The interesting case of the foreign first-time buyers


  • Bartek and his wife, Julia, were foreign nationals living and working in the UK and wanted to buy their first home

  • Despite owning a successful business, they had just one year's trading accounts and no UK credit history

  • They required a large loan of £688,000 - 85% LTV 

  • As first-time buyers, they needed to provide evidence of making regular rental payments


When Bartek and Julia Gajda moved to the UK they lived in rented accommodation while they set up their own business. 

They established a company importing timber products from Poland and used their contacts in Eastern Europe to source products for customers in the UK. This involved a lot of time spent travelling across Europe to get the business up and running.

After living in the UK for over three years and with the company now a success, they decided the time was right to buy a home of their own. 

The issues

When it came to applying for a mortgage, the Gajdas faced a few problems. 

Despite their business going from strength to strength, they only had one year's published accounts to show. Many lenders ask for three years' accounts.

What's more, the business was owned by Bartek and his wife was an employee. Her salary was kept deliberately low to minimise her tax liability which didn't help with their mortgage application. 

They required a large loan of £688,000 on a property valued at £810,000 - representing an LTV of 85%, which is high for some lenders. 

As first-time buyers, they needed to provide evidence of making regular rental repayments. But not all lenders were willing to consider their application because as foreign nationals living and working in the UK, they had no UK credit history. 


Tony Salentino, Director of Complete FS, says:

"Specialist lenders shouldn't be considered purely for adverse credit cases. Sometimes an applicant's circumstances may be complicated and require a skilled underwriter who can assess the deal on its merits"

The solution

Tony Salentino, Director of Complete FS, which packaged the application, explained how these issues were resolved:

"We discussed the details with the broker who submitted the application and he agreed this was a deal for a specialist rather than a high street lender.

We chose Pepper Money for the following reasons:

  • They were happy with just one year's accounts
  • From an income and affordability perspective, Pepper Money were comfortable with the joint income, providing we could obtain copies of both personal and business bank statements to verify their income and expenditure. This was not as straightforward as it at first seemed, because the Gajdas had several bank accounts in each of their names
  • The loan size was within Pepper Money's criteria
  • Bartek and Julia were renting from a private landlord and could provide evidence of making regular rental payments for three years, as well as a reference from their landlord
  • Their lack of a UK credit history was not an issue, because they could provide documentary evidence of making rental and other payments.

Pulling together all the supporting paperwork took a bit of time and effort, but was essential to the successful conclusion of this case."


This case study is based on criteria in effect at the time this case was submitted and reviewed by Pepper Money. We reserve the right to change or amend our criteria at any time. All our stories are based on real cases but the names have been changed.


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