Lending Criteria

Please note we have introduced some interim criteria as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic which can be found here.

We accept the following

  • Freehold/Leasehold houses
  • Leasehold flats
  • New build homes
  • Modern methods of construction
  • Ex-local authority homes
  • Shared ownership homes (within our branch network area)
  • Buy to lets
  • Holiday Homes

We don't normally accept

  • Freehold flats
  • Ex-local authority flats
  • City Centre flats
  • Tower Block flats
  • Flat roofed properties
  • Land for rent
  • Properties of non-standard construction
  • Properties which fall under ‘House of Multiple Occupation’ legislation
  • Commercial properties
  • Student letting properties
  • Properties defined as being of defective construction

If you are not sure whether we will consider the type of property in question, please contact us on 0800 22 05 68 or email furness.direct@furness-bs.co.uk

Please note the following:

  • our affordability calculator will assess affordability of the case purely based on the information you input
  • the Society does not use an automated affordability model
  • all applications are manually underwritten by our experienced underwriters
  • 3 months bank statements must be supplied with the application
  • the stated expenditure will be reviewed in conjunction with the bank statements and /or with statistical data as appropriate
  • where the stated expenditure  does not reflect that shown on the bank statements or appears otherwise unrealistic you will be asked to submit revised expenditure details
  • case will be declined where affordability cannot be proven based on realistic expenditure

You are strongly recommended to thoroughly verify the stated expenditure as delays may occur or the case may be declined where the information provided is deemed inaccurate.

The minimum age is 18.  The mortgage term should normally end before the eldest applicant reaches their 80th birthday.

If your client is already retired the maximum loan to value we can consider is 70%.  If the mortgage term will end after your client's retirement age, the maximum loan to value we can consider is 80%.  The maximums are based on the oldest applicant’s age

All applications are fully assessed with a focus on affordability, based on the applicant’s full financial circumstances and also taking into account letting costs, taxation of rental profits and their own personal income and expenditure including any other mortgages held.

We do not apply an Interest Coverage Calculation (ICR) when assessing a new Buy to Let application, although the gross anticipated rent should be at least 125% of the interest charges at the initial pay rate.

Assessment of overall affordability is based on ALL mortgages (both current and proposed).
Buy to let mortgages are considered on properties in mainland UK.
The maximum LTV is 75% (must include fees).
Interest only and Capital and Interest will be considered.
The minimum mortgage amount is £50,000 (refer for lower amounts)
The minimum valuation for Buy to let mortgages is £75,000
Please note that we do not accept applications that include Debt Consolidation for Buy To Let remortgages
The following criteria should be met:
• the application form should be fully completed and all information and evidence should be obtained in the same way as a residential mortgage application.
• the applicant(s) must have total earned income of at least £20,000 pa (please refer to our checklist to see how to evidence this)
• the applicant(s) should usually own their own home (with our without a mortgage)
• any other mortgage payments e.g. residential mortgage should be included as outgoings on the Budget Planner.
• the security will be valued on a vacant possession basis
• the Society will only accept properties that are let, or are to be let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy of between six and twelve months duration
• a statement of Assets and Liabilities is required
• three months satisfactory bank statements are required
• if there are other existing Buy to Let properties, we will require:
o copies of the current Tenancy Agreements
o latest annual mortgage statements
• applications will not be accepted on “New-build” flats. i.e. Any flat less than five years old or which has been previously unoccupied.
• there may be occasions where the applicant's overall indebtedness is considered too high based on their financial circumstances

For Regulated Buy To Let applications please see additional requirements below

We will consider a number of reasons for capital raising including

  • home improvements
  • further education fees
  • purchase of other properties
  • holidays
  • new car
  • debit consolidation - see separate criteria for this

When assessing cases for contract workers the following criteria will apply

  • the contract must have been renewed at least once with the same employer OR be for a minimum period of 12 months and have at least 6 months remaining.
  • the maximum LTV will be 80%
  • full details of the applicants work history for the previous 2 years should be provided (this could be in the form of a CV). The applicant must have been in the same type of employment for the past 2 years.
  • copies of contract(s) covering the last 2 years must be provided and must not show any significant breaks in employment.
  • a previous employer's reference will be requested if the applicant has been employed (PAYE) within the last 2 years
  • the Society's standard income criteria will be used to assess the applicants income

The maximum amount that will be considered for debt consolidation is £30,000.

The maximum overall LTV is 80%.

A written undertaking to repay the debts (signed by all applicants) must be provided by the acting Solicitor before releae of funds.


The  Society's ‘Heartland’ is located in the Lake District and Northwest, postcodes included in this definition are CA, LA, FY, PR, BB, BL and WN.

We will accept

  • Capital and Interest
  • Interest only (see repayment strategies below)
  • Part C&I and part interest only (using interest only repayment strategies below)

Owner - occupied residential interest only mortgages:- Standard Repayment Strategies

For repayment vehicles with regular premium endowment policy or equity PEP/ISA:

• The maximum LTV is 70%

• The repayment strategy must have been established for at least 3 years

• Satisfactory evidence of the repayment strategy must be provided e.g. statement/projection of the maturity value at the end of the proposed mortgage term

The applicants should confirm that the proposed repayment strategy is on track by indicating on the application form

Owner - occupied residential interest only mortgages:- “Non-standard” Repayment Strategies

• Potentially suitable “non-standard” repayment strategies are

  • sale of other properties,
  • collective investments,
  • downsizing
  • use of a pension fund

• The maximum LTV is 60%

Satisfactory evidence of the repayment strategy must be provided as follows:

• Collective investments – the most recent investment statement must be provided and the plan must have been established for at least 3 years

• Sale of other properties - the applicant must confirm the full address and postcode and satisfactory evidence of the current property value.  Satisfactory evidence may be a recent or historic valuation of the property relating to the original purchase. The current value of the property to be used as a repayment strategy should be at least equal to the balance of the proposed interest only mortgage.

• Sale of other land - by referral

• Sale of subject property (downsizing) - The applicants must demonstrate that a suitable property is in their target market to enable them to downsize. The minimum equity required at the time of application is £300,000 – unless the property is located in the Society’s Heartland, where the minimum equity requirement is £100,000. The ‘Heartland’ is located in the Lake District and Northwest, postcodes included in this definition are CA, LA, FY, PR, BB, BL and WN.

• Use of pension scheme lump sum. The pension plan must have been in place for at least 10 years at the time of application (or suitable evidence supplied that the previous pension plans were in place during this time). A projection of the value of the pension plan must be provided and it must equate to at least four times the mortgage amount based on the low projection rate.

A statement of Assets and Liabilities must be provided by the applicant in order that the reasonability of the strategy can be ascertained

• maximum LTV 75%
• interest only or repayment basis considered
• the applicants must own their own home
• rent must be at least 125% of interest payable at the initial product pay rate
• total applicants’ earned income should be at least £30,000
• applications underwritten on a “full status” basis
• affordability fully assessed using net earned income plus 50% of actual /anticipated gross rent (either actual amount received or anticipated rent as advised by a specialised holiday let agent)  less all personal outgoings and the proposed new mortgage payment including an allowance for rate rises
• maximum of 4 holiday let mortgages per borrower 
• where the applicant also holds buy to let properties, the maximum permitted exposure with the Society will be £500,000 and 5 properties and in total 10 properties and £1m (including any exposure with the Society)
• 3 months satisfactory bank statements to be provided
• a satisfactory statement of Assets & Liabilities to be provided
• available mainland UK
• Minimum valuation £125,000 (60% product £84,000 minimum valuation)
• Minimum advance £50,000
• No occupancy restrictions to apply to the security

Repayment basis only.
Applicants on Voters Roll for 1 year (both applicants).
Evidence of address history to be provided for the last three years residence (unless on Voters Roll for 3 years).
3 months bank statements – never exceeded overdraft limit/ no returned items.
Excess of income over expenditure of at least £200 evidenced on the Budget Planner based on the mortgage payment calculated at the initial pay rate.
Permanent employment 6 months with same employer (both applicants). Unencumbered deposit.
Clean credit searches - no missed payments, defaults or CCJs etc.
Self employed – 2 years accounts – not more than 12 months old, Sole trader/partner applicants with total income less than £50,000 may produce 3 years SA302 tax assessments and corresponding tax overview documents to evidence income, providing the income evidenced is stable or rising.

We will not accept applications for flats where the LTV is over 90%


Where the term exceeds either of the borrowers expected retirement age or their 69th birthday, whichever is the soonest, evidence of retirement income must be provided. Where the term plans to work later than this please contact us on 0800 988 1561 to discuss.

If your client is already retired the maximum loan to value we can consider is 70%.  If the mortgage term will end after your client's retirement age, the maximum loan to value we can consider is 80%.  The maximums are based on the oldest applicant’s age

The Society can offer mortgages on a Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor basis where one of the joint borrowers is not going to be a co-owner, ie. they will not be named on the title deeds.

All applications will need to meet the Society’s current lending criteria.

It is important that applicants are fully aware of the following important additional requirements:

  • All borrowers will need to seek separate and independent legal advice as part of the conveyancing process.

  • All borrowers must sign the mortgage deed in front of the Solicitor acting as the conveyancer. This must be on a face to face basis.

  • Release of one of the borrowers from the mortgage will require approval from the Society and be based on the mortgage being affordable by the remaining parties. Any legal costs incurred will be the responsibility of the borrowers.

The maximum loan is normally 4.5 x the borrowers' total income less the annual cost of any credit commitments on loans up to 95% LTV.  All applications are subject to an affordability assessment.

We accept up to 95% LTV across mainland Eng, Wales, Scotland, on Islands connected to mainland by a bridge and on Isle of Wight.

Minimum loan £30,000
Maximum loan £1,000,000 (higher by negotiation)

Maximum loan limits are subject to the following LTV brackets

  • Max LTV of 95% loans up to £500k
  • Max LTV of 90% loans up to £750k
  • Max LTV of 80% loans up to £800k
  • Max LTV of 70% loans up to £900k
  • Max LTV of 65% loans up to £1m

Minimum 5 years and maximum 40
(Must be repaid by oldest applicants 80th birthday)

Maximum LTV per property 75% LTV
Maximum LTV across a portfolio 65% LTV
Minimum rental coverage across a portfolio 140% of mortgage interest at pay rate
BTL experience required 2 years experience as a BTL landlord
Minimum income £40,000 (excluding rental income)
Maximum BTL lending with the Society £750,000 and/or 5 mortgages
Maximum overall customer BTL borrowing £2m mortgages/10 mortgaged properties. 
Application requirements

Normal disclosure of personal financial circumstances, and completion of an Assets & Liabilities Statement.  In some cases we may also request a business plan and cashflow statement to be provided.

Click here for more information on Portfolio Landlords

We will consider applications on a regulated Buy to Let product specifically for letting to family members.

We will not currently consider applications from adult children (sons and/or daughters) purchasing their parents current residence and then renting it back.
Regulated Buy to Let applications are considered strictly on an affordability basis. Any rental income received will not be factored into our affordability assessment. We obtain the AST to ensure that if the property converted to a traditional buy to let the gross rent would be at least equal to 125% of the monthly interest payment at the initial pay rate).

Regulated Buy to Let applications are assessed in the same way as a standard residential mortgage. The Society stresses the mortgage repayment in order to assess the affordability of the loan in relation to the clients existing outgoings and factoring in the new Buy to Let.

The stated expenditure will be reviewed in conjunction with the bank statements and/or with statistical data, as appropriate. Applications will be declined where affordability cannot be proven on realistic expenditure.

The Society will consider applications on an Interest only or repayment basis

We generally take the annual salary and applicants share of profit before taxation into account when working out how much we can lend.  This will be dependent on a full accountants reference to confirm the feasibility and sustainability on using this calculation of both salary and profit before tax.


All shareholding Company Directors and those sole trader/partner applicants with total income greater than £50,000 must produce 2 years full accounts produced by a suitably qualified accountant.

Sole trader/partner applicants with total income less than £50,000 may produce 3 years SA302 tax assessments and corresponding tax overview documents to evidence income, providing the income evidenced is stable or rising.

Where profits have increased by more than 10% the Society may look to obtain further clarification from the accountant as to whether this level is sustainable and why.

The Society will not agree applications if there are concerns about the business even if the income is adequate and affordability is proven for the required mortgage.

Additional consideration will be required where:
• profit has reduced or increased significantly
• short term liabilities exceed liquid assets
• the business appears insolvent
• dividends have exceeded profit after tax

  • Available for mortgages that will be repaid within 2 years, the maximum term is therefore 2 years.

  • If interest only is required, a satisfactory repayment strategy must be in place. For Short Term Lending products sale of property may be an acceptable strategy. Please refer to the “Repayments Types” criteria for further information on acceptable repayment strategies.

  • The Society’s standard lending criteria will apply including a full affordability assessment.

  • Short Term Lending products are standard mortgage products. Monthly repayments will be required throughout the term of the mortgage - interest will not be rolled up. Repayments are available on the capital and interest repayment basis or interest only subject to an acceptable repayment strategy (see above)

Purchase price not exceeding Mortgage Valuation Report Homebuyers' Report
£50,000 £195.00 £330.00
£100,000 £220.00 £410.00
£150,000 £245.00 £440.00
£200,000 £270.00 £490.00
£250,000 £305.00     £540.00
£300,000 £305.00 £590.00
£350,000 £355.00 £695.00
£400,000 £355.00 £695.00
£450,000 £410.00 £815.00
£500,000 £410.00 £815.00
£600,000 £500.00 £825.00
£700,000 £560.00 £850.00
£800,000 £620.00 £920.00
£900,000 £680.00 £1,050.00
£1,000,000 £740.00 £1,120.00
£1,200,000 £860.00 £1,27500
£1,400,000 £985.00 £1,430.00
£1,600,000 £1,110.00 £1,580.00
£1,800,000 £1,230.00 £1,735.00
£2,000,000 £1,350.00 £1,890.00


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