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Who is classed as a first time buyer for a mortgage?

In the UK, you’re considered a first-time buyer for a mortgage if you’re buying a property you intend to live in and you have never owned a property before.

Which criteria must I fit to be classed as a first-time buyer?

To be considered a first-time buyer in the UK, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You have never owned a freehold or leasehold interest in a residential property in the UK or abroad (except a lease with less than 21 years to run);
  • You have never owned a buy-to-let property;
  • You have never inherited a property;
  • You have never part-owned a property;
  • Your spouse or co-owner has never owned a residential property either.

If you meet all of these criteria and are purchasing a property to live in as your main residence, you will be classified as a first-time buyer.

What if I’ve only owned buy-to-let before?

In most cases, you may still be considered a first-time buyer. However, it is important to check with individual mortgage lenders, as some may have slightly different criteria.

What if I’m getting a joint mortgage with someone who has owned property before?

If you are buying a property with someone else, you both need to meet the first-time buyer criteria.

This means that if one of you has previously owned a property, neither of you will be eligible for first-time buyer benefits, even if the other person has never owned a property before.

What are the advantages of being a first-time buyer?

There are several advantages to being classified as a first-time buyer in the UK:

  • It gives you access to first-time buyer mortgage schemes and government initiatives.
  • Being a first-time buyer also exempts you from paying Stamp Duty on properties up to £300,000 (or a reduced rate on properties up to £500,000).
  • Some lenders also offer lower interest rates and more favourable mortgage terms to first-time buyers as well.

However, regardless of whether you qualify as a first-time buyer, you should keep in mind that the main thing mortgage lenders care about when considering your application is your credit history.

The good news is that many apps can help you build and improve credit. One of them is Wollit.

Wollit is an app available on both Android and iOS and works by reporting a fixed-fee monthly subscription as a loan repayment to all credit reference agencies. This helps you build a history of timely debt repayments, which is the main factor that matters for your credit score.

On top of this, Wollit can also report your monthly rent payments to Experian. This can add another line in your credit report that shows lenders you’re reliable, helping you make the most of your rent while you get ready to become a homeowner.

Wollit, no stress, no hassle - just a clear path to better credit

Terms apply. Results may vary. Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. Wollit Credit Builder plans are unregulated.


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Feel better about your credit score

Terms apply. Results may vary. Improvements to your credit score are not guaranteed. Wollit Credit Builder plans are unregulated.