Step 3: Budgeting and eligibility

As a responsible lender, we want to make sure you’re comfortable with the amount you’re borrowing.

As you already have a mortgage on your home, you’ll be used to budgeting for different household costs such as utility bills, shopping and insurances.

We base your borrowing amount on how much you earn, what regular payments you make and your day-to-day living expenses.

How much do you spend each month?

From groceries to petrol and holidays to clothes you can build up a picture of how much you spend. So use our handy budget planner to help you work out how much you spend each month.

How much could you borrow?

We need to make sure that you are able to keep up payments, so before you can look at exactly how much you might be able to borrow, you need to make sure that you are eligible to take out a mortgage with us.

You must be over 18 years old and a UK resident to apply for a mortgage. When we are checking to see if someone is eligible to take out a mortgage we look at things like:

  • Is the amount you earn enough to make payments on the amount you want to borrow?
  • You must be able to provide confirmation of all types of income.
  • How much outstanding debt do you have?
  • How much do you want to borrow compared to the value of your home? (This is known as the Loan to Value ratio or LTV)
  • How good is your credit rating?
  • Have you ever missed payments on any credit commitments?
  • Do you have any County Court Judgements or Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)?
  • Have you ever been bankrupt?
  • Do you want to borrow on an interest only basis?

Our 'How much could I borrow?' calculator can give you an idea of how much you could borrow, based on your earnings and spend each month. It can then show you how much your monthly mortgage payments might be for the mortgages we offer.

In our branches, you can also speak to an adviser, who’ll ask you a few questions to give you an indication of how much you could borrow.

Remember the lower your Loan to Value (LTV) the better mortgage deal you’re likely to be offered.

Credit ratings?

Another, vital, part of being able to apply for a mortgage, once you have checked that you meet the eligibility criteria and can afford payments, is having a good credit rating. All lenders use a credit rating system to see how people have managed their money in the past, looking at, for example, whether they have made payments on time or gone over their borrowing limits.

There are also a few ways to improve your credit rating:

  • Check your credit file. There are three main credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. You can ask them for a copy of your credit file so that you can check its accuracy. Contact the agency if you see any details are wrong so that they can correct them for you.
  • Register to vote – you may find it more difficult to get credit if you’re not on the electoral role.
  • Cancel any unused credit cards or bank accounts. Unused credit cards can push up the amount of available credit you could have and could reduce your credit score.
  • Keep your credit card and loan debts as low as you can.
  • Never miss or be late for payments – this will reduce your credit score.

Important Information


All applications are subject to status and our lending criteria. This means that the amount we’ll lend you will depend on your individual circumstances, the type of property and the amount you borrow. For example, we may require a bigger deposit if you’re buying a flat or new build property.