Lending Criteria

First Start mortgages
Sponsor A sponsor is a close relative, normally a parent or step-parent of any applicant, who is added as a co-borrower.
Minimum loan: £25,001
Maximum loan: £500,000 (inclusive of fees)
Loan types: For property purchase only
Payment types: Repayment only
Loan tiers:

Loan tiers for purchases: 95% up to £500,000, inclusive of fees. Conditions apply.

Applicants cannot own any other property at the time of completion. This doesn’t apply to the sponsor whose mortgage commitments are included in the affordability assessment.

Ownership: You can choose if the property is owned solely by the applicant(s) or jointly by the applicant(s) and the sponsor. If the property to be owned is in the sole name of the applicant(s), then the sponsor as a condition of the Mortgage Offer must receive independent legal advice in respect of the transaction before completion.

The following property types are not acceptable:

  •  Newly built apartments or conversions (built or converted within the last 12 months) where the Loan to Value (LTV) is greater than 80%
  •  Newly built houses (built or converted within the last 12 months) where the Loan to Value (LTV) is greater than 85%
  •  Properties less than 10 years old that are not covered by an approved new home warranty scheme or Professional Consultant’s Certificate
  • Studio apartments, freehold apartments, apartments with unacceptable access arrangements (e.g. rear external staircases) or apartments within blocks where our valuer reports inadequate maintenance of communal areas
  • Ex-local authority or ex-public sector apartments that are greater than 4 storeys high or that have open decking access
  • Apartments converted from office buildings or refurbished ex-local authority blocks
  • Apartments that exceed 75% Loan to Value (LTV) within blocks that have mixed residential and commercial use, unless: a) In a development over 6 storeys and built after the year 2000 b) Commercial use is confined to the ground floor and not detrimental to future saleability
  • Leasehold terms of less than 85 years at the start of application
  • Leasehold terms of less than 45 years at the end of the term
  • Properties being purchased under a Right to Buy, Shared Ownership, or Shared Equity arrangement
  • Properties which include commercial usage within the title
  • Properties with occupancy restrictions
  • Properties being acquired under an assignable contract
  • Purchases where the vendor has owned the property for less than 6 months (except where we have given consent)
  • Properties with communal heating, hot water or other services where the property is not individually metered

This list is not exhaustive. Some non-traditional forms of construction won’t be accepted. If the property is built from anything other than brick or stone, if the roof is not tile or slate, or if it's a self-built property, please call for further details.


Minimum: 18

Maximum age for sponsor at application is 60 and must not exceed 80 at the end of the term


Maximum: 35 years or the number of years it will take the eldest applicant (excluding Sponsor) to reach 75 (whichever is the lower).

Minimum: 5 years. If the term goes beyond anticipated retirement age (either the applicant or sponsor), we will ask for evidence of means to repay until the end of
the mortgage term


You can overpay at any time during your mortgage term.

If you’re in a promotional period, you can overpay a minimum of £500 and a maximum of 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance (as at 31st March the previous year) without incurring any early repayment or administration charges.

Once the promotional period is over, the amount you can overpay is unlimited, however if you pay off your mortgage in full charges may apply.

Ability to pay Maximum of four applicants (however, only the income of the sponsor and the highest earning applicant will be assessed).The sponsor’s minimum assessable income must be at least £30,000. The highest earning applicant must have a minimum assessable income of at least £20,000.
We will review your application to ensure we are satisfied with your ability to pay. This will include a review of your overall circumstances including the amount of debt you have in relation to your income. Any income used to assess affordability must be contracted and paid in GBP
Employment status: Employed or self-employed (3 years minimum trading and the last 2 years accounts required).

We will consider applications from contractors, subject to the following criteria:

  • a minimum of 12 months contracting in their current occupation
  • a minimum gross contracting income of £50,000 per annum. We will base affordability assessment on 80% of the applicant’s gross income
  • a maximum of 90% Loan to Value (LTV)
  • we will use the current contract for income assessment, but we will also review all contracts held in the last 12 months

Applications from contractors are also acceptable under standard self-employed criteria.

Liability: All borrowers are jointly and individually liable for the total mortgage


General lending criteria
Lending areas: Properties in England, Scotland (including the Scottish islands of Skye, Bute, Lewis & Harris, Mainland Orkney, Mainland Shetland, Arran, Mull, Islay, Whalsay, Yell, South Ronaldsay, West Burra, Tiree and Unst - please contact us to discuss properties located on any other Scottish islands), Wales and Northern Ireland (unless otherwise stated).
Property owner:

Transactions are only acceptable where the seller is the owner or registered proprietor of the property, and has been for at least 6 months.

Nationality: Applicants are normally required to be resident in the UK for the 3 years preceding the mortgage application. Foreign Nationals from within the European Economic Area (EEA) have automatic rights of residency and work, so will be assessed for status in the same way as a British citizen. Non EEA citizens need to demonstrate rights to work and reside in the UK and can apply to borrow up to a maximum of 75% Loan to Value. These rights can be shown by passport stamps or Home Office papers. The right to remain in the UK must be for a sufficiently long period to justify the granting of a long-term loan.
Early Repayment Charge: If you repay all or part of your loan before the end of the early repayment period, you may be charged an Early Repayment Charge to cover any losses that the lender might otherwise incur. When you repay the whole of the loan you must pay the lender any mortgage release fee they charge at the time of repayment. If you have deferred payment of the lending fee you must also pay this. For part repayments, an additional administration fee will apply.
Clean Credit History:

We will not lend to you if you have ever:

  • been bankrupt
  • been subject to an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
  • owned a property which has been taken with possession (including voluntary possession)


We will normally only lend to you, if in the last 3 years you have had no:

  • arrears on mortgages, fixed loans or rent
  • more than two consecutive missed payments on credit or store cards
  • more than one CCJ to maximum of £250, and not within the last 12 months

Missed mail order or telecoms payments are normally disregarded.

Payday loans: If you have had a payday loan within the last 12 months we won’t normally lend. If you have taken out a payday loan over 12 months ago then your case will need to be looked at individually to assess affordability.
Standard legal fees paid by lender: Purchase Transaction
If stated in the Offer of Loan, Bank of Ireland UK will pay the basic fee for the legal work involved in a standard property purchase. This offer of fees assisted conveyancing does not include any payment for cost that the solicitor must pay to a third party such as a local authority or other search fees, Stamp Duty Land Tax, the cost of taking out defective title indemnity insurance or registration fees payable to the Land Registry. The offer also does not include the charge, plus VAT, payable to the solicitor to deal with the settlement of any Stamp Duty Land Tax and the submission of the Stamp Duty Land Tax form or the cost of any associated sale. The solicitor will provide you with full details of this charge and the third party costs you will have to pay. These fees, along with the legal fee for any additional legal work that the solicitor carries out for you, are payable by you. If the purchase does not go ahead, you will not have to pay for the standard conveyancing work carried out, but you will have to pay any third party costs already paid by the solicitor. For property purchases in Scotland please contact us for details of our nominated Solicitor when obtaining your Approval in Principle. If you choose not to use our nominated Solicitor you will be liable for the legal costs.
Product fees: Payments should not be made at application stage. Bank of Ireland UK will deduct the fee from the loan amount upon completion or add it to the loan amount.


For help with key terms, please see the Definitions tab.




Approval in Principle (AIP): An AIP indicates how much you could borrow based on the information you have provided, it performs various criteria and credit reference agency checks, and gives a conditional decision to lend based on its findings.

APRC: Annual Percentage Rate of Charge - this shows the overall cost of borrowing, taking into account the term, interest rate and other costs.

Higher Lending Charge: A fee which may be charged if the amount borrowed is more than a given percentage of the value of the property. The lender will use the fee for an insurance policy to protect them against financial loss in the event of a borrower not meeting their mortgage payments. The fee is usually payable in full up front. You may be liable for any mortgage shortfall debt if after possession the sale proceeds are not enough to repay your outstanding debt. Choose a Post Office Money mortgage and the Higher Lending Charge is paid by the lender for mortgages above 75% LTV. No Higher Lending Charge is payable for mortgages up to 75% LTV. See the Lending Criteria for more information.

Loan to Value (LTV): It’s the amount of mortgage expressed as a percentage of the value of the property or purchase price, whichever is lower. For example, a mortgage of £80,000 on a purchase price of £100,000 would be 80% LTV. If the valuation of the property is lower than the price you've agreed, the LTV will be based on the valuation.

No product fee: There is no product fee to pay. These are ideal if you do not want to pay a product fee or add one to your mortgage.

Overall cost for comparison: The total cost of a loan, including interest charges and product fees, shown as a percentage rate. The calculation assumes that you keep the mortgage for the full term. APRC is the industry standard calculation and allows you to directly compare mortgages from all lenders.

Product fee: This is a fee charged on some mortgages as part of the product. It can be paid upfront or added to the loan. If you add it to your mortgage it will increase your outstanding balance and interest will be charged for the duration of the mortgage.

Standard legal fees: If your mortgage states that standard legal fees are paid by the lender, the lender will pay the fees if you use their nominated solicitors. Terms and conditions apply, additional legal work may incur additional fees, please refer to the General Lending Criteria for full details.

Standard valuation: Also known as a lender's valuation this is a basic assessment that's carried out on a property to establish its condition and value. If your mortgage states that valuation fee is paid by the lender, the lender will pay for one standard valuation on the application. You can upgrade to a full HomeBuyer survey for an additional fee.

0800: All calls to 0800 numbers are free of charge whether made from a landline or mobile phone. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes.

Small print

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Subject to status and lending criteria. Written illustrations available upon request. Borrowers must be aged 18 or over.

Post Office Limited is an appointed representative of Bank of Ireland (UK) plc which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, FRN 512956. You can check this on the Financial Services Register by visiting the website www.fca.org.uk/register or by contacting the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on 0800 111 6768. Bank of Ireland UK is a trading name of Bank of Ireland (UK) plc which is registered in England & Wales (No. 07022885). Registered Office: Bow Bells House, 1 Bread Street, London, EC4M 9BE. Post Office Limited is registered in England and Wales (No. 2154540). Registered Office: Finsbury Dials, 20 Finsbury Street, London, EC2Y 9AQ. Post Office Money and the Post Office Money logo are registered trademarks of Post Office Limited.