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Mortgage FAQs

Find answers to the most commonly asked mortgage questions. 

General Mortgage FAQs

  • Can a self-employed person get a mortgage?

    Yes. To calculate the amount we can lend you, we will need at least two years' accounts or tax calculations using the lower of the last two years' income or the average of both years if the most recent year is higher. 

  • Who holds the deeds when I have a mortgage?

    Leek Building Society holds the deeds to the property until the mortgage is fully repaid. Physical Deeds will be sent directly to you via your solicitor as they are now held electronically.

  • Can I get a mortgage for a second home?

    Yes, as long as you use the second home as a holiday home, a weekday base while working away from home, or to house a dependent relative. You will need a minimum 25% deposit for a second home mortgage with Leek Building Society.

  • What does Loan to Value mean?

    This is the amount of mortgage you owe against the value of your property.

    For example, if your property is worth £100,000 and your mortgage loan amount is £75,000, this would represent a Loan to Value of 75%.

    Lower Loan to Value mortgages tend to offer more competitive deals.

  • What does APRC mean?

    APRC stands for 'annual percentage rate of charge'. Your APRC shows you, as a percentage, the annual cost of your mortgage - including fees, interest and other costs - assuming you keep your mortgage for the full term and do not change it.

  • How is mortgage interest calculated?

    Interest is calculated on a daily basis and is calculated in advance each month on the balance outstanding at the end of the previous month. The balance outstanding will include any arrears and charges debited to the mortgage account. When a repayment is received, an interest credit is applied to the account, calculated from the date the payment is received to the end of that month.

FAQs about Different Types of Mortgages

  • What is a Fixed Rate mortgage?

    A mortgage where the rate of interest is fixed for a specified period, such as two, three or five years.

  • What is a Discount mortgage?

    A discount mortgage is a variable rate mortgage that is linked to the lenders Standard Variable Rate (SVR). Each lender sets its own SVR. When the SVR changes, the rate on your discount mortgage changes proportionately.

  • What is a Variable Rate mortgage?

    A mortgage where the rate of interest can vary. It is usually based on the lenders' Standard Variable Rate (SVR) and changes when the lender reviews its SVR.

  • What is an Interest Only mortgage?

    On an interest only mortgage, you only pay the interest due against the loan. This makes your monthly repayments smaller than a capital and interest repayment mortgage. But at the end of your mortgage, all the capital balance will still be outstanding. You will need a clear savings and repayment strategy to ensure you have the funds ready to repay the capital.

  • What's the difference between a Fixed and Variable Rate mortgage?

    The interest rate is guaranteed in a fixed rate mortgage for a defined period. The interest rate can change in variable rate mortgages.

  • Are there special mortgages for First Time Buyers?

    Yes, we offer mortgages that need just a 5% deposit. These are designed to help First Time Buyers get on the property ladder.

  • What's the difference between a mortgage and a secured loan?

    A mortgage is a long-term (typically 25-40 years) loan taken out with a bank or building society to purchase a house or other property. If you do not make the required monthly repayments, the lender can take you to court to obtain an order to repossess the property. They can do this because you agree to give the property as security for the loan when you sign the mortgage agreement.

    A secured loan is usually taken out with a different lender to raise funds for things like home improvements or a business loan. They are sometimes called 'second charges' because, if you default on the repayments, the lender could take you to court to repossess the property. But the lender with the 'first charge' (e.g. the mortgage loan), would be repaid first. That's why secured loans tend to be more expensive than mortgages.


  • Are mortgages available for self-build homes?

    Leek Building Society does not offer self-build mortgages.

FAQs about Mortgage Affordability

FAQs about Mortgage Applications

  • What documents do I need when applying for a mortgage?

    If we cannot verify you electronically, we may require two different types of ID:

    • Evidence of ID (passport, driving licence, etc)
    • Evidence of income (latest three months payslips, P60, tax calculations, pension statements, bank statements, etc). 

    Depending on your circumstances, we may also ask for other documents.

  • Can I get a mortgage without a permanent job?

    To be eligible for a Leek Building Society mortgage, you must be able to demonstrate that you can afford the monthly mortgage repayments. To do this, you must receive either sustainable earned or pension income. We do not accept temporary contracts as proof of income. If, however, you are on a fixed-term contract of at least 12 months with at least 6 months remaining, or have evidence of a new/renewed 12-month contract in the same line of work, we will accept this as proof of income.

  • Can I get a mortgage with a guarantor?

    Leek Building Society does not currently offer guarantor mortgages.

  • Can I get a mortgage to buy at auction?

    Yes. To buy at auction, you would already need a Binding Mortgage Offer from us. First, you'd have an initial mortgage interview with one of our Qualified Mortgage Advisers. Once you complete your mortgage application, we have the property valued and complete the full underwriting on your application. A solicitor would also need to be involved because, if you are successful at the auction, you will normally need to pay a 10% deposit and exchange contracts immediately.

  • Can I get a mortgage without any credit history?

    Rather than using a credit scoring system, we look for conduct of credit. If your mortgage application is for a 90% - 95% Loan to Value sum, we need to see one (single applications) or two (joint applications) active line(s) of credit with satisfactory conduct.

    For Loan to Value applications of 90% or less, we do not have to see any lines of credit. However, if they exist, they must have been conducted satisfactorily.


  • How are mortgages approved?

    When you apply for a mortgage, we make various checks to see if you pass our affordability assessment and meet our other lending criteria. These include credit searches, identity checks, income and employment checks and property valuations.

    When these checks are complete, an independent underwriter will review your application in full and decide whether to approve the mortgage. If your application is approved, you will receive a binding mortgage offer that is valid for 6 months. This gives you enough time to take up the offer and complete your mortgage.

  • What is a Decision in Principal?

    If you pass our lending criteria and affordability assessment, we give you a Mortgage Decision in Principle. This document enables you to negotiate the purchase of a property with a vendor or estate agent. However, it does not guarantee that your mortgage application will be accepted. Instead, it gives a good indicator that your application is likely to be accepted.

  • How long does it take to approve a mortgage application?

    We aim to process your mortgage application as quickly as possible. The time taken will vary depending on the type of application and whether all supporting information is included with the application.

  • How does a mortgage application work?

    The first step is an initial interview with one of our Qualified Mortgage Advisers. They will check your eligibility for a Leek Building Society mortgage.

    If you are eligible, our advisers will ask you a series of questions designed to help establish which mortgage best suits your needs and circumstances and recommend the most suitable mortgage for you.

    When you are ready to apply for your mortgage, you complete a mortgage application form. When we receive your form, we will carry out credit checks and status enquiries to verify your income, expenditure and property valuation.

    If these checks are completed satisfactorily, we will issue you a Binding Mortgage Offer. This is valid for 6 months.

    Your solicitor will also receive a copy of the offer, enabling them to progress the necessary legal work surrounding your application.


  • Can I get a mortgage if I am retiring?

    Yes, as long as your retirement income/pension passes our affordability you can get a mortgage into retirement with the Society.

    We require a minimum income of £20,000.

    If you have not yet retired, and you are looking at a term that will take you into retirement the maximum loan to value available is 80%.

    If you have already retired the maximum loan to value is 70%.

    The maximum age for a residential mortgage is 85.

  • Can I get a mortgage if I’m already retired?

    Yes, as long as your retirement income/pension passes our affordability you can get a mortgage into retirement with the Society.

    If you have retired the maximum loan to value is 70%.

    The maximum age for a residential mortgage is 85.

  • Can a mortgage cover renovations?

    Our mortgages do not include funds for renovations. You should include the cost of any necessary renovations when calculating the deposit you can offer. Your deposit will need to be at least 5% of the property purchase price. In some instances it may be a requirement of the mortgage offer that the Society retains monies until specific works are completed to the satisfaction of the valuer.

FAQs about Mortgage Offers

  • Can a mortgage offer be withdrawn?

    In certain circumstances, yes, your mortgage offer can be withdrawn. Check your Binding Mortgage Offer document for more details.

  • Can a mortgage lender pull out?

    Any formal mortgage offers are binding on the lender. They can only be withdrawn in certain circumstances. Check your Binding Mortgage Offer document for more details.

  • Can a mortgage be declined after valuation?

    In certain circumstances, yes, a mortgage can be declined after valuation. The most common reason for this happening is if the property is not deemed to be suitable. It can also happen when answers to status enquiries are received after the valuation has been completed.

  • How is the maximum mortgage loan amount calculated?

    We lend a maximum of 4.49 times joint gross income. We then put the figures through our affordability assessment. This calculates how you would cope with potential interest rate rises given your income, expenditure and the size of your household. 

  • Can mortgage offers be extended?

    Your mortgage offer is valid for 6 months. In rare circumstances, it may be extended upon request. Each extension request will be independently reviewed.

FAQs about Additional Costs

  • Can a mortgage cover stamp duty?

    No, we do not lend money to cover stamp duty. Our maximum Loan to Value (LTV) on any mortgage is 95% (up to a maximum loan of £400,000 on 95% LTV). Your deposit and all associated buying fees (stamp duty, removals firm, legal firm, etc) must come from your own funds.

  • Can mortgage Product Fees be added to a loan?

    Subject to Loan to Value limits and our affordability assessment, yes, mortgage product fees can be added to your mortgage.

FAQs about Mortgage Repayments

  • Can mortgage payments increase?

    It depends on your mortgage deal. If your mortgage is on a variable rate, then yes, your payments could change. If you are on a fixed rate, your interest rate (and payments) will change when your fixed rate period ends. We will write to you around 120 days before this happens.

  • When do my mortgage repayments begin?

    Your first full monthly repayment will become due the month after you complete your property purchase. You can choose for it to be paid by Direct Debit on the 1st, 15th or 27th of the month.

    However, interest is charged from the date your mortgage funds are released to your solicitor. So during the month of completion, you will also need to make an initial interest payment. This covers the interest charged from the completion date to the end of the completion month.

  • What happens if my mortgage rate increases?

    If the interest rate on your mortgage is about to increase, we will write to you at least 7 days before the change to confirm your new monthly repayment.

  • What happens when mortgage rates decrease?

    If the interest rate on your mortgage is about to decrease, we will write to you at least 7 days before the change to confirm your new monthly repayment.

  • How long can I hold a mortgage for?

    Our minimum mortgage term is 5 years. Our maximum mortgage term is 40 years. However, your age, planned retirement age and income - both now and in retirement - could impact the maximum mortgage term available to you.

  • What happens if I am in arrears with my mortgage?

    If you're struggling to make your monthly repayments, please contact us immediately. We have a range of options that might resolve the situation. Ultimately though, your home may be repossessed if you do not maintain repayments on your mortgage.

  • Why do mortgages have an Early Repayment Charge?

    On some mortgage products, the lender makes a loss if it does not run its full term (e.g. if you take out a five-year mortgage, but repay it in full by year three).

    The Early Repayment Charge compensates the lender for the loss of interest they would have otherwise received. Early Repayment Charges tend to reduce each year of the mortgage. 

  • Can I overpay my mortgage?

    Yes. Regularly overpaying on your mortgage could save you significant interest charges, because when you pay off more than is due, the surplus is deducted from the outstanding capital. So your interest payments get smaller.

    If you overpay regularly, you could repay your mortgage in full much earlier than originally expected. Some mortgage products restrict the amount you can overpay by, for example, up to a maximum of 10% of your original loan amount.

  • How do mortgage repayments work?

    There are two types of mortgages:

    • Capital and Interest repayment mortgage.
    • Interest Only mortgage.

    For Capital and Interest repayment mortgages, each month you pay off any interest due and a portion of the capital. Each month, the interest payments reduce slightly as the outstanding capital gets smaller. If you continue to make all payments in full and on time, your mortgage is repaid at the end of your mortgage term.

    For Interest Only mortgages, you only pay the interest due against the loan. This makes your monthly repayments smaller than a capital and interest repayment mortgage. But at the end of your mortgage, all the capital balance will still be outstanding. You will need a clear savings and repayment strategy to ensure you have the funds ready to repay the capital.

FAQs about Existing Mortgages

  • Can a mortgage be transferred to another person?

    Mortgages can be transferred using a Transfer of Equity, but it is not an automatic process. The person taking over the mortgage must make a new mortgage application and meet our lending criteria. One of our Qualified Mortgage Advisers can guide you through the process.

  • Can a mortgage be transferred to another property?

    If you decide to move home, it's usually possible to 'port' your mortgage to another property - as long as you still meet our lending criteria. Check your mortgage terms to find out if your deal is portable.

  • Can a mortgage be paid off early?

    In most cases, it is possible to pay your mortgage early. This could save you money in the long term, but you may incur an Early Repayment Charge. Check your Binding Mortgage Offer document for details of any charges you may face.

  • What happens when my mortgage is paid off?

    Once the mortgage is fully repaid, we will remove our charge over your property at HM Land Registry. Any title deeds and documents will be returned to you for safe keeping.

  • What happens to a mortgage when someone dies?

    As soon as we receive a copy of the death certificate, we'll update our records. If the mortgage is in the sole name of the deceased, we'll contact their executors. If the mortgage is in joint or multiple names, the deceased person will simply be removed from the mortgage account. Monthly mortgage payments will continue to fall due unless otherwise agreed.

FAQs about Buy to Let Mortgages

  • What does Buy To Let mean?

    Buy to Let is when you are buying a property with the specific intention of letting it out. The property in question would be classified as an investment property. To secure a Buy to Let mortgage with Leek Building Society, you will need:

    • A minimum earned or pension income of £20,000.

    • A property ready for immediate occupancy.

    • For a purchase mortgage or a remortgage with additional borrowing, rental income of more than 140% of the mortgage interest, using an interest rate of 7.50%. For a remortgage with no additional borrowing, rental income of more than 125% of mortgage interest, using an interest rate of 6.50%.

    • A single Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement for a minimum period of 6 months and maximum of 12 months.

    Please note that Sale and Rent back agreements and tenancy lets with houses in a multiple occupation (HMO’s) are not acceptable.

  • Are Buy to Let mortgage repayments tax deductible?

    This depends on your personal tax situation. Please seek professional advice.