Compare the best first-time buyer mortgages in the UK

Buy your first home with the right facts and the right mortgage for you. We update rates daily.

Compare first-time buyer mortgages

Compare over 80 mortgage lenders

Fee FREE mortgage advice

Personal customer service from start to finish

Open 7 days a week

We understand that if you're a first-time home buyer you don't have the luxury of time or money to choose the wrong mortgage, so we've saved you the trouble and distilled our knowledge into a guide which goes through how to compare and apply for a mortgage.

1 - 15 of 496
Name Product Initial rate Revert rate (SVR) Maximum LTV Overall cost for comparison Cashback Apply link
Barclays Mortgage 30/09/2029 Fixed
4.53% fixed until 30/09/2029
8.74% variable
7.1% APRC
View details
TSB 30/09/2029 Fixed
4.54% fixed until 30/09/2029
7.74% variable
6.5% APRC
View details
TSB 30/09/2029 Fixed
4.54% fixed until 30/09/2029
8.74% variable
7.1% APRC
View details
Nationwide BS 5 years Fixed
4.55% fixed for 5 years
7.99% variable
6.7% APRC
View details
Halifax 31/08/2029 Fixed
4.56% fixed until 31/08/2029
8.74% variable
7.1% APRC
View details
Halifax 31/08/2029 Fixed
4.56% fixed until 31/08/2029
8.74% variable
7.1% APRC
View details
HSBC 30/09/2029 Fixed
4.56% fixed until 30/09/2029
6.99% variable
6.1% APRC
View details
first direct 5 years Fixed
4.58% fixed for 5 years
6.99% variable
6.1% APRC
View details
Santander 02/11/2029 Fixed
4.58% fixed until 02/11/2029
7.5% variable
6.4% APRC
View details
Santander 02/11/2029 Fixed
4.6% fixed until 02/11/2029
7.5% variable
6.4% APRC
Eligible customers can receive up to £250 cashback on completion. T&Cs apply.
View details
Halifax 31/08/2029 Fixed
4.61% fixed until 31/08/2029
8.74% variable
7.2% APRC
View details
first direct 5 years Fixed
4.63% fixed for 5 years
6.99% variable
6.2% APRC
View details
first direct 5 years Fixed
4.63% fixed for 5 years
6.99% variable
6.2% APRC
View details
first direct 5 years Fixed
4.63% fixed for 5 years
6.99% variable
6.2% APRC
View details
first direct 10 years Fixed
4.64% fixed for 10 years
6.99% variable
5.5% APRC
View details
Overall representative example
If you borrow £178,000 mortgage over 25 years initially at 4.63% fixed for 60 months reverting to 6.99% variable for term. 60 monthly payments of £1002.56 and 240 monthly payments of £1214.16. Total amount payable £351,932.00 includes loan amount, interest of £173,552, valuation fees of £0 and product fees of £0. The overall cost for comparison is 6.2% APRC representative.
Think carefully before securing debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

How do I compare

Once you’ve found the home you would like to purchase, you’ll need to obtain financial support from a lender in the form of a mortgage (if you cannot afford to pay for it outright). You’ll apply for your desired loan amount, and your lender will decide to grant you the loan or reject your application.

Because of the competition in the market, there are thousands of different mortgage products available. So deciding which one to apply for can be tricky unless you follow a procedure like the one below.

A good baseline way to compare the various types of mortgages is to compare the key facts which lenders are required by law to provide, these would be:

  • The basic features of the loan such as interest and comparison rates, interest type, term of the mortgage, mortgage amount and repayment frequency.
  • The total amount you’ll pay back over the course of the loan.
  • The establishment and ongoing fees applicable to the loan.
  • How much you’ll repay each month and each year.
  • How much extra you’d pay if your rates increased by a 1% p.a.
  • The difference putting an extra £200 a month towards your mortgage would make on the mortgage term.

These key points of comparison can help you sort through the advertising and get through to the bare essentials a loan has. It doesn’t explain all of the major features a mortgage might come with, so be sure to also get acquainted with these further below.

Types of deals

There are a number of different types of mortgages out there for first-time buyers; the right one for you depends on your personal circumstances.

Fixed rate

This option is popular with many first-time buyers as it means your interest rates would be fixed for the term of the deal which can be between 2 and 10 years. With fixed rate mortgages your repayments will also stay the same each month, which might appeal to those who like to budget and know how much they’re spending each month.

Capped rate

This is a type of variable mortgage, meaning your interest rate and repayments can go up or down depending on the lender or market. A cap simply allows you to only pay up to a certain amount each month but you also receive the advantages of low interest rates.

Discount mortgages

This is another type of variable mortgage where the interest rate you will be charged is discounted on the lenders standard variable rate. For example, if your lender has a SVR set at 4% and you have a discount of 1% you will pay 3% interest.

The interest rate can change overtime if the standard variable rate goes up and down.

Tracker mortgages

This type of mortgage ‘tracks’ the interest rate of the Bank of England to then set margin above or below it. It is a type of variable mortgage as the interest you will be required to pay on your mortgage will rise and fall in line with this base line interest rate.

Interest-only mortgages

Interest-only loans will see none of your repayments go towards the capital you owe the lender, but rather completely to the interest that’s due. This means your loan will never get smaller, but also means your repayments will be smaller than with an equivalent capital and interest loan.

If paying off a home is your aim, interest-only loans may see the process lengthened, and may see you pay more interest than with an equivalent principal and interest loan.

Common loan features

Even once you’ve chosen what loan type you’re after, there are a number of features in addition to the interest rate and fees you’ll pay which will complete the comparison phase. Some of the more common features offered on a home loan are explained below:

  • Offset. An offset feature works by linking your savings accounts to your mortgage and allows any funds in the account to cancel out, or ‘offset’ some of the interest due on the outstanding mortgage amount. Learn more about offset mortgages.
  • Additional repayments. Many loans offer the option to put extra money towards paying off your mortgage, and extra repayments can help to reduce the loan term quicker and the interest you pay. Some variable rate loans and most fixed rate loans will have a maximum amount of extra funds you can put towards your loan each year, while others may not allow any amount of additional repayments to be made.
  • Borrow back. If you have overpaid on your mortgage you can borrow back and withdraw the money previously overpaid to use for whatever you like. This allows for flexibility to get access to funds in the event you need them but make sure you read the fine print, as some mortgages will have a minimum amount you can redraw at any one time.
  • Mortgage portability. Selling a property and then buying another usually requires the closing of one mortgage and the opening of a new one. mortgage portability is an option that allows you to keep your loan and simply transfer it over to the new property, meaning you can avoid paying fees such as application fees or cancellation costs. This option typically has a number of requirements, such as keeping the mortgage amount the same and carrying out the exchange and settlement of both properties on the same day and same time.
  • Repayment frequency. Each repayment you make will get you closer to paying off your mortgage, and the frequency at which you make them is another choice you can make with most mortgages. Most allow for weekly, fortnightly and monthly repayments, so you can choose to pay it off in a way that suits your income.

Best mortgage for a first-time buyer

There’s no one “best” type of mortgage for first-time buyers, but there are a couple of features which might be more appealing to borrowers trying to get into the market.

  • A high maximum LTV. LTV (loan-to-value) refers to the amount you can borrow as a percentage of the property value, and is sometimes limited by mortgage lenders to 85%, but it can be as high as 95%. A 95% LTV means you can borrow 95% of the value of the property, requiring you to come up with at least a 5% deposit. A LTV of 85% would mean your deposit was 15%. Our example below shows monthly and total repayments on a 95% mortgage with a 5% deposit, compared to a 85% mortgage with a 15% deposit. We’ve used the UK’s average house price of £249,633 (November 2020).

    5% deposit

    • House price: £249,633.00
    • Deposit: £12,481.65
    • Monthly repayments: £1,021.16
    • Total mortgage cost: £355,363.68
    • Total paid including deposit: £367,845.33

    15% deposit

    • House price: £249,633.00
    • Deposit: £37,444.95
    • Monthly repayments: £913.67
    • Total mortgage cost: £317,957.16
    • Total paid including deposit: £355,402.11
  • Guarantor options. Some providers offer first-time buyers the chance to secure their mortgage by getting a parent or family member to act as a guarantee against the property. This might be a good option for you if you only have a small deposit or even no deposit at all but have a family member who is able and willing to meet your monthly mortgage repayments if you are unable to do so.
  • Minimal fees and low rates. If you’re struggling to afford a property, you might want to keep costs down as low as possible. This means mortgages with minimal upfront or ongoing fees, and one with a low interest rate.
  • Good customer service. If this is your first property and first home loan, you might want some expert advice to help you manage your loan better and be there in times of stress or emergency. For this reason you might want to select a lender with a proven track record of having great customer service.

Available schemes

There are shared ownership schemes available to those who are struggling to become homeowners. These allow you to buy a share in a property through a housing association and pay rent on the part of the property you don’t own.

The UK government have initiated help to buy schemes which allows you to borrow up to 20% of the value of your home (40% in London) interest-free for five years.

The government guarantee scheme for 95% mortgages

In the March 2021 Budget, then chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new government mortgage guarantee scheme designed to help homebuyers with a 5% deposit. Under the scheme, first-time buyers, home movers and previous homeowners with a 5% deposit now have access to 95% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages, which had disappeared from the market over the first 12 months of the coronavirus pandemic. The scheme works by providing mortgage lenders with a government-backed guarantee for providing such a high LTV mortgage. The scheme initially ran from April 2021 to December 2023, and has now been extended to the end of June 2025. It is open to people with a deposit of 5% who are looking to buy a main residential home in the UK, worth £600,000 or less. Learn more about the scheme.

Schemes in Scotland

Schemes in Wales

Schemes in Northern Ireland

Schemes in London

First-time buyers and stamp duty?

If you’re a first-time buyer in England or Northern Ireland, you will pay no stamp duty on properties worth up to £300,000, which could see you saving up to £5,000.

This means for properties costing up to £500,000, you will pay no stamp duty on the first £300,000, but you will pay stamp duty on the remaining £200,000. If the property you’re buying is worth over £500,000, you’ll pay the standard rates of stamp duty and won’t qualify for first-time buyers relief.

As of October 2018, first-time buyers under Shared Ownership schemes can now claim first-time buyers stamp duty relief on homes worth up to £500,000.

It’s also worth noting if you chose to pay stamp duty in stages and were previously not eligible for the relief, you can now claim this tax back. Unfortunately, if you chose to pay stamp duty on the market value of the property, your entitlement to claim the relief has not changed.

What is Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty is a land tax that applies if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current threshold is £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties. Stamp duty is set as a percentage of the property price.

How do I get approved?

Save a larger deposit

For some first-time buyer schemes, you’ll be eligible to apply with a deposit worth just 5% of your property’s value.

However, if you can save a larger deposit, you’ll improve your chances of being approved for a mortgage and may even be able to access better interest rates.

Here are some ideas to help you save a bigger mortgage deposit.

  • Help to Buy Isa. If you transfer savings in this account and put the money towards a mortgage deposit, the government will top up your funds by 25%. You can make an initial contribution of £1,200, then £200 a month, up to a maximum of £12,000.
  • Lifetime Isa. The government will also pay a top-up on savings stored in this account. You’ll get a 25% bonus on a maximum of £1,000 per year, available every year until you turn 50. The bonus is paid when the money is put towards a mortgage deposit or your retirement fund. If it’s withdrawn for any other reason, you’ll pay a penalty charge.
  • Gifted deposit. You might roll your eyes if you’re not lucky enough to have anyone willing to help fund your mortgage deposit, but the fact remains that a lot of first-time buyers are receiving financial assistance from family members. Many see it as an intelligent investment. After all, it stops their children wasting money on rent and potentially reduces their own inheritance tax bill (provided they live for seven years after making the gift).

Joint applications

You can apply jointly for a mortgage with up to three other applicants.

When you do this, the income of all applicants is considered jointly, meaning you’ll be eligible to borrow a larger amount for a property. Assuming everyone is pitching in, you’ll find it easier to save a larger deposit too.

Your credit scores will also be considered jointly. This could improve your chances of being approved for a mortgage, provided your co-applicant(s) have a better credit score than you. If they have bad credit, it could harm your application. It’s free and simple to check your credit score and report through a number of sites including Finder. Any co-applicants can do the same.

There are some downsides to a joint application. For starters, you’ll all have to agree when you want to sell the property. Also, if a co-applicant stops making mortgage repayments, you’ll be equally responsible for the shortfall.

As such, you should only jointly apply for a property with someone you trust.

Learn more about joint mortgages.

Improve your credit score

Even after saving a suitable deposit, a lot of first-time buyers are still denied a mortgage because of a bad credit score. You can check what your credit score is here.

It’s important to start working to build your credit score now so it’s in a good state when the time comes to make your mortgage application.

Your credit score improves when you make timely repayments on your debts and bills. If you’re not already paying bills by direct debit, it’s worth setting a couple up. Consider applying for a credit-builder credit card, making small purchases on it and paying if off in full every month.

More importantly, ensure that no repayments are missed and that none of your financial accounts go overdrawn. This can decimate your credit score and ruin your chances of being approved for a mortgage.

If your credit score is looking worse for wear, explore the options for first-time buyers with bad credit.

Reduce your outgoings

Lenders will check your recent bank statements to ensure you’ll be able to comfortably afford your mortgage repayments. The bigger the gap between your income and your regular outgoings, the more eligible you’ll appear.

For this reason, it’s worth seeing what you can do to reduce your outgoings.

Cancel unnecessary direct debits and standing orders. Pay off as many debts as you can, especially those you’re paying interest on. Haggle over the cost of your utility bills.

It’s also worth closing any accounts that give you access to additional credit you’re not using. Many lenders perceive this additional credit as an additional opportunity for you to get into unsustainable debt and this could count against you when making a mortgage application.

Make corrections to your credit report and the electoral role

Make sure your correct name and address is registered on the electoral role. This is a quick task, which can have a significant impact on your mortgage application.

Check your credit report for errors too. You can view your report and amend errors by contacting any of the UK’s three major credit reference agencies.

Make intelligent decisions regarding your property and mortgage lender

The cheaper the property and the less you’ll have to borrow from a lender, the easier you’ll find it to be approved for a mortgage.

Most mortgage lenders will let you borrow a maximum of 4.5 times your annual income for a mortgage, provided you can comfortably afford to make the monthly repayments.

When hunting for a property, consider what you need and what you’re likely to be approved for. We’d all like a guest bedroom, but many first-time buyers would find it far easier to be approved for a mortgage if they sacrificed this.

If you enlist expert help when choosing a mortgage provider, this will make it easier to be approved.

A professional mortgage adviser will not only be able to point out the best available deals, but also recommend the lenders most likely to work with someone in your situation.

This will save you from making multiple applications to multiple lenders, only to be rejected. Doing this will harm your credit score, making it tougher to be approved by other lenders in the future.

Best lenders for first-time buyers

If you’ve never taken out a mortgage before, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the amount of choice available, with hundreds of lenders offering thousands of different deals. Although this highly competitive mortgage market is good for borrowers, it means that narrowing down your options isn’t always straightforward.

House prices have grown rapidly over the last 20 years so it’s become increasingly harder to get onto the property ladder. The average first-time buyer deposit was 23% of the purchase price in February 2019, according to trade body UK Finance. This equates to nearly £49,000 based on the average loan size.

If you’re lucky enough to be able to save up a big enough deposit and afford the mortgage repayments there are plenty of mortgage lenders who will consider lending to you. But, if not, there are a number of specialist mortgage types offered by a more limited number of lenders that are designed to help.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the lenders offering the best options we found at the time of writing but the best mortgage deal for you will depend on your circumstances and what’s available at the time. It’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker who can look at the whole market to help you find the best deal. Some products are also only available through brokers.

Application process


Before you apply for a mortgage, it’s important that you understand the different types available and how interest on them is calculated. From this, you can work out how much you can borrow based on your savings and your income, using online affordability tools.

Speak to a mortgage broker

Speak to a mortgage broker, who will search the market for a deal that is best suited to your situation. But make sure you check that they are on the Financial Services Register first, which will ensure they are properly authorised.

Find your property

The next important step is to find a property within the budget you have set out. Once you’ve found this perfect home, go back to the lender and begin the mortgage application. This will involve detailed research into your finances, including earnings, expenditure and a full credit check with a credit reference agency.

After the mortgage: your surveys and conveyancing

Once you’ve had a mortgage offer accepted, you’ll need to do two things:

  • Get a property survey sorted
  • Hire a solicitor or conveyancer

Property survey

A property survey is an inspection of your property that shows you any problems with it – before you move in. The idea is you face no nasty surprises when you actually buy the place, like finding out you have to do extensive repairs or that there’s damp.

It’s different from a lender’s valuation survey, which your lender uses to check they’re not lending you more money than the property is worth. The lender’s valuation survey is super basic and doesn’t look at potential defects in the property.

If you want an independent check – designed to reassure you, rather than the lender – it’s worth doing your own survey.

The different types of property survey

There are a few different types of survey – here they are ordered from most basic to the deepest inspection.

  • Condition Report. a basic survey that’s best for new builds and homes in good condition. Gives you no advice about what repairs you might want to do. Costs around £250.
  • Homebuyer’s Report. this one looks for structural problems, like damp, though it doesn’t look beyond the walls or floorboards. Some homebuyer’s reports come with a property valuation that gives you an independant idea of the property price. But not all of them do. This one comes with advice on repairs and maintenance too. Costs start at £400.
  • Building Survey. the most comprehensive type of survey, usually for older homes or homes that need repairs. This looks even more closely at the structure of your property and gives you detailed advice on the kinds of repairs it needs. Costs around £400–£500.

If your survey does find problems, don’t panic. That usually happens. You’ll have a number of options for how to proceed. You can get a quote for repairs and see if you feel it’s worth it. Or you could make a lower offer on the property price. If it all feels like too much, you’re still allowed to just walk away – you haven’t signed anything yet!


The legal side of buying a property is called conveyancing. You’ll need to hire either a solicitor or a conveyancer to handle this for you. It doesn’t matter which!

In Scotland, you’ll need to think about it earlier, because you can only make a formal offer on a property through a solicitor. So you’ll need to hire one before you even start looking at houses.

What does a conveyancer do?

You conveyancer or solicitor will do all the work you need to buy legally and safely. Here are some of the things they’ll do:

  • Draw up the contract between you and the seller to actually buy the property
  • Comprehensive checks on the property you want to buy – these are called ‘property searches’. They check things like the risk of flooding in your area, and whether your council is planning to build anything major nearby
  • Exchange contracts between you and the seller (by talking to the seller’s solicitor)
  • Transfer the money to the seller
  • Pay your Stamp Duty on your behalf (using your money of course, but making the transfer themselves)

Frequently asked questions

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you. Most of the data in Finder's comparison tables has the source: Moneyfacts Group PLC. In other cases, Finder has sourced data directly from providers.

Written by

Matthew Boyle

Matthew Boyle is a banking and mortgages publisher at Finder. He has a 7-year history of publishing helpful guides to assist consumers in making better decisions. In his spare time, you will find him walking in the Norfolk countryside admiring the local wildlife. See full profile

More guides on Finder

Go to site