Our lending criteria

Information and guidance on how we decide who to lend to.

From the minimum term to the maximum loan amount allowed, if you need to make a change to your mortgage, our lending criteria will help you find out what you need to know.

When making a change to your existing mortgage, we may need to do a mortgage valuation. Find out more about valuations on our guide page.

What you need to know if:

You are borrowing more on your mortgage

  • You must have had your mortgage for at least 6 months and have maintained payment of your mortgage during the term
  • The term of your additional lending must be a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 40 years
  • The deals available for an additional loan will depend on the minimum term remaining on your mortgage. For example, if you have 5 years remaining on your mortgage, you can select a 2, 3 or 5 year deal but not one that exceeds 5 years.
  • We may need to complete a new valuation (or 'revaluation') of your property so that we can ensure the value of the property provides adequate security for any new lending. We cannot lend on the basis of any projected or future valuation
  • When applying we may request some ID from you (and any joint applicants) in the event that we can't verify signatures on the application form
  • Please note we do not currently offer additional lending to Buy to Let customers

More about borrowing more >

You are switching to a new mortgage deal

  • To guarantee securing a new mortgage deal, you need to apply at least 10-14 days before your current mortgage ends
  • The minimum loan size is £10,000 and more than one product can be taken to make up your overall loan, provided that the minimum loan size is met for each product
  • As with additional lending (above), any available mortgage deals will depend on your minimum mortgage term. For example, if you have 5 years remaining on your mortgage, you can select a 2, 3 or 5 year deal but not one that exceeds 5 years
  • We use an estimated valuation of your property when assessing your eligibility to change to a new mortgage deal. You can request a revaluation of your property to find out your Loan to Value, if you feel our valuation is inaccurate. If a re-valuation is required, a non-refundable fee £70 is payable. This fee is payable upfront on request of a re-valuation. This can be paid by credit/debit card over the phone

More about switching your mortgage deal >

You need to do a Transfer of Equity

  • A legal adviser must be appointed to act on your and our behalf. You should check that your solicitor is on our panel as this will stop any delays in the application being processed
  • Because a transfer of equity involves a change in those named on your mortgage, a revaluation of your property may be required. There is a non-refundable fee for this of £70
  • If you have a joint mortgage with someone and are now going separate ways, you are both entitled to borrow up to 50% of your previous mortgage amount for a new mortgage with Accord in your own name. If Early Repayment Charges are applicable, you are also each entitled to a 50% refund of any fees paid (the amount you each receive can be changed with written consent)
  • We may need to see some ID from you (and any joint applicants) when you make your application. This is usually in the event that we can't verify signatures on the application form

More about Transfer of Equity >

You're moving home

  • If you're planning to amend the term of your mortgage or the way you repay your mortgage in addition to transferring (or 'porting') your mortgage deal to a new property, and there is more than one applicant, we'll require identification for each applicant
  • Any additional lending being used as a 'top-up' as part of porting your mortgage, is subject to our usual product criteria including minimum loan size, maximum Loan to Value and product fees.
  • The term of any additional lending being used as a 'top-up' as part of porting your mortgage must be a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 35 years
  • The mortgage deals available to you will depend on your minimum mortgage term. For example, if you have 5 years remaining on your mortgage, you can select a 2, 3 or 5 year deal but not one that exceeds 5 years
  • We will carry out a valuation for any portability application, regardless of whether or not you are applying for a 'top-up' product. A non-refundable standard valuation fee is payable for this, and this will automatically be added to your mortgage account. Borrowers can send a cheque for valuation fee at the time the valuation is instructed to avoid being charged interest on the fee (interest will be charged daily otherwise)
  • The property you are transferring the mortgage to must be in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • Please note portability is not currently available for Buy to Let customers

More about moving home >

 

Interest Only Borrowing

  • You can borrow up to a maximum of 75% LTV
  • Interest only borrowing for debt consolidation is not permitted
  • Interest only borrowing is not permitted if you are retired or if the term of the mortgage goes beyond your stated retirement age
  • You must have a suitable repayment strategy in place to repay the loan at the end of the term
  • You must provide evidence of your repayment strategy during the application process and at least once during the mortgage term

Acceptable repayment strategies can be one or a combination of:

Existing endowments

  • The projected mid-point maturity value must cover 100% of the interest only borrowing
  • The endowment must have been in place for at least 12 months
  • The end of the endowment term must not exceed end of mortgage term
  • The endowment must be in your name only.
  • It must be a UK Policy provided by a regulated firm
  • Evidence required: Latest endowment policy statement, dated in the last 12 months

General Investments:

  • The current value of the investments must cover 100% of the I/O element of the mortgage.
  • The investments must be in the name of the clients only.
  • The investments must be in pounds sterling.
  • Evidence required:
    • Stocks and Shares ISA, Unit Trusts/OEIC, Investment Bonds = Copy of latest statement and/or
    • Stocks and Shares ISA = Copy of share certificates/statements containing evidence of share-holdings and their valuation.

Savings:

  • The current value of the savings must cover 100% of the I/O element.
  • The savings must have been held for a minimum of 12 months.
  • The savings must be in the name of the clients only.
  • The savings must be in pounds sterling.
  • Evidence required: Latest savings statement.

Sale of Mortgaged Property:

  • This can be used to cover up to a maximum of 50% of the value of the property
  • Total borrowing can go to 75% LTV by using an additional repayment strategy or borrowing on a Capital and Interest basis
  • The property must have a minimum equity of £200,000 at the time of application
  • You must provide details of their downsizing strategy
  • The declared downsizing strategy must be plausible

Additional information for interest only borrowing

Repayment Methods

All new mortgages can be set up on a Capital & Interest (repayment) basis, an Interest Only basis or a part Capital & Interest part Interest Only basis.

Term in to Retirement

  • Interest Only borrowing is not available if you are already retired
  • The term for any interest only parts of a loan cannot extend beyond the your expected retirement date

Evidencing and Monitoring Repayment Strategies

  • Evidence of the repayment strategies must be provided during the application process
  • We will contact you during the term of the mortgage to ascertain that the repayment strategies are still in place and on track to repay the loan amount at the end of the term

Repaying an Interest Only Loan

  • If you do not repay your Loan in full at the end of the term of the mortgage we will not agree to any extension of time or any other concession and may take enforcement action, including possession proceedings, as detailed in section 5 of our Mortgage Conditions
  • If you become concerned about how you will repay the interest only loan back at the end of the term then please contact our specialist team on 0800 138 1009* to discuss this. Calls to 0800 numbers are free of charge from landline or mobile

 

Help to Buy Equity Loan

Borrowing More

To borrow more you'll need to get approval from Homes England/Help to Buy (Wales) Ltd. We'll need to see permission when you send us your application.

Additional lending can only be considered for Staircasing (using the proceeds from the additional loan to repay your equity loan), Essential Modifications and Transfer of Equity (purchasing the full equity of the property from the current joint borrower).

Please note, if you are completing staircasing, a solicitor must be instructed.

Where there is to be an Equity Loan outstanding on completion of the additional loan:

  • You can borrow up to a maximum of 75% Loan to Value
  • The maximimum Loan to Value calculated using the mortgage amount plus the outstanding equity loan amount is 85%

Where the Equity Loan is being repaid in full, normal Loan to Value rules apply.

Transfer of Equity

To complete a Transfer of Equity you'll need to get approval from Homes England/Help to Buy (Wales) Ltd. We'll need to see permission when you send us your application.

Porting

If your property was purchased under the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme and you still have an outstanding Equity Loan, you are able to port your existing mortgage deal providing the Equity Loan is repaid upon sale of your current property and you meet the rest of our criteria.

You are also able to port your existing mortgage deal to purchase a new property with the assistance of the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme.