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Can I buy with a 5% deposit through the new mortgage guarantee scheme?

author: Sarah Neate

By Sarah Neate

In 2020, 5% home deposits became almost unheard of – and 10% deposit options were scarce. This meant many people would have to try and muster up a 15% deposit to buy a home.

In April 2021, the government introduced a new scheme to enable banks to bring back high loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages – meaning you may be able to own a home with a 5% deposit again. This scheme helps people to access mortgages on new builds and older homes.  

What is the new mortgage guarantee scheme?

The new mortgage guarantee scheme is a support scheme that’s been put in place by the government to help the property market.

It’s designed to encourage mortgage lenders to give high loan-to-value mortgages to customers who have a good credit history. This gives buyers with a 5% deposit the opportunity to get a 95% mortgage. 

The government is offering lenders the option to buy a ‘government guarantee’ on the amount over 80%, so in the case of a 95% LTV mortgage, the government would guarantee the extra 15%.

This guarantee compensates the mortgage lender for any losses that might occur if their customer’s unable to meet the mortgage repayments.

The scheme hopes to:

  • Help borrowers
  • be simple for the customer
  • be administratively straightforward
  • not incentivise irresponsible lending
  • minimise the level of financial risk for lenders
  • be put in place rapidly and effectively

Who is eligible?

The scheme is open to UK residents. It’s available to first-time buyers as well as people who are wanting to move homes. It’s not restricted to new-build homes but there is a £600,000 limit.

To be considered for the scheme you’ll need to undergo a credit score assessment. You’ll also need to apply for a repayment mortgage rather than an interest-only mortgage. The amount you’re borrowing will need to be between 91% and 95% of the overall price of the property you intend to buy.  

The scheme is not available to those looking to buy a second home or looking for a buy-to-let option.

When will the scheme run until?

The closing date is currently set as 31st December 2022 but there’ll be a review of the scheme before then. 

Can I buy with a 5% deposit?

For those with a 5% deposit, they’ll be able to apply to participating lenders for a 95% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage deal.

Mortgage rates are likely to be competitive since a lot of mortgage lenders have already made a commitment to the scheme. The participating lenders that have been announced so far include Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Santander and Virgin Money. However, it’s likely that more banks and building societies will consider offering mortgages through the scheme later down the line.

The government acts as a guarantor for the homeowner. This means if the homeowner can’t keep up the mortgage repayments, the government will cover the costs. However, this is only beneficial to the mortgage lender. It protects their finances if the property were to get repossessed, but it doesn’t benefit the homeowner in any way. If the homeowner falls behind on their mortgage repayments, they could end up losing their home and it would result in them having bad credit.

Find out how to save for a house deposit quickly here.

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family celebrating new home in lounge family celebrating new home in lounge