.
Half Yearly N/A N/A Latest 4 equivalent payslips or award letters showing payment. The payslips or award letters must include a payment that has been paid within the last 6 months.
Annually N/A N/A Latest 2 equivalent payslips or award letters showing payment. The payslips or award letters must include a payment that has been paid within the last 12 months.

Where an award letter is being used as evidence of income, it must clearly state the exact amount that will be paid within 3 months of the date on the award letter.

General property criteria

All properties must be in the UK and be of standard construction with a working kitchen and bathroom.

At the moment, we don’t lend on Buy to Let properties or where the property has been bought under a right to buy or shared ownership scheme. The property must be used as your main residence and not for business purposes.

For leasehold properties, we’ll only lend if there is at least 30 years left on the lease at the end of the proposed mortgage term.

We count a property as being new build if it's less than two years old or has never been occupied in its current format. If you're borrowing against a new build property:

  • we may lend up to a maximum of 85% Loan to Value (LTV)
  • if you have an LTV greater than 75% you’ll need to have a minimum deposit of £25,000.

Your property can’t currently be up for sale.

If the property has more than 15 acres:

  • you’ll need to confirm there are no agricultural restrictions attached to the property and that it’s only used for personal use
  • we’ll only be able to lend you up to 75% of the purchase price or valuation, whichever is the lowest.
  • we may lend up to a maximum of 90% Loan to Value (LTV)
  • we may not offer a mortgage on a flat if it's in the same building as a commercial property
  • if the building containing the flat has more than 4 floors, it must have a working lift
  • we may lend on flats within ex-local authority blocks with 6 or fewer floors (subject to LTV restrictions)
  • we generally can't offer lending on freehold flats in England and Wales. However, there may be some circumstances in which we can lend – please call us for further details. Freehold flats in Scotland with outright ownership are acceptable.

When applying for your Offset Mortgage please enter the monthly amount you'll need to pay towards your repayment strategy. For example the monthly amount you intend to save for ad hoc capital, to your Stocks and Shares ISA, investments, or the monthly payment amount to an endowment policy.

Note: Repayment strategies won't be acceptable if they're jointly held with other parties who aren't also party to the mortgage application. first direct can't recommend or provide advice in relation to the suitability or selection of any repayment strategy.

Here are details of the types of repayment strategies we accept.

Repayment Strategy Evidence Required
Sale of another property - this shouldn't be your primary residence, a commercial property or the property this mortgage is for.

Repayment Strategy based on 75% of the current property value, less any outstanding secured borrowing.
  • mortgage statement or Offer Document dated within the last 35 days, if applicable. An internet print/statement is acceptable
  • solicitor's letter confirming ownership of the second property or copy of the Register of Title from the Land Registry, Registers of Scotland etc.
  • a professional valuation by an RICS Surveyor or suitable Automated Valuation dated within the last 12 months.
Endowment policy

Repayment Strategy based on the lowest projection provided in the annual endowment policy statement.
Endowment policy statement including endowment projection dated within the last 12 months.
UK sterling cash savings (Savings, Investments, Cash ISA, Premium Bonds, Sharesave).

Repayment Strategy based on 100% of existing cash savings held in a UK savings/bank account, Cash ISA or Premium Bonds.
Latest account statement dated within the last 35 days to evidence the latest value and evidence of monthly contributions. An internet print/statement is acceptable.
UK based Stocks and Shares ISA

Repayment Strategy based on 50% of the value shown on the latest account statement.
Latest Stocks and Shares ISA account statement dated within the last 35 days to evidence the latest value and evidence of regular and on going contributions. An internet print/statement is acceptable.
Other UK based investments - Unit Trust, OEIC, Investment Bonds, Shares, Gilts.

Repayment Strategy based on 50% of the value shown on the latest account statement.
Latest account statement or certificate dated within the last 35 days to evidence the latest value and evidence of regular and on going contributions. An internet print/statement is acceptable.
Ad hoc/Regular repayment of capital

The application of earnings (guaranteed or variable) to reduce the mortgage balance or to build savings over the mortgage term. We'll accept 25% of the annual average of any variable income (e.g. work bonuses) and 100% of any guaranteed income.
Variable Income will only be acceptable if paid weekly, fortnightly, four weekly or monthly. Documentary evidence of the source and regularity of income will be required.

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