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First Homes Scheme Criteria

Smiling woman sits in her home after applying for a Marsden First Homes mortgage product.

Our handy A-Z criteria tool allows you to search or filter to find the information you need for your First Homes Scheme cases.

Last updated 30 November 2022.

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Applicant Details

21 – if joint application, at least one applicant must be 21.

Normally the loan must be repaid before the oldest applicant’s state retirement age detailed below or applicant’s stated intended retirement age, whichever is lower.

Date of BirthState Retirement Age
From 6 April 1950 – 5 June 195363
From 6 June 1953 – 5 September 195364
From 6 September 1953 – 5 October 195465
From 6 October 1954 – 5 March 196166
From 6 March 1961 – 5 April 197867
From 6 April 1978 onwards68


Credit Criteria

CCJs/Defaults within the last 3 years are not acceptable.

CCJs/Defaults => 3 years prior to application are acceptable up to a maximum £2,500 – subject to an explanation and being cleared/satisfied 12 months prior to application.

No other adverse entries must show on credit file.

CCJs/Defaults are not acceptable over 80% LTV.

Up to 80% LTV: Mortgage, loan, HP arrears and missed payments => 3 years prior to application: Status 1s and 2s are accepted – status 3 or above not accepted.

Mortgage, loan, HP arrears and missed payments within the last 3 years are not acceptable.

Credit Card, mail order, utility commitments => 3 years prior to application: Up to and including status 2s are acceptable.

Credit Card, mail order, utility commitments

Above 80% LTV: Mortgage, loan, HP arrears and missed payments are not acceptable.

Credit card, mail order, utility commitments: A maximum of 3 status 2s are acceptable if less than £100.

No other adverse entries within the last 3 years must show on the credit file.


For non-UK nationals we require the applicant(s) to have resided in the UK for a minimum of 2 years. We will also require proof of indefinite leave to remain/residence certificate or settled or pre-settled status in the UK.

Employment Status

Applicants in probationary period are acceptable, providing they are in like-for-like employment with no gap in employment.

LTV >80%: The applicant must have been in their current business for a minimum of 3 years.

LTV <80%: The applicant must have been in their current business for a minimum of 1 year with a further 2 years’ experience in the same field.

Directors with a shareholding of less than 25% will be classified as employed. We accept salary in dividend as income. If above 25%, we classify as self-employed.

LTV >80%: The applicant must have been contracting for a minimum of 3 years.

LTV <80%: The applicant must have been contracting for a minimum of 1 year with a further 2 years’ experience in the same field.

Zero-hour contracts accepted – please refer.

Deposit Details

Applicants’ own deposit or gift from an immediate family member (spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, child or grandchild) is acceptable. Evidence of the source of deposit is required.


We capture gross annual income and net monthly income details. In addition, we may also consider 60% of regular overtime, bonus or commission (avg. of these over the last 2 years P60). Second employment is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Self-employed: We require 2 years’ accounts covering a 3 year-period, together with 3 years’ tax computations/SA302s to establish income. We assess the income by averaging the last 3 years’ income or we will take the most recent year, whichever is lowest of the two.

Certified Accounts need to be signed and dated within 18 months. In addition, we would require sight of recent Business Bank Statements.

For sole traders we will accept 3 years’ tax overviews and SA302s supported with 3 months’ Business Bank Statements subject to underwriter approval. We will consider cases with 1 year’s trading accounts and 2 years’ P60 if previously employed in the same field, max LTV 80%.

Contractors/CIS Workers: Applicants operating on an hourly or daily rate of pay are acceptable max 80% LTV. Offshore Umbrella Companies are not acceptable. Minimum 6 months completed contract with evidence of past/present/future contracts.

CIS workers are acceptable Max 80% LTV. We require a minimum of 12 months evidence of minimum employment and latest 3 years’ tax overviews/SA302s or previous year’s P60s in same line of work.

For applicants on fixed-term contracts of less than 6 months, the minimum period of employment with the same employer is 6 months. For those on contracts of 6 – 12 months or more, the contract must have been renewed at least once. If the contract is for more than 12 months, the applicant must be more than 6 months into the contract.

100% private and/or state pension.

The Society may also take into account a percentage of any payments received in respect of investment, dividend or rental income if evidenced by 3 years SA302s and accounts or SA100s.

100% of maintenance can be used if court ordered or payments can be evidenced on the most recent 6 months’ bank statements.

100% child benefit payment (children must be included for affordability).

100% of disability living allowance and personal independence payment (must have been in receipt for last 2 years).

100% industrial injuries benefit.

Mortgage Details

The minimum loan size is £35,000 – at least 50% of the discounted purchase price to be funded by mortgage lending. The maximum mortgage is 95% of the discounted market value, £237,500 (£399,000 London).

Minimum: 5 years (product dependent)

Maximum: 35 years

Repayment only.

Can be considered but we must obtain Local Authority approval. The maximum consent to let period is 2 years – beyond this term, further Local Authority approval will be required.

Property Criteria


England and Wales.

The property must be the main residence of the applicant(s).

Properties must be of traditional construction.

Timber framed properties may be considered if brick clad.

New build houses subject to NHBC/Local Authority Building Control Scheme/Premier/Checkmate (Castle 10)/Buildzone/Zurich/ICW (International Construction Warranties)/AHCI Ltd or Professional Consultants Certificates.

Properties must be of traditional construction.

HMOs, self-builds, properties held in Trust, present or former hotels/guest houses/B&Bs, commercial properties (even if applicants intend to convert back to residential).

Prefabricated properties.

Studio flats and ex-local authority flats/maisonettes.

Purpose built flats/maisonettes.

New build flats.

Flats/apartments more than 4 storeys.

Flats above commercial property.

Properties under 5 storeys with a flat roof are unacceptable security.

Any construction covered by Housing Defect Legislation such as high alumina cement, prefabricate reinforced concrete, large panel system, BISF.

Any property where an EWS1 form for wall cladding is required.


Both freehold and leasehold are acceptable for houses.

Freehold flats/maisonettes are not acceptable- leasehold only.

Flying freeholds – refer.

For leasehold, there must be a minimum of 85 years’ unexpired lease at the start of the mortgage and 55 years remaining at the end.

Reasons for Additional Borrowing

Home improvements.

Debt consolidation (maximum £30,000).

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