In this blog, we will consider First direct mortgage reviews and how to analyse the publicly available information about First direct mortgages and be able to review them so you can make up your mind about if you want to apply for a mortgage with First direct.
First direct is a UK bank which offers mortgages in the UK. It is one of the biggest mortgage lenders in the UK and so its First direct mortgage reviews are in demand by a lot of people.
The First direct mortgage review
When looking at First direct the first available information you have is the trust pilot review on the First direct bank which you can see here. If this review is anything to go by then this will imply that the First direct mortgage reviews won’t be so good.
What kind of mortgage does First direct offer
In our First direct mortgage review, we considered the various types of mortgages which First direct offered.
First direct Fixed-rate mortgages:
With these mortgages, the rates are fixed for a period of 2, 3 or 5 years and provides you certainty over your First direct Mortgages mortgage for that time frame.
First direct Variable rate mortgages:
You can access a host of variable mortgages through First direct Mortgages mortgages and this mortgages will have a variable rate which can be increased or decreased at any time by First direct Mortgages mortgages. You will be informed before a rate increase.
First direct Tracker mortgages:
You can access a host of tracker mortgages from First direct Mortgages mortgages. These mortgages will usually track the bank of England’s rate and will move in line with it, although it may not be the exact rate but rather a rate which will increase by the same point or decrease by the same point as the bank of England rate.
First direct Remortgages:
You can access a host of remortgages on any of First direct Mortgages mortgages products. To get a remortgage you may need to have sufficient equity in your home and meet the mortgage affordability requirements.
Do First direct mortgages allow you to make overpayments?
First direct Mortgages mortgages may also allow you to make overpayments on your mortgage but there may be a fee for doing so and a limit on how much you can overpay your mortgage each year. You should check your key facts illustration for this or ask your mortgage adviser.
Does First direct offer the best mortgage deals?
Whilst conducting our First direct mortgage review we looked to see what mortgage provider offered the best mortgage deals but during our analysis, we discovered that the mortgage rates which most consumers ended up getting were based primarily based on their own mortgage affordability and not necessarily the rates offered. This is because every borrower may have different circumstances.
How can you contact the First direct mortgage bank?
You can contact First direct directly through their website here.
Can I borrow more on my First direct mortgage?
Yes, you may be able to borrow more from your First direct mortgage if you meet the mortgage affordability requirements set out by First direct at the time of your request to borrow more from your First direct mortgage.
A few things you may want to do before you apply for a further advance:
Check your credit score
If your credit score is down then focus on credit building activities such as:
Registering on the electoral roll
Getting a credit builder card
Getting a secured credit card
Getting a credit builder loan
Avoid missing credit repayments
Avoid making late payments
How do First direct mortgages treat first-time buyers?
If you are a first-time buyer then First direct mortgages welcome you and you may be able to find some mortgage products on offer which may suit you.
For a mortgage as a first-time buyer, you will usually need at least a mortgage deposit of at least 5% and in many cases you may be able to use a host of government schemes which help you increase the amount of mortgage deposit you have or reduce the total cost of the property purchase.
Some of these first-time buyer or home mover government schemes include:
- Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save the maximum £4,000 a year.
- Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
- Help to buy equity loan- gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
- Shared ownership- You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
- Armed forces help to buy- similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
- Rent to buy- This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
- Right to buy- allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
- Preserved right to buy– same as above.
- Right to acquire- same as above.
Depending on where you live, you may also be able to take advantage of home buying schemes provided by your local council. Example: In Norwich, the local councils provide the Norwich home options scheme.
Is First direct a good mortgage lender?
As with all mortgage lenders, you will have to make up your own mind on if First direct is a good mortgage lender or not.
Throughout our First direct mortgage review, we didn’t find any reason to term First direct mortgages as a bad mortgage lender.
You should also be aware that all mortgage lenders in the UK are regulated by the FCA and so they have to meet certain minimum standards. Mortgage lenders and all FCA regulated entities have to “treat customers fairly”.
If a mortgage lender doesn’t treat you properly then you may be able to claim compensation from the financial services compensation scheme.
What is a First direct mortgage in principle?
A First direct mortgage in principle is simply a letter which indicates how much First direct mortgages is willing to lend to you. The mortgage in principle will usually be valid for 90 days. If you need further time then you may be able to get an extension on your mortgage in principle. Some mortgage lenders may require you to make a new mortgage in principle application. If you are buying a property off plan e.g a new build property then you may need a mortgage in principle which lasts for several months and in some cases up to 12 months.
How long does First direct give to complete a mortgage?
When buying a property most mortgage lenders will give you 6 months within which you must complete on the mortgage. This is the same with First direct mortgages. If you need more time you may be able to apply for an extension but you may be charged some fees.
You may also be required to make a new mortgage application if the mortgage lender (as most mortgage lenders) has a maximum time in which they will allow a mortgage offer to be valid for.
What documents do I need for a First direct mortgage?
During our First direct mortgage review, we tried to come up with a sample list of documents you may be expected to have before applying for a mortgage in principle with First direct.
Having these documents ready before you apply for your mortgage in principle will ensure your mortgage application is handled swiftly and you can get a mortgage offer in record time once you have found a property you want to buy.
The documents you may need include:
Your Passport Or driver’s license for identification
3 months worth of bank statements
3 months worth of payslips
An accountant’s certificate for mortgage
Your P60 tax return
Your SA302 tax calculation form(if you are self-employed)
Your company accounts or self-employed accounts if you are self-employed
Your contracts if you are a contractor
How long does a First direct mortgage take?
A First direct mortgage application may take as much as 4 weeks to complete but this all depends on your own individual circumstances. If you have a more complex situation then your First direct mortgage application could possibly take longer.
If you want to reduce the amount of time your mortgage application may take then you should get your mortgage documents ready before you start the mortgage process and look to engage the key personnel you may need as early as possible. This could include a mortgage broker, a conveyancer and a real estate agent.
How long does a First direct remortgage take?
When conducting our First direct mortgage review we considered how long the remortgage process could take with First direct. The remortgage process could take as long as 4 weeks but this is all dependent on your personal circumstances. If you are getting a remortgage on a non-standard construction property then you may find that it takes longer to get a remortgage.
This could also be the case if you have bad credit. You may need a specialist bad credit mortgage broker to assist you in finding a mortgage lender willing to offer you a remortgage.
If you are remortgaging from First direct to another mortgage lender then you will need a redemption statement.
This is a document which your mortgage lender gives you to let you know how much you need to pay to settle your mortgage.
You may want to consider a few factors before requesting a mortgage redemption statement. E.g when will the last interest charge be placed.
How much can you borrow from First direct?
The amount you may be able to borrow from First direct is completely dependent on your mortgage affordability but First direct may offer a mortgage multiple of up to 5.
Most mortgage lenders will offer mortgage multiples of around 3 or 3.5.
They may also have a maximum amount which they may borrow regardless of the mortgage multiple.
What happens after your fixed-rate First direct mortgage deal is over?
During our First direct mortgage review, we discovered that as with most mortgage lenders when your fixed-rate mortgage deal ends you will be moved over to the mortgage lenders standard variable rate deal. This is usually more expensive than the fixed-rate deal.
To avoid this you can remortgage at the end of your fixed-rate mortgage deal to a better mortgage than the standard variable rate deal you would have automatically been moved on to.
To ensure you are always on the best mortgage rate you can sign up to a mortgage management platform which searches the best mortgage rates on the market which you are eligible for and nudges you to switch to a better mortgage rate.
In our First direct mortgage review, we found that First direct had a mortgage calculator which you can use to get an idea of how much First direct may be willing to lend to you.
The mortgage calculators offer some guide on how much you may be able to borrow but are not definitive guides on how much the mortgage lender will lend to you.
You can find this calculator here. You can also use our mortgage calculator.
First direct mortgage deals
In our review, we considered the types of deals that First direct mortgages had but we didn’t feel it necessary to include them here as the mortgage deals or remortgage deals offered were subject to change at any time and the best way to see what mortgage or remortgage deals are currently available is to check with the respective mortgage lenders or your mortgage broker.
Can you get a First direct mortgage with Bad Credit?
In our First direct mortgage review, we considered if you could get a First direct mortgage with bad credit.
In reality, it is very hard to answer this question as it depends heavily on the type of bad credit you may have.
First direct mortgages will consider this and let you know if you are eligible for their mortgage products.
Bad credit could include:
A debt management plan
A home repossession
How do I get a mortgage statement from First direct?
You can manage your First direct mortgage online. When you sign up to Online Banking you’ll create a mortgage login which allows you to view information such as your current mortgage arrangements, interest rates, outstanding balance, and more.
Will I be able to manage my First direct mortgage online?
Yes. Once you’ve signed up for online banking, you’ll be able to see your mortgage information online. This includes:
next monthly payment
the previous year of payments (including any overpayment charges)
Will I need life cover or critical illness cover with a First direct mortgage?
Some mortgage products may require you to get a life cover or critical illness cover. You should ask your mortgage broker or mortgage adviser to determine if you will need to have life cover or critical illness cover along with your mortgage.
Most mortgage lenders will insist that you have house insurance before they complete on the mortgage. This means the property will be covered in case there is a fire, flood or incase any serious structural issues occur.
Using a mortgage broker for your mortgage
Whilst conducting our review we considered the potential effects of using a mortgage broker and we concluded that using a mortgage broker to search for what mortgages you may be eligible for maybe a better use of your resources than simply applying directly to a mortgage lender like First direct.
This is because mortgage brokers will have access to a host of mortgage products which make up a majority of the market from a long list of mortgage lenders. This in stark comparison to the few mortgage products each mortgage lender may offer.
How do I contact First direct?
You can contact the mortgage lender via the details below: 0800 48 24 48
The phone lines are open during normal working hours.
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.