Employment Criteria

Nationwide is prepared to lend to applicants with the following employment status:

  • Employed
  • Self Employed

Employed Applicants

Fixed Term Contracts

This is where a job is only for a set period, although the contract may be renewed or extended. You should always check if your client is on a fixed term contract.

Applicants must have been employed on a fixed term contract basis for a minimum of 12 months. If they have not, they must have at least 24 months remaining on their current contract.

A copy of the current employment contract would be required as proof of income and employment.

Where applicants state that their current contract is unlikely to be renewed, we will consider

  • Length of time with current employer
  • If the contract has been renewed before
  • Remaining term of the current contract
  • If the current contract is likely to be renewed and, if so, for how long
  • The prospects of obtaining alternative employment in the same type of work at a similar salary
  • Whether the contract is connected to a specific project

If your client is employed on a fixed term contract, but invoices the employer via their own Limited Company, they would be treated as self-employed

Temporary Workers

Clients working on a temporary contract through an agency are acceptable, provided the agency can complete our employer's reference confirming the applicant has been employed on that basis for a minimum of 12 months.

Probationary Employment

Clients working on a probation period can be considered.

Clients who have been in their job for one month or less

If your client is in their first job and employed for one month or less the following proofs are required:

  • Latest payslip, only basic income can be used.
  • 3 months bank statements
  • Proof of deposit

If they have not received their first payslip yet, their open ended employment contract or letter of appointment from the employer can be used instead.

If your client has changed employer and has been employed with the new employer for one month or less the following proofs are required:

  • The latest payslip from their new job, only basic income can be used.
  • The last payslip from their previous employer

If they have not received their first payslip yet, their open ended employment contract or letter of appointment from the employer can be used instead.

An employer's letter* would also be used when your client has:

  • Received a pay rise in their current role which is not reflected in their latest payslip
  • Returned to work following, or is on, a period of parental leave. See our income page for more information.

*An employer's letter is a letter that the applicant has already received from their employer confirming their basic income.

Casual Employment

We do not accept applications from people employed on a casual basis.

Self Employed Applicants

A self employed applicant may be

  • A Sole Trader
  • A Partner in a business
  • A Director that owns more than 20% of the company*
  • Sub Contractors
  • Fixed Term Contractors where they invoice through their own Limited Company or as a Sole Trader/Partnership
  • Foster carers.

*If a client has a 20% or less share holding, we will treat them as 'employed' and use their payslip(s) to confirm income as appropriate. If the payslip income is not enough to support the loan requested we will treat them as self employed, for example where we need to take account of any dividend income.

For Self Employed applicants a minimum trading period of 2 years is required. For Sole Traders and Partnerships we'll need the last 2 years income and we use the lower of the most recent year's net profit (or share of), or the average of the last 2 years' net profit (or share of) figures. For Directors of Limited Company’s, we'll need the last 2 years income and we use the lower of the most recent year's Salary and Dividends, or the average of the last 2 years' Salary and Dividend figures. This can be confirmed via our Accountant's Certificate or HMRC Tax Assessment Forms (see below). The latest years end cannot be more than 18 months ago. Drafts and projections are not acceptable and if the last accounting period is greater than 12 months, the income figures will be annualised.

If your client is an existing Nationwide borrower and cannot meet the required criteria, please contact your service centre to see if the application can be referred to our senior underwriters.

Where your client has been self employed for less than two years, but is working as part of a business that has been established for longer, refer to your service centre to check if the application can be referred to our senior underwriters. The most common of these scenarios is where an employed solicitor, doctor, accountant or architect, has recently been invited to become a partner in the firm they work for. In this case, a letter from the Senior Partner, Accountant or Practice Manager is required that:

  • confirms the partnership is well established
  • states the date the applicant became a partner
  • states what their income is expected to be in the 12 months following becoming a partner

Income from applicants who are self employed outside of the UK is unacceptable.

Sub Contractors and Fixed Term Contractors who invoice their employer through their own Limited Company or as a Sole Trader/Partnership.

Where an applicant is a Sub Contractor or Fixed Term Contractor and is working via their own limited company partnership or as a sole trader they are treated as self employed.

Where an applicant is a Sub Contractor and is working as an individual with only the basic tax rate deducted by the employer treat them as self-employed.

Where an applicant is a Sub Contractor or Fixed Term Contractor, or uses a Payroll Solution / Umbrella Company and their employer / Payroll Solution / Umbrella Company deducts full PAYE tax & National Insurance, please refer to Fixed Term Contracts above.

Foster Carers

A letter from the agency or body that places the child confirming the total income paid for the last 2 years and that the income is likely to continue at the same level for the forseeable future.

All dependants including the children in the foster care of the applicants must be keyed as dependants.

Accountant's Certificates

We will request an Accountant's Certificate for confirmation of income for self employed applicants. The certificate must be in our format and will be applied for by us, please supply the accountant's name and fax number.

All Accountant Certificates must be prepared and signed by a professionally qualified Associate or Fellow of one of the following bodies:

  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
  • The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • The Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountancy
  • The Association of Authorised Public Accountants
  • The Association of International Accountants
  • The Chartered Institute of Taxation and Association of Taxation Technicians
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland
  • Association of Accounting Technicians
  • Institute of Financial Accountants
  • Institute of Certified Public Accountants

If the accountant is not a professionally qualified Associate or Fellow of one of the above bodies then the Accountant's Certificate cannot be accepted and the corresponding years Tax Assessment forms issued by HMRC must be used instead.

HMRC Tax Assessment Forms

These must cover the last 2 years:

  • Be accompanied by a covering letter from HMRC
  • Be on HMRC headed paper
  • Be headed "Tax Calculation"

The end of the latest financial period must not be more than 18 months old.