What is First Start?
First Start boosts the borrowing power of first time buyers and movers, by combining their income with that of a sponsor. So together they can borrow more, responsibly. It's also available to buyers who have been out of the property market for a while, or who need to buy a property on their own, for example if their personal circumstances have changed.
A sponsor is a close relative, normally a parent or step parent of the applicant, who is added as a co-borrower.
First Start could be the ideal way for a sponsor to help their children or close relative buy a home. Using their income means they can help financially with the monthly repayments now, rather than later with something like an inheritance.
It gives you the power to reach more buyers and could help more buyers onto the property ladder.
More borrowing power
First Start takes the sponsor’s income into account as well as the applicant’s – boosting the overall amount that can be borrowed.
Together, the sponsor and applicant can borrow up to 85% of the value of the property. It’s available for purchases only on a repayment basis, up to £500,000. Check our lending criteria for full details.
Both parties are co-borrowers, and jointly and individually liable for the monthly mortgage repayments, as well as the total mortgage loan.
Ownership options for the sponsor
- First Start allows the sponsor to choose whether to register as a joint owner of the property
- They must get independent legal advice before completion if they choose not to be registered as a joint owner. Legal and financial advice is highly recommended even if they choose to be a joint owner
- If the sponsor chooses to be a joint owner, they’ll be registered as a property owner at the Land Registry. An additional 3% stamp duty land tax is payable on second residential homes
- We highly recommend independent financial, legal and tax advice is taken in all cases to understand any inheritance tax and capital gains tax implications.
Take a look at our dedicated First Start support material. You can access:
- Our First Start affordability calculator, so you can calculate your client's affordability
- A flyer for you, explaining First Start and how it works, including ownership options and tax considerations
- A brochure you can show to your clients.