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Best mortgages for first time buyers

Anya Gair
Last Updated 30 May 2024

As a first-time buyer, the world of mortgages can seem overwhelming. How much can you borrow for a mortgage? How much deposit do you need? Which lender should you apply to? How can you borrow more? These are all questions which might have crossed your mind while trying to wade through the murky world of mortgages. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! We’ve outlined our top first-time buyer mortgages and schemes for you in this guide. To see what you could qualify for, create a free Tembo plan today.

In this guide

Do first-time buyers get better mortgage deals?

There are specialist mortgage deals aimed specifically at first-time buyers to help them get on the ladder sooner. As well as standard mortgages which are open to all borrowers, first-time buyers can also use schemes like Deposit Unlock, 5.5x Income and Professional mortgages as well as family support schemes and shared ownership. These schemes help you to boost what you can borrow, or allow you to get a mortgage with only a small deposit saved up. However, home movers and second steppers can also use some of the same specialist schemes that first-time buyers have access to.

There are thousands of mortgages out there, and it can be confusing to know which product or lender to apply for. To make things easier, we’ve outlined our top 5 mortgages for first-time buyers from across the market below. To see if you could qualify for any of these mortgage products, create a free Tembo plan for a personalised recommendation.

Best first time buyer mortgages and schemes:

1. Skipton’s Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor 

Often, one of the barriers to homeownership that first-time buyers face is getting a mortgage loan big enough to buy in the area you want. Typically, you can borrow between 4-4.5x your household income for a mortgage (although some applicants can borrow up to 5 or even 6 times their income.).

So if you and your partner together earn £60,000, that means you are likely to be offered a mortgage loan between £240,000 - £270,000, although you may be offered less if one of you is self-employed. This might not be enough to buy in your local area, or get a house that fits your needs.

Skipton Building Society’s Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor mortgage is a way for first-time buyers to boost their borrowing capacity through the support of a loved one. At Tembo, we call this type of mortgage an Income Boost. It works by adding part of or all of a friend or family member’s earnings to yours as a guarantor, increasing your total income which can allow you to borrow more. 

Skipton isn’t the only lender that offers this type of guarantor mortgage, but it does have a couple of advantages. For one, Skipton allows you to add up to 4 applicants to the mortgage, and use all four incomes. So if you are buying with a partner, you could both add a parent to your application, significantly boosting your borrowing power. 

Another advantage of Skipton’s product is your guarantor doesn’t have to be a blood relative. This means that friends could step in and help you get on the ladder sooner through their income, without having to give you any cash!

Plus, you only need a 5% deposit for the property you want to buy, although the more money you can put down at the start, the better mortgage interest rates you’ll have access to.

2. Gen H’s Income Booster

Gen H’s Income Booster mortgage works in the same way as Skipton’s Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor mortgage in that you'll add a loved one’s income to yours to boost your borrowing power.

One of the more interesting features of Gen H’s Income Booster product is that your guarantors can (if they want) contribute to the mortgage repayments and build up equity in your home. We call this set up a Dynamic Income Boost, and can be a better choice for parents who want to help their child buy, while also getting something back in return.

Another benefit of Gen H’s Income Booster is their ejector seat feature. This allows you to extend the mortgage term by removing your guarantors part way through so they don’t exceed the maximum age criteria. You can also choose to remove your guarantors earlier when you can afford the mortgage by yourself by remortgaging.

3. Loughborough's Buy for Uni 

The Loughborough’s Buy for Uni is a specialist mortgage designed for university students who want to purchase a home to live in, with help from their family. Your parents or grandparents will help you purchase the home, and then you will rent out the other rooms to friends or other students to cover the cost of the mortgage. This helps you avoid paying soaring rent prices, while also getting your foot on the property ladder.

Read more: Can a student get a mortgage?

You might also like: Should I pay off my student loan early?

4. Metro’s Professional mortgages

Metro’s professional mortgage is just one of a number of mortgage products aimed at those who work in “professional” fields. It allows first-time buyers who are solicitors, barristers, doctors, accountants, vets, dentists or those in similar roles to borrow up to 5.5x their income for a mortgage. This enhanced borrowing can be a life-saver for borrowers struggling to afford to buy where they live. 

However, in order to qualify for this mortgage product you need to have qualified in the last ten years, be registered with an appropriate UK professional body and work in the field related to your profession. 

Read more: What is a professional mortgage?

5. Accord’s Boost LTI

Accord Mortgages offer a Boost LTI range which lets qualifying applicants borrow up to 5 or even 5.5x their household earnings for a mortgage. This can be a game-changer for first-time buyers looking to purchase their first home in areas where properties are more expensive. 

However, in order to be eligible for this product you must have a household income of £60,000 or more, as well as pass Accord’s affordability and credit checks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this product is only offered on LTVs of up to 90%, or 85% for new builds. That means you need to have a 10% deposit saved if you’re purchasing an existing home, and a 15% deposit saved if you are purchasing a new build property.

Read more: How much deposit do I need?

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What mortgage term is best for a first-time buyer?

How long your mortgage term should be will be influenced by your age, and whether you want to keep your monthly costs low, or reduce the amount of interest you’ll pay. Lenders set maximum age requirements that borrowers must be by the time the mortgage term has ended - usually 70 years old. This means the younger you are, the more likely you are to get a longer mortgage term.

Having a longer mortgage term such as a 30-year mortgage will also help spread the cost of your loan, as you’re borrowing the same amount over a longer period of time. This will reduce your monthly repayments, but will mean you'll pay more interest overall. So if you want to reduce the amount of interest you pay, you should opt for a shorter mortgage term.

Read more: How long should my mortgage term be?

Is it difficult for first-time buyers to get a mortgage?

It isn’t necessarily more difficult for first-time buyers to get a mortgage; whether you’ll be accepted for a loan depends on your affordability and credit history as opposed to if you’ve bought property in the past. If you have a decent house deposit saved up, have a good credit score and reliable income, it should be fairly easy for you to get a mortgage. If you are self-employed, have had credit issues, or only have a small amount of money saved, you could find getting a mortgage more difficult. 

However, it is still possible for you to be rejected from a mortgage application, even with a good income and hefty deposit. Eligibility and affordability criteria differs from lender to lender, so while one may reject your application, another could accept it. This is where working with an experienced mortgage broker like Tembo can be helpful. As experts in mortgage affordability, we can help you find the right deal for you. So you can apply knowing you are likely to be accepted, and will get the best deal for you from across the market.

What help do first-time buyers get?

There are a number of budget-boosting schemes available to help first-time buyers purchase a home sooner. These range from guarantor mortgages and low-deposit schemes which allow you to buy with only a small amount saved up, to specialist mortgages for key workers, professionals and high-earners

Do first-time buyers get better rates?

First-time buyers don’t necessarily get better rates than other borrowers. The interest rate you will be offered will be based on how much deposit you put down, as well as your affordability and credit history. However, there are ways to get access to lower mortgage interest rates.

See today's best first time buyer mortgage rates

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LTV: 90.00%

The interest rates shown are an indication only and are not guaranteed. Current rates may have changed by the time you come to apply.

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