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Guide to Mortgages

Use this guide to familiarise yourself with the mortgage process
and find the mortgage that's right for you.

Mortgages Guide


What sort of mortgage are you looking for?

Standard Variable Rate (SVR)

The interest rate is variable for the term of the loan and may change at any time. One calendar month’s notice of any changes will be given in writing and such notices will include the new monthly repayment amount. You can make overpayments or repay the loan in full early without incurring a charge.

Fixed Rate

Interest charged is fixed for an initial period, and does not change until this period ends. Normally the rate then payable when the fixed term ends is our SVR, however you will be notified prior to this as there may be another deal that you can switch to. There will be an Early Repayment Charge during the fixed rate term. See the specific product guide or ESIS for full details.

Discount Rate

This is a variable rate at a percentage discount from SVR, and the rate will move up or down in line with changes in the SVR. Normally the rate then payable when the discount term ends is our SVR, however you will be notified prior to this as there may be another deal that you can switch to. There will be an Early Repayment Charge during the discount term. See the specific product guide or ESIS for full details.

Base Rate Tracker

A variable rate which tracks the Bank of England base rate and will move up or down in line with changes in this rate. The rate is set at a percentage above the base rate and will normally track the rate for the full term of the mortgage. You can make overpayments or repay the loan in full early without incurring a charge.

Letting properties

Buy to Let

This type of mortgage is for purchasing a property with the intention of letting it out under a rental agreement; and if neither you nor a family member are living in the property. Buy to let products can be fixed or variable rate and will depend on the products available at the time of application.

Consumer Buy to Let

These mortgages are for re-mortgaging a property that you or an immediate family member has lived in and you do not own other properties that are being let. Consumer Buy to let products can be fixed or variable rate and will depend on the products available at the time of application.

Types of borrower

Borrowers who are employed or self-employed can normally choose any of our standard mortgage products for either a house purchase or a remortgage of their existing loan; however there are those borrowers whose income or credit is not standard, or who require a specialist type of mortgage.

Non-standard income or credit

These mortgages may be fixed or variable and are designed for borrowers whose income is not standard (e.g. mainly pension or savings income); or who may have previous credit issues.


We offer mortgages for borrowers working on a contract or freelance basis, where the income used for affordability purposes is based on current and previous contract daily rates.

Self build

We have specific products designed for those looking to build their own home. The total amount of the mortgage is agreed at the outset and then drawn down in stages based on interim valuations of the completed work.

Shared ownership

For borrowers looking to start purchasing their housing association property in stages, making mortgage repayments to the Society and rental payments to the housing association.

Repayment methods

Capital and interest

Your monthly instalment will cover both interest on the outstanding loan and repayment of the capital sum borrowed over an agreed number of years. At the end of the term agreed the mortgage is paid off in full. The percentage of your repayment to the capital gradually increases over the term as the total amount of interest charged on the reducing balance becomes less each year.

Interest only

Your monthly instalment will only cover the interest on the outstanding loan and therefore the balance outstanding will remain the same. This means that the original capital sum must be repaid at the end of the mortgage term. You will need to arrange a means of repaying the capital, which will usually involve an additional monthly payment to a third party. The following are suitable repayment vehicles that can be used to pay off the capital:

  • Pension
  • ISA
  • Endowment
  • Stocks & shares
  • Other investments
  • Second property
  • Sale of property (provided that it is not in another EEA state)

Repayment and interest only

A loan can be set up in two parts if required, one repayment and one interest only.

Adequate explanation of terms

Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC)

The Annual Percentage Rate of Charge enables you to compare the cost of different loans on a 'like for like' basis. Usually, the higher the APRC on a loan, the more you'll have to pay. The figure is calculated on the average loan size and repayment term of data gathered on the specific or similar type of mortgage.


The sum of money that is lent to you to purchase or remortgage a property. Interest is payable on the capital that is released to you. You will have to repay both the capital and the interest due to the lender by the end of your mortgage term.


This is the last stage in the purchase of a property. The legal documentation is finalised and the lender has sent the mortgage funds to your solicitor. Once your solicitor forwards the funds to the seller's solicitor the property is owned by you and you can move into your new home.

Early Repayment Charge

A charge that may be incurred if you repay your mortgage (in whole or in part) before the end of a specified time period. Details of any early repayment charges applicable to a product will be shown on the product guide and detailed in your key facts Illustration and mortgage offer.


The monetary difference between a property's actual value and the mortgage held against the property. If the property is worth less than the mortgage outstanding this will be described as 'negative equity'.


A number of fees will apply to any mortgage including fees paid to the broker and the lender, valuation fees, solicitors fees and possibly stamp duty. See the separate fees leaflet for full details. Specific fees for arranging your mortgage will be detailed on the Key Facts Illustration.

Interest Rate

This is the rate at which the interest charged on the mortgage is calculated. Our interest is calculated on the daily changing balance of your mortgage and applied to your account monthly.

Joint and Several Liability

An undertaking by two or more people to be responsible, either individually or jointly, for the mortgage and any other associated liabilities with the loan.

European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS)

The key facts illustration document or the ESIS is a document produced by mortgage lenders which summarises all the important features of the mortgage and must be fair, clear and not misleading. It must be presented in a standard way, so you can check the cost and terms of the mortgage and compare it with other similar mortgages from the same lender or other lenders.

Loan to Value (LTV)

The loan to value represents the percentage of the value of the property which the borrower is seeking to borrow. For example, a property worth £150,000 with an outstanding mortgage of £75,000 = a 50% LTV (outstanding mortgage amount / property value x 100).

Mortgage Offer

This is the document that states that the lender is prepared to offer you a mortgage for the purchase or remortgage of a property. This document will give details of the exact amount of money that will be lent to you and on what terms.


Overpayments are payments made to the lender of more than the required monthly repayment amount and can be made to pay off a loan more quickly. Generally in fixed or discount rate schemes an Early Repayment Charge will apply which means you will either not be able to make any overpayments or you may only be able to pay a small amount more than your normal monthly repayment.


A remortgage is the process of moving your existing mortgage loan from one lender to another.

Stamp Duty

This is a tax payable on property purchases above a level set by the government. The amount depends on the purchase price of the property. Stamp duty may also be payable upon a remortgage where there is a transfer of ownership.

Standard Variable Rate (SVR)

The Society’s Standard Variable Rate is determined by its Board of Directors and can vary upwards and downwards. The SVR is generally the follow on rate on any fixed or discount scheme, although a new deal may be available when your fixed or discount term comes to an end.

Title Deeds

These are legal documents that show the ownership of the property.

Transfer of Equity

The process of adding or removing a party to or from a mortgage.

Income multiples

The Society uses income and expenditure analysis instead of income multiples to assess affordability.

However as a simple guide, if you are taking out a mortgage by yourself, we will lend you up to 4.5 x your salary. If two of you are taking out a joint mortgage, we will lend up to either 4.5 x the higher salary and 3.5 x the lower, or 4 x the joint salaries. If there are more than 2 people on the mortgage, we will lend up to 3.0 x the joint income.

What fees will I have to pay?

You may have to pay a non-refundable application fee upfront. This varies by product and will be set out in the product guide.

A product fee is payable on completion and can be paid separately or added to your mortgage amount. Again, these fees vary by product. Valuation fees are on a set scale by value of property. See our fees page for details.  

Other fees include

  • Solicitors’ fees which are not based on a set scale.
  • Stamp duty is payable on loans over £125,000. Your solicitor will be able to organise this. Early repayment charges apply to some products. See the product guide for details.
  • You will have to pay a mortgage broker directly for their services. This is normally based on a percentage of the sum borrowed.
  • Other charges may apply under certain circumstances. See the fees page for details. 

How do I apply?

We do not offer mortgage advice so you will need to arrange to visit a mortgage broker who will undertake the advised process with you and provide you with the information you need including the KFI+. You will need to bring your identification and proof of income documents with you when you meet with your broker. The broker will then contact us with the full application to proceed.


A valuation of the property must be carried out in all cases.  Please see the separate product guides for details.


You will need to instruct a solicitor to act for you, who must be registered with the Law Society and be acceptable to us. Solicitors’ fees are not based on a set scale. If you do not have a solicitor we can appoint one for you. 

Mortgage Offers for Purchases only

We will send the offer and the valuation report to both you and your solicitor. The offer will be valid for 3 months. Your solicitor will carry out the necessary legal work to exchange on the property.

Exchange of contracts

Once you and your solicitor have agreed the offer, a completion date will be agreed. At this point you are legally bound to the contract and cannot cancel the arrangement.


On completion we will send you a welcome letter. We will tell you the monthly mortgage payment amount that you will need to pay. There will also be an interest payment required for the days from the date of completion to the end of the month.

Your solicitor will co-ordinate payment of the associated costs due, such as deposit, stamp duty, legal fees, etc.

Your mortgage payments

The initial interest payment will be due immediately upon completion. If you are paying by Direct Debit, it will be collected 14 days after completion. If not paying by Direct Debit, you must make arrangements to pay. We can accept debit card payments over the phone. Your first full mortgage payment will be due the first full month following completion on the day of the month you specify on your application form.

Early Repayment Charge

These charges are dependent on individual products so please check your product information.

What happens when your discounted or fixed rate period expires

We will write to you a few months before your current deal ends with the options that are available at that time.