Helping Hand

Affordability is an issue for many first time buyers. This is why we’ve developed Helping Hand, which may give your eligible clients the option of borrowing a higher loan amount when taking a 5 or 10 year fixed rate product. In fact, first time buyers could borrow up to 20% more.


Below you'll find the eligibility criteria for your clients. The availability of Helping Hand is subject to many factors, including, but not limited to, credit score, how much debt the applicant has, etc.

  • All applicants must be first time buyers
  • 5 and 10 year fixed rates available at all LTV tiers up to 95%
  • Minimum income of £30k sole applicant, £50k for joint applicants. All income sources (except self-employed income) can be included.
  • The maximum lending limits depend on the application. See our LTV and maximum loan size criteria.

Meeting this criteria doesn't guarantee your clients will be offered Helping Hand.

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, First Homes, Shared Ownership, Genuine Bargain Price, Right to Buy and Help to Buy)
  • Interest Only

Please note

Where Helping Hand is offered to your clients it's 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.
  • If your client isn't offered Helping Hand, this may be down to a number of different factors which we're unable to provide further details of.

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.