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UK Mortgage Lenders Offering the Right to Buy Scheme

Independent advice about the best lenders on the market, supporting applicants leveraging Right to Buy status to purchase their property.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-06-14
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UK Mortgage Lenders Offering the Right to Buy Scheme

Right to Buy is a government scheme that has seen renewed interest, with new buyers looking for ways to get onto the property ladder in a market of rising prices.

This scheme is ideal for tenants in council or social housing and is designed to make it feasible to find affordable mortgage lending.

Contact Revolution Brokers on 0330 304 3040, or drop us a message to [email protected] for more advice about the best lenders to apply to, and how to secure your Right to Buy mortgage.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for Right to Buy Mortgages?

There are a few criteria and things to know about Right to Buy before you start searching for the best lenders:

  • You need to have lived in your council property for three years or longer.
  • You'll need to be able to afford the costs of the mortgage.
  • You can apply with up to two additional borrowers if you share your home.

Other criteria depend on the lender you choose, and each provider will have its own policies. These are around factors such as:

  • How much you earn.
  • How stable your employment is.
  • Your age.
  • Your credit score and history.

The good news is that there are lots of lenders who offer mortgage products to Right to Buy applicants, so you aren't restricted to just a couple of banks who will consider your application.

However, it's vital to consult an experienced broker who can make sure you're getting the best deal, and only applying to lenders likely to be able to approve your loan.

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Do I Need a Deposit to Get a Right to Buy Mortgage?

In most cases, yes, you'll need a deposit to get a mortgage for any UK property. That said, Right to Buy offers a discount, so depending on what the property is worth, and what discount you are offered, you might not need a large deposit.

There are 100% Right to Buy mortgages - if the amount you are borrowing, with the discount, is much less than the market value of the property.

Most lenders will offer up to 70% of the market value, and the rates are significantly cheaper than for any other kind of unsecured loan. You can also apply for mortgage funds to cover improvements to the property at the same time.

You won't need to apply to any specific lender, and most banks will accommodate a Right to Buy applicant, so it's more important to know their lending criteria.

Many high street banks and specialist lenders offer competitive rates, but you need to ensure you only apply to those lenders whose eligibility criteria you can meet.

As examples:

  • Santander offers Right to Buy mortgages but rarely lend to applicants with an adverse credit history.
  • NatWest also offers a product, but you'll need to repay it before retirement age.
  • Lloyds and HSBC are unlikely to approve applications for Right to Buy lending if you have a history of an IVA or bankruptcy on your credit file.

It is always advisable to use an experienced, independent broker, who can match your circumstances to the right lender, and avoid the impact of rejected applications.

What are the Main Lender Criteria for a Right to Buy Mortgage?

Primarily, you need to show that you can afford the mortgage, and keep up with the repayments. Lenders will consider:

  • Your credit history.
  • The stability of your employment.
  • Total household income.
  • Other debts and outgoings.
  • The type of property
  • Your age.
  • How much you wish to borrow, against the value of the property (LTV ratio).

Should you have any concerns about meeting any of these criteria, give us a call on 0330 304 3040, and we'll recommend the lenders who can help.

How Much Can I Borrow Through a Right to Buy Mortgage?

Lenders assess your affordability and use this calculation to decide the maximum they can lend to you.

This calculation depends on your income, and outgoings, other debts or commitments, how long you have been in your current job, and considers all applicants.

Housing benefits are not included in your income, since when you purchase your property, you will no longer be a recipient.

Different lenders also have different rules about whether they are willing to include benefits in their affordability calculations:

  • Nationwide will not consider housing benefit, even if the DWP grants an Income Support Mortgage Interest plan.
  • Precise Mortgage offer Right to Buy, but usually refuse applicants in receipt of any housing benefit in the last year.

Most lenders will calculate your total annual income, and multiple it by four times to reach a maximum mortgage offer. So, if you earn £40,000 a year, you can borrow up to £160,000.

Other lenders offer five times your salary, and others as high as six times provided you meet all their other criteria, so it's essential to know which lenders to apply to, and how generous their affordability calculations are.

What Types of Right to Buy Mortgage Providers Can I Apply to?

You'll find a range of lenders, banks and institutions offering Right to Buy mortgages - and it's always ideal to work with an independent broker who can advise on who provides the most competitive rates.

Some of the non-standard circumstances that may require a specialist lender are:

  • Right to Buy with Adverse Credit

If you have a bad credit score, it doesn't necessarily mean you can't get a Right to Buy mortgage. Some lenders have stricter criteria than others.

Halifax and Barclays usually reject any applicant with adverse credit, but other lenders specialise in this area and will be happy to make an offer.

In some cases, if your adverse credit occurred over six months ago, and included arrears or mortgage defaults, you can apply for borrowing.

Others restrict applicants with any bankruptcy or repossession history, regardless of when it occurred - so again, it's essential to apply to the right lender.

  • Self-Employed Right to Buy Mortgages

Self-employment is also a non-standard mortgage; but if you can provide two or three years of accounts, and tax returns, this is usually sufficient to prove affordability.

Different lenders use different calculation bases to arrive at the maximum they can lend.

  • Non-standard Properties on Right to Buy

You might have a property that is a flat in a high-rise, for example, which is considered non-standard and requires more robust checks, and usually a structural survey and specialist valuation process.

Lots of lenders will only consider Right to Buy applications for properties up to a specific number of storeys.

If you're hoping to buy a property through Right to Buy that falls into this category, give us a call on 0330 304 3040.

  • Later Life Right to Buy Borrowing

Finally, if you are nearing retirement age, you might find that the mainstream Right to Buy lenders are unable to help.

Some lenders require at least one applicant to be under 55, and others rely on your age at the end of the mortgage period to make a decision.

Santander, for example, will not approve a Right to Buy mortgage if any applicant turns 75 before the end of the term, and Barclays set a limit of age 70 on the same basis.

Finding a Right to Buy Mortgage with Multiple Issues

Even if many of these circumstances apply to you, you can still find Right to Buy lending that caters to you.

While you might have a smaller number of lenders to choose from, the Revolution Brokers team works with a vast network of lenders who can consider all types of circumstances, and have flexible lending policies that can help.

Give us a call, or drop an email to [email protected] and we'll make sure you find the mortgage you need.

Can I Get a Second Charge Right to Buy Mortgage?

Another scenario exists where a second charge loan is taken out - this is a second mortgage on the same property where you already have a mortgage secured. The benefit of a second charge mortgage is that you can borrow up to ten times your annual income.

In the first five years of a Right to Buy mortgage, you're unlikely to be approved for a secured loan - although niche lenders can support this type of lending.

Lenders can take out an indemnity policy that safeguards them from local authority claims, in case the applicant decides to sell the property during these five years.

Note that rates and charges can be higher, but the amount you can borrow on a second charge loan is also more flexible.

After five years, the council no longer holds any rights over your property, and you are free to take out additional lending as you wish.

Help from the Right to Buy Mortgage Experts

Whether you're interested in exploring the possibilities of a discount on Right to Buy, or have been rejected by a lender, we can help.

Contact the mortgage advisors team on 0330 304 3040, or email us at [email protected] for independent professional advice on the best Right to Buy mortgage deals.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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