Mortgage Criteria

Help to Buy Mortgage Criteria

Our Help to Buy mortgage criteria is designed to help you place more help to buy customers with competitive rates and fast application turnarounds. Plus, as we don’t credit score and continue to use our human approach to underwriting, your customer will often receive a fairer result and often more generous lending decision.

Try our Help to Buy affordability calculator

Our Help to Buy calculator has been built with you in mind, it’s simple to complete and will give you an indication of the maximum we could lend your client.

Table of Contents

Applicant criteria

Minimum age:

  • 21

Maximum age:

  • 75 at end of term
  • For joint applications the age of the oldest applicant is used
  • The term cannot extend beyond the applicants stated retirement age

Maximum applicants:

  • 2


  • Not accepted

First-time buyers:

  • Accepted

Marital status:

  • Applications from married/civil partnership applicants must be in joint names


  • None in the last 24months


  • None in the last 24months

Mortgage / Secured Loans:

  • Arrears status of 0 in last 6 months
  • No missed payments over the last 24 months

Unsecured commitments:

  • Fixed Term – Fixed Term Agreements – No missed payments in the last 6 months
  • Revolving credit – Missed payments considered

IVA & Bankruptcy:

  • Accepted where applicants have been discharged 6 or more years ago

Pay day loans:

  • Accepted where the account closed more than 12 months ago


  • Accepted where repossession occurred more than 6 years ago

Debt management plans (DMP)

  • Standard range: Accepted if satisfied over 12 months ago

Residential status:

  • 3 years’ UK residential address history required for all applicants

Visa Requirements:

  • 3 years UK residency

One Applicant MUST have indefinite leave to remain. Additional applicants must have Indefinite
leave to remain OR Right to Reside with acceptable visa type:

  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) – Pre-Settled Status
  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) – Settled Status
  • Leave to Remain
  • Family Visa
  • Skilled worker visa
  • UK Ancestry Visa
  • Health and Care Worker visa
  • British National (Overseas) visa
  • Intra company transfer visa

Visa’s must have a minimum 12 months validity

Diplomatic immunity:

  • Not accepted

Income criteria

Minimum earned income:

  • £18,000 per application

Foreign currency:

  • Not accepted


  • Employed:

  • Minimum of 3 months in current job with 6 months continuous employment
  • Day rate contractors accepted subject to being in a contract and able to demonstrate a minimum 12 months history. Calculate the income as the lower of 12 month average day rate amount or current contract day rate x 5 (days per week) x 46 (working weeks)
  • Contract employees considered provided 12 months employment with the same employer together with confirmation the contract will be renewed
  • 3 months payslips (or 6 weeks where paid weekly)
  • Applicants in a probationary period not accepted
  • Zero hour contracts acceptable if a permanent position with 2 years+ at same employer and stable income levels
  • Income from seasonal/temporary work not accepted
  • Directors with a shareholding of 25% or more will be underwritten as self-employed
Income typeProportion considered
Basic salary100%
Car allowance100%

Self-employed: Sole Trader

  • 2 years’ accounts required, unless only 1 year available due to trading period. Minimum trading period of 12 months
  • 3 months’ business account bank statements
  • SA302s will only be accepted in addition to the full business accounts. SA302s are not acceptable proof of income on their own but will be requested where the accounts have been prepared by an accountant who does not appear on our list of accepted qualifications. We may also request them to confirm dividends which do not appear in the business accounts.

Additional remuneration considered where applicants own 100% of the company:

  • Directors’ car allowance
  • Directors’ pension contributions
  • Use of home as an office
  • Private health insurance

Where additional remuneration is to be added back, finalised accounts will be required

Self-employed: Company Director/Partnership:

  • 2 years’ accounts required, unless only 1 year available due to trading period. Minimum trading period of 12 months
  • 3 months’ business account bank statements
  • SA302s may be requested to support company accounts


  • Private pension accepted

Pension income:

  • State retirement pension (SRP) – latest annual statement of pension
  • Private pension – latest payslip from pension provider or letter from pension provider

Secondary/additional income:

  • Employment/self-employment income from a maximum of 2 sources per applicant considered. Benefits and maintenance may be included as additional income Maintenance & benefit detail as described under “Documentation”

Unacceptable Income:

  • We cannot currently accept Carer’s Allowance, or income that is solely from UK land & property, or investment income. For other unacceptable income types, please speak to us.

Loan criteria

Maximum LTV:

  • 75%

Maximum term:

  • 35 years

Minimum term:

  • 5 years and 1 month

Minimum loan:

  • £25,001

Maximum property value:

RegionMaximum Property Price
North East £186,100
North West£224,400
Yorkshire and Humberside£228,100
East Midlands£261,900
West Midlands£255,600
East of England£407,400
South East£437,600
South West£349,000

Number of mortgages with Pepper:

  • Maximum of 3 per applicant, including any joint loans the applicants are party to
  • Can be a mixture of Buy to Let and Residential loans


  • Interest Only is not available for Shared Ownership applications


  • Products are not portable

Offer validity:

  • 90 days

Let to buy:

  • Not accepted

Right to Buy:

  • Not accepted

Capital Raising:

  • Pepper Money will only accept capital raising on Help to Buy for the following reasons:

    Repay Help to Buy equity loan
    Transfer of Equity
    Home Improvement

    For a Help to Buy remortgage; it is the responsibility of the Intermediary to ensure that the application is eligible and compliant with the rules of the Help to Buy scheme administrator; for more information your customer should visit:

    For England –
    For Wales –

Deposit criteria

Evidence of deposit:

  • Required on all purchase applications, the applicants must fund 5% from their own funds

Applicants’ savings:

  • Accepted


  • Accepted

Cash gifted deposit: 

Gifted deposits are acceptable from the following:

  • Parent/Step-Parent/Parent-in-Law
  • Sibling
  • Child/Step-Child/Son-in-Law/Daughter-in-Law
  • Aunt/Uncle
  • Grandparent/Grandchild

Unacceptable sources:

  • Builders deposit
  • Unsecured borrowing
  • Vendor deposit

Property criteria

New build definition:

  • A property is to be considered new if it is a first sale by the builder
  • However, properties which have not sold on physical completion will be considered on an individual basis

Minimum property value:

  • £70,000

Locations considered:

  • England, Wales & Isle of Wight


  • Not offered

Acceptable property:

  • Houses: private and ex local authority or social housing

Timber framed construction:

  • Modern timber framed properties clad with masonry are considered as acceptable
  • Timber framed properties which are not deemed to be of a modern type clad with masonry will be reviewed on an individual basis and will be considered on their merits

Flying freeholds:

  • Flying freeholds will only be considered up to 20% of the total floor area

Coal mining and other forms of extraction:

  • Any properties with a coal mining or metalliferous mining entry/feature within 20m of any building will not be considered

Electromagnetic fields:

  • Any properties within 100m of above ground high voltage electrical supply apparatus will not be considered

Contaminated land:

  • Where there is potential for contaminated land, a pass certificate must be available from an appropriate body

Japanese knotweed:

  • Where a property has Japanese knotweed (or any other invasive weed) located within or immediately adjacent to the site defined as category 4, 3 or 2 in RICS paper IP 27/2012, will not be considered

Solar panels:

  • Properties where solar panels have been installed and are subject to a lease agreement may be considered. An amendment to the lease may be required


  • Houses only. No freehold flats.


  • The lease must have a minimum unexpired term of 85 years at the time of completion


  • Not accepted

Structural reports

Reports may be accepted from members of the following bodies:

  • The Institution of Structural Engineers (
  • The Institution of Civil Engineers (

The report must be referred to the valuer for comment. If the report is not addressed to the applicant, written confirmation must be obtained from the originator that its contents may be relied upon by the applicant(s).

We will not lend on any property with either ongoing movement or where monitoring is required, where this is identified by either the valuer, or where evident in the structural engineer’s report.

The valuer may request additional reports from specific governing bodies.

Specialist reports

We may require specialists’ reports. These most commonly will be:

  • Timber and damp, electrical, trees, cavity wall ties;
  • Mining report (as these are obtained by the solicitors, a special condition is imposed at offer);
  • Any such reports should be prepared by a reputable firm and should be forwarded to us for review and referral to the valuer

The valuer may request additional reports from specific governing bodies


  • New build properties without suitable warranty
  • Properties suffering ongoing structural movement or insurance claims
  • Grade I & Grade II* listed properties
  • Back-to-back/cluster homes
  • Properties located within 20m of a mine entry/feature
  • Properties within 100m of above ground high voltage electrical supply apparatus (excluding small substations)
  • Properties subject to compulsory purchase orders
  • Large flying freeholds (greater than 20% of floor area)
  • Japanese knotweed located within or immediately adjacent to the site, defined as category 4, 3 or 2 in RICS paper IP 27/2012
  • Properties without an internal WC, bathroom or kitchen
  • Properties subject to any onerous occupancy restrictions, including agricultural
  • Shared ownership/shared equity schemes (only acceptable if applicant will own 100% of the interest on completion)
  • Properties subject to enforcement notices
  • Crofting properties/land
  • Self-build properties
  • Properties with a commercial element
  • Non-standard construction


  • New build flats/maisonettes
  • Flats with a gross external floor area less than 35m2
  • Studio flats
  • Freehold flats
  • Balcony access

Non-standard construction:

  • Pre-cast reinforced concrete (PRC)
  • Cast-in-situ concrete
  • Metal framed construction
  • Single skin
  • Large panel systems (LPS)
  • Modern methods of construction (MMC)


  • Properties at significant risk of flooding or that cannot be suitably insured will not be considered

Restrictive covenants:

  • We are unable to consider any property with a restricted occupancy clause within the planning permission. For example, it can only be occupied for a maximum of 11 months in any one year
  • Similarly, property that can only be used for retirement or sheltered accommodation is not accepted. This is the same for any property where a planning restriction (e.g. agricultural restriction) effectively limits a property’s appeal on the open market
  • Please note: for new builds we do consider Section 106 planning obligations
  • We are unable to consider properties within a pre-emption period


Full mortgage application:

  • Original fully signed and dated declaration
  • Signed and dated direct debit mandate

Proof of deposit (purchase):

  • Applicants’ bank statements
  • Interest waiver letter from donor where gifted deposit

Proof of address & identification:

  1. Any 2 documents from Table 1 or
  2. 1 document from each table
Table 1Table 2
Valid passportValid (old style) full UK driving license
Valid photo card driving license (full or provisional)Recent evidence of benefit entitlement
National identity cardInstrument of a court appointment
Firearms certificate or shotgun licenseCurrent council tax demand letter or statement
Identity card issued by the Electoral Office for Northern IrelandNon-internet generated bank statements and utility bills

Proof of Visa:

Visa Types Acceptable:

  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) – Pre-Settled Status
  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) – Settled Status
  • Indefinite leave to remain
  • Leave to Remain
  • Family Visa
  • Skilled worker visa
  • UK Ancestry Visa
  • Health and Care Worker visa
  • British National (Overseas) visa
  • Intra company transfer visa
  • Visa’s must have a minimum 12 months validity

Proof of income – employed:

  • Paid monthly –Latest 2 consecutive months
  • Paid weekly – Latest 6 consecutive weeks

Proof of income – self-employed:

  • Sole trader – minimum 1 year’s accounts or SA302s with 3 months’ business bank statements
  • Company director – minimum 1 year’s accounts with 3 months’ business bank statements


  • 3 months bank statements required for First Time Buyer, Pepper 12 or Pepper 6 Residential
  • 2 months bank statements required for all other Residential application types

Other sources of income:

  • Child Benefit – Latest notice with bank statements (must be payable for at least the next 5 years)
  • Working or Child Tax Credits – Full award notice with bank statements
  • Maintenance – A copy of the maintenance agreement, received under a Court Order, a CSA assessment or a written private agreement drawn up between the separating parties and 6 months’
    bank statements as evidence of payment.
  • State Pension – Latest annual statement of pension/due on retirement
  • Pension Credits – Latest Pension Credit Award Notice
  • Universal Credit – Latest Award Notice
  • Disability Living Allowance – Latest Award Notice
  • Private Pension – Latest annual statement of pension/due on retirement or
    Latest payslip from pension provider or
    Latest letter from pension provider confirming pension due on retirement

Rental/mortgage history:

  • Where the applicant is currently renting, we will ask to see proof of their last 12 months rental payments. This can be through their AST, in addition to bank statements or reference from a letting agent. For current homeowners, where their mortgage is not available on Equifax, we will require the latest 12 months mortgage statement

Need help with your mortgage case?

To discuss a case, or find out more about our products, call our experienced team. Ready to submit? Log into the application portal to get started, or register if it’s your first case with Pepper Money.


Our Help to Buy Intermediary tool kit has all the information you need


Mortgage Service Levels

Intermediary Mortgages

Working on DIP referrals received on:

30th September

Responding to application portal broker messages on:

30th September

Reviewing applications sent to our underwriters on:

29th September

Working on applications received on:

30th September

Currently reviewing valuations received on:

30th September

Answering calls in less than (average speed):

< 1 Minutes