Lending criteria at a glance

To help you find what you're looking for, we've grouped our lending criteria into 4 categories.

Lending Criteria (PDF, 226KB).

Absence from employment

Applicants must have been in continuous employment for at least 3 months before submitting an application. Where the applicant does not meet this criteria, we may consider, subject to a review by an Underwriter, applicants who have a minimum track record of 12 months employment in the same discipline/sector.

Accountant qualifications

Accountants signing and verifying an applicant's financial statements or accountant's certificates must be a member of a suitable professional body i.e.:

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants, CA, ACA or FCA
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, ICAS, ACAS, FCAS
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, ICAI
  • Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, ACCA or FCCA
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation, ATII or FTII
  • Association of Authorised Public Accounts, AAPA or FAPA
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, CIMA, ACMA or FCMA
  • Association of Accounting Technicians, MAAT or FMAAT
  • Association of International Accountants, AAIA or FAIA

Adverse credit history

We use credit reference agencies to look at an applicant's credit history.

We won't consider applications from an applicant who has been subject to the following:

  • Had a property previously repossessed by a mortgage lender;
  • Bankruptcy Order or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement in the last 6 years;
  • County Court Judgments or Defaults in the last 6 years with a total value of greater than £500;
  • For applications where LTV is greater than 75%, applicant must have no more than 1 missed payment in the last 12 months. If LTV is less than 75%, we’ll consider an applicant who has missed 2 payments in the last 12 months;
  • Had 3 payments in arrears showing at the credit bureau (irrespective of LTV) within the last 36 months;
  • Meets the FCA definition of impaired credit history.

A 'soft footprint' credit search will be completed at Decision in Principle (DIP) stage. This will be 'upgraded' to a 'hard' footprint 'at Full Mortgage Application (FMA).


We'll only lend when we're confident that the applicant will be able to repay the mortgage.

The amount we'll lend to an applicant is based on our assessment of affordability, taking account of income that is regular and sustainable and after deducting regular commitments (credit and other e.g. child maintenance) and living expenses. Please refer to our section on Income Types and Evidence for acceptable sources of income and income weightings.

We don't include commitments with less than 90 days to expiry in the affordability calculation but they should be detailed at time of application. Where there are debts that are due to be repaid prior to the completion of the mortgage, they may be subject to a request for additional information.

We accept employed and self-employed income up to an applicant's 70th birthday or customers stated retirement age, whichever comes first.

In addition to our affordability assessment, we'll also restrict the amount that an applicant can borrow by our income multiples as detailed below:

  • 4.5 times gross income for (1) LTV >85% or (2) first time buyers;
  • 5.0 times gross income for all others.

Applicant summary

  • We accept a maximum of 2 applicants.
  • All applicants must be at least 18 years old at time of application. The mortgage term can’t go past any applicant’s 76th birthday.
  • All applicants must have been resident in the UK for three continuous years (but we will consider applications from members of the British Armed Forces who don’t meet this criteria).
  • We don’t accept residential interest only applications.
  • We don’t accept guarantor applications.
  • Applicants must have a good credit history - please see our Adverse Credit History Section.


We'll accept a maximum of 2 applicants.

Armed forces personnel

Please see our BFPO/Armed Forces section.


Please see our Adverse Credit History section.

Back to back

Back to back is typically where the seller has owned the property for less than 6 months.

For purchase applications we'll decline the application if the seller has owned the property for 6 months or less.

Similarly for remortgages we won't lend if the applicant has owned the property for 6 months or less. The only exception to this is where the property has been inherited and it can be shown that the property has gone through probate.

Bank statements

For applications above 75% LTV, we will at all times require a minimum of 1 months personal bank statement (must be dated within the last 35 days) to evidence income and expenditure.

Bank statements should be in good order and our underwriters reserve the right to decline the application where they can see behaviour which gives cause for concern (e.g. charges relating to mismanagement of overdraft, unpaid items).

Online bank statements are acceptable as long as they’re in PDF format, the applicant’s name, sort code and account number are clearly shown.

To check your clients bank statements requirements please refer to our Income and ID Guide.


Please see our Adverse Credit History section.

BFPO/Armed Forces (Military, Naval and Air Forces)

We'll consider all applications from members of the British Armed Forces, including those with a British Forces Post Office (BFPO) address.

Service personnel who have raised the deposit for their property through the Forces Help to Buy Scheme (through the Loan [not Equity Loan] Scheme) are acceptable, as long as the monthly repayment, including the mandatory insurance payment, is included in the affordability calculation; this will be confirmed from the Personal Information Note (PIN) that the MoD issues to the applicant. These costs should be keyed under 'Other Commitments'

If the applicant intends to live in the property, but is posted to another location during the term of the mortgage we'll consider giving consent to let, as long as the customer is able to afford the mortgage and any accommodation costs if they stay elsewhere.

Blocks of flats

All flats in blocks and Scottish tenements not exceeding ten storeys (ground floor with nine floors above) in height, will be acceptable at the discretion of the Bank's Valuer and subject to the following:

  • A lift must be present if the block is over 5 storeys in height.
  • All flats in blocks with >5 storeys ≤10 storeys must each achieve a minimum valuation of £250K.

British Nationals working overseas

We'll consider applications from applicants who work overseas, as long as the UK is the applicant's main residence. We won't accept an 'ex-pat' type scenario where the applicant wants to buy a property in the UK and return at a later date. We'll only accept income that is paid in pounds sterling.

When an application is received from a UK national working overseas the following criteria must be met:

  • Income must be evidenced via UK HMRC documentation;
  • Salary must be paid in sterling into a UK bank account;
  • Dependants of the applicant must reside in the residential property;
  • Where there are no dependents and the residential property is vacant for periods greater than 30 consecutive days the application will be declined.

Background buy-to-let property

If BTL income is needed to support the new mortgage, we only need the following supporting documents:

  • 3 months bank statements showing the BTL income the applicant has declared; and
  • The current ASTs/Scottish Private Residency agreements for the property/properties showing the BTL income the applicant has declared.

Commitments are assessed as contractual monthly mortgage payments as declared by the applicant and confirmed via our chosen credit bureau provider with income taken as current gross rental income.

If the BTL income is not needed to support the application, then we don’t need to see any evidence of it.

Buy-to-let and Consumer buy-to-let

Please see our Buy to Let lending guide for further details on our Buy to Let and Consumer Buy to Let mortgages.

Capital raising

We will consider remortgage cases with capital raising for personal use up to 90% loan to value.

Further lending for existing customers is limited to a maximum of 85% LTV.

Where the applicant is raising additional capital for home improvements in excess of £35,000 or where the LTV is greater than 75%, the underwriter reserves the right to request written estimates of the proposed work.

Consideration will be given to the scale of the improvement costs versus the value of the property.

The following reasons for Capital Raising are not acceptable:

  • Injection of capital into a business
  • Start-up of a new business
  • Currency speculation
  • The purchase of stocks and shares
  • Tax bill

Underwriters reserve the right to request evidence of how funds will be used if they have concerns.

Certification of supporting documents

We do not need supporting documents to be stamped or signed. So any PDF, TIF or JPEG format documents that you receive directly from your client can be immediately scanned and uploaded on our portal.

Committed expenditure

Please tell us about any commitments which haven’t yet started but which will start after the mortgage is drawn down.

Commitments should be keyed with the following details:

  • Name of lender;
  • Balance outstanding;
  • Monthly payment (if appropriate) ;
  • Expiry Date (if appropriate)*;
  • Source of funds for debt repayment (if 'to be repaid' box is ticked)**.

A maximum of 4 rows per category of commitment can be keyed. For applicants with more than 4 in each category please contact us for advice on how to key.

When we assess affordability we’ll take the higher of the commitments the customer declared or those identified at the credit bureau.

* We’ll exclude commitments with less than 90 days to expiry from the affordability calculation.

** We may need to see proof that the customer will have the funds if they intend to repay the debts from savings, a gift from a relative or the sale of assets.

If the applicant intends to repay the debts from borrowing other than the mortgage requested, the monthly cost of the borrowing should be included under ‘Financial Commitments’.

The applicant’s overdraft balances should be keyed as they are at the end of the month and we’ll check them against their bank statements.

Please see Income deductions at source for further details.

Consent to let

Sainsbury’s Bank will consider applications for Consent to let on an existing Sainsbury’s Bank residential mortgage. The property should have been owned for a minimum of six months and we will require confirmation of the expected or agreed rental income evidenced by one of the following:

  • If the customer already has an agreed rental agreement, we will accept the following documents:
    • England & Wales: Single Assured Shorthold Tenancy;
    • Scotland: Private Residential Tenancy;
    • Northern Ireland: Private Tenancy.

Where no tenancy agreement has yet been set up, we will accept a letter from a reputable agent, which would include:

  • Members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA);
  • Members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme;
  • Members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our acceptance will be subject to the expected Rental Income evidenced being equal to or higher than the new mortgage payment with their existing interest rate loaded at 1%.

Concentration exposures

Sainsbury’s Bank are unable to provide lending where we will have greater than 25% exposure in either a development scheme, block of flats or postcode.

For this to apply, we would need to be lending on at least two properties. E.g. one flat in a block of two would not exceed these rules but two flats in a block of four would.


We'll accept applications from contractors. Please also see Fixed Term Contracts.

A contractor who invoices through their own limited company or as a sole trader or partnership should be keyed as 'Self-Employed' and must:

  • have been employed on this basis for at least 6 months with at least 3 months remaining; and
  • be able to show at least one year's income from this type of employment

We'll allow income to be annualised for contractors who can only demonstrate 18 months of income as detailed above. For the purpose of assessing affordability the current year's income should be annualised and the 'projection' box ticked.

When we calculate affordability we'll use 100% of the lower of:

  1. the latest year's income; or
  2. the average of the last two years' income.


Assistance with legal fees
This will depend on the product. See the product section for further details.

Fixed panel
We have a wide panel of solicitors for borrowers to use. We are unable to accept anyone who is not on our panel.

Separate representation
Separate representation is not currently available through Sainsbury's Bank.

Credit score

All applications are credit scored. We will decline applications which don't meet our credit score threshold.

Cross tenure property

We don't accept applications for cross tenure properties.

Debt consolidation

Only debt which can be traced at the credit bureau can be consolidated onto the loan. Only remortgage applicants can use additional borrowing for debt consolidation. We won't allow this for:

  • Self-employed applicants with less than 3 years trading;
  • Any application where LTV is greater than 75%.


If we've declined a full mortgage application for affordability, we'll only consider an appeal if new information, which wasn't known or apparent at the time of the application, has become available. We will tell you the main reason why the application has been declined (bureau information, affordability or lending criteria).


The minimum deposit depends on the product.

In all cases, please select the appropriate source of deposit from the drop down. Where there are multiple sources of deposit, please select the primary deposit source from the drop down box and capture all others in the notes section of the application.

Please see our Gifted Deposit and New build incentives sections for more information on these.

Diplomatic immunity

We won't accept applications where either of the applicants has diplomatic immunity.

Direct debits

It's a condition of the mortgage that the customer sets up a direct debit on a current account held with a UK based bank to make their contractual monthly payments.

The bank account that the direct debit is set up on must be in the name of at least one applicant.

Borrowers can select a date between the 1st and the 31st for payments to be taken if there is a preferred date.

Discounted purchase

We’ll consider applications where the property is bought at a price that’s less than the property’s value, as long as the applicant can show that there’s an established relationship between the seller and the buyer. Our solicitors will also need to have a declaration of solvency from the seller or appropriate indemnity insurance.

An established relationship is defined as follows:

  • The applicant is buying a property from a related person; or
  • The applicant has been renting the same property and their landlord has offered to sell it at a reduced price.

The definition of a related person is as follows:

  1. that person's husband, wife or civil partner;
  2. a person (whether or not of the opposite sex) whose relationship with that person has the characteristics of the relationship between husband and wife; or
  3. that person's parent, brother, sister, child, grandparent or grandchild.

In all circumstances, Sainsbury’s Bank expects a level of contribution to be made by the purchaser. We will base the application on the purchase price or valuation, whichever is lower.

Early repayment charges

Applicants may have to pay an early repayment charge if they repay the whole or part of their mortgage early (including if they move to a different product or lender) during a certain period.

Although early repayment charges apply to our products, we give customers an annual overpayment allowance equivalent to 10% of the remaining mortgage balance. This means customers can choose to increase their monthly mortgage payments or make lump sum payments up to this allowance each year that early repayment charges apply, without incurring any charges. The overpayment allowance starts again each year from the anniversary of the drawdown, or the start of the new rate following a switch, and will be based on the current balance at the time.

If a customer goes over their annual overpayment allowance for a given year, we’ll make any early repayment charge on the amount they’ve repaid over the allowance.


The applicant must have been employed with their current employer for at least 3 months before they apply. Where the applicant does not meet this criteria, we may consider, subject to a review by an Underwriter, applicants who have a minimum track record of 12 months employment in the same discipline/sector.

We can accept more than one source of income from employment. Applicants can have a primary and secondary source of income. The applicant is required to tell you if they know of any future changes to their employment or if their role is under threat of redundancy.


Please tell us about all regular monthly household expenditure for the applicant.

This should include non-credit commitments that the applicant would be unable or unwilling to give up without an impact on their family or lifestyle.

The household is defined as the applicants applying for the mortgage and any people financially dependent upon them who will be/are living in the property. Expenditure for children or adults who are provided for separately under a maintenance agreement or other type arrangement, should be captured under ‘Other Commitments’.

Where appropriate the household expenditure should relate to the new property, for example the council tax on the new property, not any existing property.

Any expenditure relating to the upkeep of other properties, such as a second home or buy-to-let, should also be included.

The applicant should also tell us about any other changes to their expenditure that will happen once their mortgage has been drawn down.

Please tell us about your applicant’s expenditure in the following categories:

Types of expenditure
Housekeeping (food, cleaning etc)
Utilities – Energy (electricity, gas, other fuels)
Utilities – Water
Basic communication (e.g. telephone & broadband)
Council tax
Buildings insurance (inclusive of contents)
Household maintenance (including ground rent, service charge)
Essential travel
Clothing and footwear
Household goods and services
Personal goods
Basic recreation (e.g. TV subscriptions, gym memberships, socialising)
Childcare (less credits/vouchers)

Please ensure all other commitments that are not covered in the fields above, are added into the ‘Other’ box. There is a text box you can add free text in to identify the commitment. If in any doubt where it needs to go, add the commitment in this section. This is especially relevant to any salary deductions such as pension, childcare vouchers, cycle to work and holiday purchase.

If these are not included, this will result in the affordability being manually reviewed and could result in the application being unaffordable.

Please see Income deductions at source for further information.

First time buyer

A first time buyer is defined as an applicant who has never owned a property either in the UK or abroad. In the case of joint applications only 1 applicant need to be a first time buyer.

In instances where an applicant has owned but not previously bought a property (i.e. inherited) they are classed as First time buyer.

Fixed term contracts

Applicants who are on a fixed term contract or a contractor, whose employer/payroll solution provider/umbrella company, deducts full PAYE and National Insurance should be keyed as 'employed'.

Applicants must be employed on a fixed term contract basis for at least 6 months at the time of application, with at least 3 months remaining.

If this is the applicant's first fixed term contract they must show continuity of employment in the same sector or discipline for the previous 12 months. Please see the Income and ID guide (PDF, 172KB)

Foreign currency income

We'll only accept income which is received in pound sterling.

Foreign currency loans

We only offer mortgages in pound sterling.

Freehold flats

We won’t accept freehold flats unless the borrower owns the freehold of the whole building, or freehold reversion/Tyneside arrangements apply and there are no more than four flats in the building.

Funds transfer fee

A fee that is chargeable to electronically transfer the mortgage funds to the borrower or their solicitor.

Gifted deposit

We’ll accept a gifted deposit from a family member as long as the donor confirms that the amount of the deposit is not repayable and that the donor will hold no interest in the property following completion of the mortgage.


We don't accept guarantor applications.

Home improvements

For applicants borrowing more than £35k for home improvementsor where the LTV is greater than 75%, we may ask for written estimates of the proposed improvements if the improvements are structural. We will also reserve the right to set mortgage offer conditions including, but not limited to:

  • an updated valuation of the property after the proposed works are completed, the cost of which will require to be met by the applicant; and/or
  • Evidence of the local government planning consents and building warrants.

Identity - Proof of identity and residence

We use electronic verification systems to check application data against a variety of public databases. If the details don’t pass these checks, then we’ll need proof of ID and residency. We’ll investigate gaps in voters roll information, to make sure we can confirm 3 years’ address history.

If we can’t find the applicant on our electronic verification systems, then we need to see proof of ID and residency. We need to see one document from list A in the table below (confirming the applicant’s name) and one different document from list B (confirming their current address). We’ll accept documents electronically through the online portal, as long as the document is legible and clearly shows all the relevant information. We’ll also accept original documents by post.

UK Nationals, European Economic Areas (EEA) Nationals and Swiss Nationals
List A – ID Documentary Evidence List B – Address Documentary Evidence
Current valid full UK Passport Current utility bills, less than 3 months old (excluding those printed from the internet).
Current valid driving licence (full or provisional photo card or old style full) Current council tax demand letter or statement less than 12 months old
Current National or Northern Ireland Identity card Current Instrument of a court appointment (such as grant of probate).
Current Firearms certificate or shotgun license Current UK based bank statement or credit/debit card statement less than 12 months old (excluding those printed from the internet).
Recent evidence (obtained within the last 3 months) of entitlement to a state or local authority-funded benefit (including housing benefit and council tax benefit), tax credit, pension, educational or other grant. Copy of a Valid full UK and Northern Ireland Driving License (old style paper)
Current National ID Card (EU Only) HM Revenue and Customs notice of coding (less than twelve months old)
Non-EEA Foreign Nationals (With Indefinite leave to remain in the UK)
Any relevant document from List A Any relevant document from List B
Valid non-UK or European Economic Area (Non-EEA) passport
Proof of Indefinite leave to remain in the UK
Current Passport containing stamp for indefinite leave to remain in the UK
Copy of current visa/residency permit (front and back for new biometric formats)
Written confirmation of indefinite leave to remain in the UK from the Home Office


Please refer to New Build.

Income assessment

Income Types & Evidence

All income required to support the affordability of the mortgage should be keyed.

We need to see proof of the income needed to support the mortgage. For more details of supporting documentation, please see the Income and ID guide (PDF, 172KB).

Acceptable types of income are detailed below together with the weighting that we will apply. Income other than salaried or self-employed income should be keyed under ‘Other sources of income’.

Regular income assessed under PAYE
including employed fixed term contractors
(income received monthly that does not vary from month to month)
Acceptable Sources Utilisation
Basic Gross Salary - One break of 3 months, in the last 12 months, is acceptable 100%
Large town allowance (subject to the applicant continuing to reside in the relevant location for allowance to continue)
Shift allowance (Guaranteed)
Car allowance
Mortgage Subsidy (subject to evidence via an employment reference that subsidy is guaranteed during employment)
Second job salary (and allowances as above)
Retirement income – private / state pension, annuities (currently received)
Bonus, overtime, commission, profit related pay 50% Capped at 100% of basic annual salary
Zero hour contracts 100%
Income during parental leave – statutory maternity pay / allowance 100%*
Rental Income 80%
Future Retirement Income 100%
*Where an applicant is intending to return to work within 6 months of submission of the Full Mortgage Application, the applicants return to work salary will be used for affordability purposes.

Where the applicants return to work is greater than 6 months from the date of submission of the Full Mortgage Application, affordability will be assessed using the lower level of income anticipated.

Self Employed Income
(incl. sole traders, partnerships (Inc. LLP), Directors with 20% or greater share in company, Limited Company Contractor, self-employed Contractors or Contractors using Umbrella Company)
Gross Salary / Dividends if director in limited company 100%
Net profit if sole trader or partner
Applicant’s share of annual net undrawn retained profit (i.e. gross figures are subject to deduction of tax as per the affordability assessment)
Foster Income 100%
Self-employed Contractors / Agency Workers (paid through PAYE including those paid through umbrella companies) 100%

Investment Income (excluding rental income) 100%
Child Benefit 100%
Child / Working tax credits / Universal Tax Credits (For universal credit we will only accept the component parts relating to child tax credit and working tax credit. The other parts which make up Universal credit fall into our unacceptable income types as detail below). 100%
Guardians Allowance 100%
Benefits specifically for the Disabled including:
  • Incapacity benefit;
  • Employment & Support Allowance (ESA - Support Group only);
  • Disability living allowance (DLA) for a person aged 16 or over;
  • Disability premiums;
  • Reduced Earning Allowance (REA);
  • Attendance allowance;
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP);
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit;
  • War Disablement Pension;
  • Armed Forces Compensation Scheme;
Carer’s Allowance 100%
Maintenance Income 100%


* We require to be satisfied that the mortgage will remain affordable when the payments end but as a minimum there must, at time of the full mortgage application, be at least 5 years of the arrangement remaining or the income will be excluded from the affordability assessment.

Unacceptable sources of income

We won't accept the following sources of income:

Unacceptable sources of income
Expenses Housing Benefit
Mileage/Fuel allowances Income support
First Aid allowances Job Seekers allowance
Broadband and phone allowances Bereavement allowance
Educational Grants/Bursaries Income from casual employment (other than zero hours contract)
Foreign currency income Income from lodgers (i.e income which is not subject to a formal AST/SAT Tenancy Agreement
Stipendiary income Trust income

Income Deductions at Source

Expenditure which is deducted at source by the employer should be declared in the application as follows and keyed under ‘Other commitments’ in the application process screens, prior to obtaining a Decision in principle (please see guidance below in regard to exclusion of these payments, where applicable). Where the commitment has no end date, the mortgage end date should be keyed. Gross income should be keyed before deductions.

Gross income should be keyed before deductions.

Include Can be excluded*
Pensions** Flex Benefits
Student Loans Save as you Earn/Give as you Earn
Childcare Vouchers*** Medical Insurance
Car Payments Life Insurance
Army Help to Buy Critical Illness Insurance Cover
Loans Charitable Donations
Holiday Buy
Season Tickets
Salary Sacrifice
Cycle to Work
*Where the applicant has confirmed that the payment is discretionary and has elected to cancel this commitment to support the mortgage payments, this can be excluded. You will only be required to detail this in the notes section of the application. For applicants ‘Lending into Retirement’ we will not accept applications where the applicant intends to cancel the pension contribution to support affordability.

**3% of salary pension contributions will always be included as a minimum. Further pension contributions may be excluded if they are discretionary. For applicants lending into retirement we will not accept applications where the applicant intends to cancel the pension contribution to support affordability.

***Where an item has been declared as a deduction from salary, please ensure this is not entered again as expenditure in the application, i.e. child care entered as expenditure and shouldn’t be entered as a deduction.

Interest only

We don't offer residential interest only mortgages.

Lending into retirement

We’ll consider employed income up to the applicant’s declared retirement age, or 70th birthday, whichever is the earliest.

We’ll use the lower of current income or evidenced retirement income over the mortgage term, to calculate affordability.

We might ask for more details or evidence to show that the applicant’s retirement age is plausible.

The above applies to both employed and self-employed applicants.

Lending to the retired

We’ll consider applications from retired applicants as long as they meet our standard lending policy. Pension income should be set out in the ‘Source of Income’ section of the application only if the applicant is receiving this income at the time of the application and can show us evidence of this.

Lending summary

  • Minimum loan amount is £40,000 and maximum loan amount is £1,000,000.
  • Minimum term is 5 years and maximum term is 40 years.
  • Remortgage – at least one applicant must have owned the property for 6 months and be resident in the property.
  • £20,000 gross household income as minimum.
  • We do not permit 2nd charges to remain or exist at the time of draw down
  • Must meet the following LTV requirements:
Maximum Loan to Value
Loan Amount
£300,000 - ≤95%
£500,000 - ≤90%
£750,000 - ≤80%
£1,000,000 - ≤75%
Property Type
Property > 2 years old - 95%
New build House - 85%
New build Flat / Mainsonette - 75%
New build = A property that was first registered within the last 24 months or the property is subject to first occupation.
Employment Type
The maximum LTV is dependent on the product limit, property type and loan amount in the first instance, with some variances for certain employment types as below:
Self-employed & Contractors ≤ 36 months 75% LTV up to £1m (exlusive of First Time Buyers)
£300,000 - ≤95%
£500,000 - ≤90%
£750,000 - ≤80%
£1,000,000 - ≤75%
Self-employed & Contractors > 36 months (inclusive of First Time Buyers)

Let to Buy

Sainsbury’s Bank will consider application for the Let to Buy “Onward Purchase” of a new residential mortgage. If the current residential mortgaged property is already with Sainsbury’s Bank then Consent to Let must be agreed prior to submitting an application for the new purchase.

If the current residential mortgage is with another lender then we will require the expected or agreed rental income evidenced by one of the following:

  • If the customer already has an agreed rental agreement, we will accept the following documents:
    • England & Wales: Single Assured Shorthold Tenancy;
    • Scotland: Private Residential Tenancy;
    • Northern Ireland: Private Tenancy.
  • Where no tenancy agreement has yet been set up, we will accept a letter from a reputable agent, which would include:
    • Members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA);
    • Members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme;
    • Members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

    The new mortgage details must also be entered into the application, as the change to Consent to Let, or Buy to let may change the mortgage payments.

    This will need to be evidenced by the following:

    • A copy of the new Buy to let offer or Consent to let offer (if letting proposed is new and the mortgage payment is clearly evident).

Live/work units

We don't accept live/work units.

Loan purpose

We accept house purchase and remortgage with additional borrowing cases.

We don't offer additional borrowing if it's for:

  • injecting capital into a business;
  • a new business start-up;
  • currency speculation;
  • buying stocks and shares;
  • paying a tax bill.

Loan size

Minimum is £40,000 and maximum is £1,000,000.

Maximum age

The mortgage term mustn't go past any applicants 76th birthday.

Maximum exposure

Maximum number of residential properties with Sainsbury's Bank (all applicants) is 2.

Maximum aggregate loan exposure with Sainsbury's Bank is £2,000,000.

Maximum LTV and loan offered

Maximum Loan to Value
Loan Amount
£300,001 - ≤ 95%
£500,000 - ≤ 90%
£750,000 - ≤ 80%
£1,000,000 - ≤ 75%
Property Type
Property > 2 years old - 95%
New build house - 85%
New build flat / Maisonette - 75%
New build = A property that was first registered within the last 24 months or the property is subject to first occupation.
Employment type
The maximum LTV is dependent on the product limit, property type and loan amount in the first instance, with some variances for certain employment types as below:
Self-employed & Contractors ≤ 36 months 75% LTV up to £1m (exclusive of First Time Buyers)
£ 300,000 - ≤ 95%
£ 500,000 - ≤ 90%
£ 750,000 - ≤ 80%
£ 1,000,000 - ≤ 75%
Self-employed & Contractors > 36 months
(inclusive of First Time Buyers)

Minimum age

All applicants must be 18 or older at time of application.

Mixed use properties

Business use will be accepted subject to:-

  • A maximum of 40% usage for work; and
  • Valuer’s comments around suitability and saleability.

New build

We define 'new build' as follows:

  • Property built/converted within the last 24 months (based on the date of the completion certificate);
  • Property not previously occupied (for converted properties that is since the conversion took place).

We restrict the amount that can be borrowed against the new or newly converted property as follows:

Property Type Max LTV
House 85%
Flat 75%

We'll also need proof that the new build/newly converted property is covered by one of the following certificates:

  • NHBC Buildmark
  • NHBC Solo
  • Zurich Municipal
  • Castle 10 New Home Warranty – provided by Checkmate
  • LABC New Home Warranty
  • Premier Guarantee for New HomesBuilding Life Plan Ltd
  • Buildzone
  • CRL Management Ltd
  • Certification by certain professional consultants may be accepted subject to it being in standard Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) format, where the property has been built/converted within the last 6 years

New build incentives

We’ll accept cash incentives of up to and including 5% of the purchase price without affecting the purchase price. If the value of the cash incentive is more than 5%, we’ll deduct the balance of the incentive above 5% from the purchase price, or valuation price whichever is lowest.

The following incentives are acceptable without impacting the purchase price.

  • White goods (where not included as standard specification);
  • Carpet and curtains;
  • Kitchen upgrade, including tiling and worktop;
  • Bathroom upgrade;
  • All electric upgrades – i.e. additional sockets, TV points;
  • Turfing/landscaping.

Part-exchange transactions are acceptable where the builder or developer is purchasing the applicant’s existing residential property. We will accept this in addition to cash and non-cash incentives.

New employment

In the event of an applicant(s) not yet having commenced their new employment and/or the salary declared for affordability being higher than that previously received, we will require the applicant to provide:

  • Pay slip from current/previous employer (assuming applicant is working notice of termination at time of application or has left organisation and is having time out (maximum 3 month break);
  • Copy of contract of employment detailing terms and conditions of applicants new contract of employment – which must include salary details and effective start date of salary;
  • Letter of Acceptance from Employer confirming receipt of applicant’s acceptance;
  • In cases where the higher income cannot be verified the lower and current income must be utilised in the affordability assessment and verified in accordance with the normal process.

Offer validity

Offers are valid for 180 days from the date of the first offer.


We won’t lend to applicants/existing customers who already have a high level of debt or who would have a high level of debt if they took out the proposed mortgage.

We’ll decline an application from applicants/existing customers who meet one or more of the following criteria.

Over-indebtedness criteria Amount based on outstanding balances
1. Total unsecured debt to income ≥ 100%
2. Revolving unsecured debt to income ≥ 75%

Note: Applications are treated as an aggregate basis i.e. household level.

In exceptional circumstances, we might consider an appeal of an application declined on the basis of overindebtedness, as long as the application meets all other policy requirements, including affordability.


The customer can make regular or lump sum overpayments on their loan at any time.

If there is an Early Repayment Charge, they may have to pay a charge on any regular or lump sum overpayment made:

  • During any Early Repayment Charge period they can pay off up to 10% of the opening balance within a 12 month allowance period without charge. The first 12 month allowance period will begin from the initial completion date and refresh on every anniversary thereafter.
  • Any overpayment made in excess of 10% of the opening balance within a 12 month allowance period, will be payable on the amount of the excess only.

There are no restrictions to making overpayments after the product Early Repayment Charge period(s) have ended.

Upon receipt of any overpayment, the customer’s future payments will not change unless they request it to do so.

Packaging checklist

We’ve created a packaging checklist to help you keep track of the documentation you’ve sent in support of an application. You can find it in the literature section of our broker web site.

Pension commitments

Pre Tax Pension contributions are taken as a deduction during affordability checks as well as any pension contributions independent from employer. As a minimum, we will always take into consideration 3% of salary pension contributions within the application assessment. For applicants lending into retirement, we will not accept applications where the applicants intends to cancel their pension contribution to support affordability.

Please ensure any pension commitments are keyed into the ‘Other’ box during the application at the level declared by the applicant.


The customer has the right to transfer their loan to another property, as long as they have had the original loan with Sainsbury's Bank for a minimum of 6 months and their circumstances meeting our lending criteria at the time of transfer.

This is subject to the mortgage being transferred to a new property purchase and their circumstances meeting our lending criteria at that time.

The mortgage is portable without requiring payment of any Early Repayment Charges except in the following circumstances:

  • Where the amount they wish to transfer to their new property is less than the balance outstanding at the time of the transfer. Any charge will only apply to the amount of the reduction and not the whole balance outstanding.
  • Where they choose not to transfer over their loan on its existing product terms.
  • Where the sale and purchase do not complete on the same date they will have to pay any Early Repayment Charge in full, however, we will refund this amount to them provided the date of the new purchase completes with us within 180 days of closing their mortgage on the current property.

They can only transfer their existing product terms up to the amount outstanding at the time of the transfer. The product for any additional amount required, can be chosen from our current product range at the time.

Probationary employment

We’ll accept applicants who are on a probationary period as long as they meet the following criteria.

  • We need to see 12 months’ previous track record of employment in the same sector/discipline. For details of what evidence we need to see to prove consistency of employment please see the Income and ID guide (PDF, 172KB)
  • If the applicant is in their first permanent job with a long probationary period, then they must show that they have worked for that employer for at least 12 months. Please see Income and ID guide (PDF, 172KB).


We won't lend if the loan is for:

  • a Right to Buy property, where the applicant wants to buy or remortgage their local authority/housing association property and the property is subject to penalty clauses if it’s sold within the pre-emption period;
  • shared ownership schemes, where the applicant(s) will not have exclusive ownership of the property;
  • a new application for a loan on a property with an existing second charge (unless the second charge will be repaid as part of the transaction).

We don’t offer the following types of lending:

  • self-build instalment release mortgages;
  • self-certification mortgages
  • bridging loans;
  • equity release/lifetime mortgages;
  • help to buy/mortgage guarantee schemes;
  • interest roll-up mortgages;
  • land purchase for self-build;
  • Commercial mortgages.
  • Applications from, by or connected to a Property Club/Syndicate or Investment Club/scheme; and
  • Applications where the applicant(s) are looking to purchase a property from a Ltd company that they are a director or shareholder of.

Product fees

We charge product fees on some of our mortgages. If we’ve added the fee to the loan, then we’ll charge interest at the product interest rate over the term of the mortgage.

We can’t add the fee to the loan where it will take it over our maximum loan to value of 95%. In this instance, the applicant must deduct the fee from the overall borrowing amount. In all other cases, the product fee can be added to the loan.

Property close to commercial outlets

In addition to the usual construction and marketability criteria, flats in the same block as commercial outlets will depend on:

  • If any commercial activities in the block are likely to cause a nuisance by virtue of noise, smell or unsocial hours, we may not be prepared to lend on the flat;
  • Some flats over commercial premises have unsatisfactory access which may involve passing through the business area, through yards containing commercial refuse, or using poorly maintained external stairs. Inter-familyany of these factors apply we will not be prepared to lend.

We would take advice from our valuer when assessing the property to be mortgaged.

Property location

We'll lend on properties in England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland. We don't lend against properties in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

The property must be valued at £60,000 or more.

Property summary

  • Property location – the property must be in Scotland, England, Wales, or Northern Ireland. We don't lend in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
  • £60,000 minimum property valuation
  • Tenure:
    • Freehold
    • Leasehold (minimum term of 85 years must remain at the point of drawdown)
    • Commonhold
    • Absolute ownership (Scotland)

We don't accept applications for:

  • Right to Buy properties where the applicant is purchasing or remortgaging a local authority/housing association property and the property is subject to penalty clauses if sold within the pre-emption period;
  • Shared ownership schemes where the borrower(s) will not have exclusive ownership of the property;

Property types - Acceptable

We’ll only lend where we have a first ranking security over the property being purchased or remortgaged and where we’re satisfied that the property is readily saleable in normal market conditions.

The applicants’ details must be an exact match to the property title details.

In general, properties offered as mortgage security must be of traditional construction as determined by our valuer, be in a good state of repair and acceptable for buildings insurance. We’ll consider properties of nontraditional construction on a case by case basis. We’ll rely on our valuer to decide whether the property is suitable and marketable for mortgage purposes.

If our valuer tells us that work is necessary to bring the property to a suitable condition for lending, we might keep back some or all of the mortgage advance until the work recommended by the valuer is carried out.

We won’t lend on properties which:

  • have no kitchen and/or running water;
  • have no bath/shower and/or running water;
  • are suffering from a progressive Japanese Knotweed infestation as determined by our valuer;
  • are suffering progressive structural movement which requires monitoring;
  • have on-going structural issues;
  • have been underpinned - unless our valuer tells us that the property is structurally sound and that the appropriate certification has been obtained.

Acceptable Non-traditional construction types which are reported via our valuation report:

  • Concrete Construction;
  • Wimpey no Fines;
  • Laing Easiform;
  • Pre-Cast Reinforced Concrete (PRC) where the property has been repaired under the PRC (Homes) Ltd repair scheme. These were usually built between 1945 and 1965;
  • Large Panel Systems (LPS) are acceptable for houses and maisonettes as long as they are no more than two storeys high and subject to structural engineer’s report;
  • Steel framed houses subject to being readily marketable and mortgageable;
  • Timber framed houses – as long as they were built after 1970 with brick, reconstituted stone or rendered block work.

Property types - Unacceptable

We won't lend on the following types of property:

  • bed and breakfast;
  • farms, smallholdings and houses which are subject to agricultural occupancy restrictions;
  • flats or maisonettes of large panel systems;
  • flying freeholds affecting more than 25% of the property;
  • freehold flats / maisonettes (unless the borrower owns the freehold of the whole building, subject to leases to any other flats in the building);
  • houses in multiple occupation (a property with more than one tenancy agreement in place);
  • houseboats/mobile homes/ park homes/ caravans;
  • properties with restrictions such as sheltered accommodation with a minimum age limit for occupiers;
  • uninsurable properties;
  • properties built using high alumina cement or mundic;
  • properties with less than 30 square meters external floor space;
  • landlocked properties;
  • Large Panel System (LPS) greater than 2 storeys high;
  • properties adapted or altered for commercial use;
  • prefabricated reinforced concrete (PRC) homes which remain unrepaired;
  • mundic properties where the property is not graded ‘a’ or ‘a/b’ following a petrographic test;
  • properties with Overage Clauses;
  • properties with more than five acres as part of the title;
  • properties where power lines or electricity supply apparatus are located directly over and/or on the site which are not for domestic supply to the subject property;
  • properties with more than one annexe;
  • properties with more than one outbuilding;
  • properties with more than 2 kitchens;
  • properties with deck access;
  • Leasehold in Scotland;
  • Fee farm grant in Northern Ireland; and
  • Subterranean properties.

Reduction in income

We’ll consider applications from applicants who are currently on maternity/paternity leave or taking a period of unpaid leave from their employment.

Temporary Reduction in Income (Less than 6 months)

We can use the value of the applicant’s income when they return to work in the affordability calculation as long as:

  • the applicant will be back at work earning that income within 6 months of the full mortgage application;
  • the applicant can prove the level and timing of the income by a letter from their employer (on the employer’s letter headed paper) confirming:
    • date of return to work; and
    • that the applicant's existing terms and conditions /salary/contract of employment will be the same as it was before the applicant took leave.
  • the applicant can show us how they’ll meet the monthly mortgage payment and their other ongoing commitments and expenditure while their income is reduced.

Permanent reduction in Income (6 months or more)

We’ll assess affordability against the anticipated lower level of income. The applicant must show us independent evidence of the timing and level of income they have declared.

Please ensure all relevant information is captured in the notes section to support the application.

Remortgage criteria

For remortgage applications (excluding inherited properties), at least one applicant must have owned and lived in the property to be re-mortgaged for a minimum of six months prior to the application date.

Repayment methods

We only accept mortgages on a capital and interest basis.


A retention is when the valuer identifies important work that needs to be done on the property and recommends that part of the mortgage amount be kept back until the work is carried out.

If our valuer recommends a retention of more than £5,000 then we will keep that amount back until the work is carried out. We might need to ask the valuer to re-inspect the property before we’re happy to release the retained amount. If this is the case, then the applicant will be responsible for meeting the cost of re-inspection.

Scottish transcripts

We won’t accept transcriptions of Scottish Home Reports. We always need to see a standard mortgage valuation report based upon a physical inspection of the property.

Second property

We’ll consider lending for a second residential owner occupied property as long as the application meets our lending criteria and the applicant is buying the second property for one of the following reasons:

  • second home due to work location and 1 party to the mortgage resident;
  • a holiday home in the UK which will be for personal use only.

Affordability will be assessed taking into account the household costs for the second property – e.g. council tax, utilities.

Self build

We don’t accept applications for self-build purposes. Although we will accept self-build properties once they’re fully built /converted and meet our warranty requirements - please see New Build for further information.

Self employed

We’ll accept applications from the self-employed.

A self-employed applicant could be:

  • a sole trader;
  • a partner in a business;
  • a director who owns 20% or more of the company (Where a company director holds a shareholding representing less than 20% of the issued share capital we would normally assess them as employed);
  • a foster carer.

We’ll only lend to self-employed applicants who can show they’ve been trading for 2 years or more. If the applicant is a first time buyer or is taking lending greater than 75%, we will require them to have been trading for a minimum of three years.

To help ensure an accurate assessment of affordability, please ensure that you input all relevant years’ profits - with the first year being the current period.

For contractors, see our Contractors section.

Shared equity

We don’t lend on shared equity schemes where the applicant(s) won’t have exclusive ownership of the property.

Shared Ownership

We don’t lend on shared ownership schemes.


We’ll accept freehold, leasehold, commonhold, absolute ownership (Scotland only).


Our minimum term is 5 years.

Our maximum term is 40 years (or up to the applicant’s 76th birthday, if earlier).


The customer can request to reduce their monthly payments in part or in full for a period of time subject to the following criteria:

  • they must obtain our agreement to this prior to the monthly payment;
  • they must have overpaid in advance (see above Overpayments), however if the customer uses any overpayments made to reduce their monthly payment or formally amend the term of the Loan, then this will remove ability to underpay on future payments;
  • The amount underpaid within a 12 month allowance period must not exceed a total of 2 monthly payments. The first 12 month allowance period will begin from the initial completion date and refresh on every anniversary thereafter.

Unexpired leasehold term

There must be a minimum term of 85 years remaining on the lease at the point of drawdown.


We’ll only accept a bank instructed standard mortgage valuation report based upon a physical inspection of the property, carried out by a suitably qualified valuer who is a member of our panel of valuers.

Valuation issues - structural problems, specialist reports, subsidence etc.

We might need to see further specialist reports dependent on the advice provided by our valuer. In this case, the applicant will need to instruct a suitably qualified specialist and pay for the specialist report. Our valuer will review the specialist report and give us advice on the suitability of the security for our mortgage purposes.

Valuation services and fees

Standard Valuation Report

This report is to give us a current market value and rental assessment so that we can decide how much we’re prepared to lend on the property. The applicant shouldn’t rely on this report to assess the suitability or salability of the property.

Costs of Valuations Carried out by our Panel of Valuers

Valuation up to Standard Valuation Report Cost
including related administrative costs (incl. VAT)
£100,000 £191.00
£150,000 £220.00
£200,000 £248.00
£250,000 £276.00
£300,000 £309.00
£400,000 £365.00
£500,000 £422.00
£600,000 £478.00
£700,000 £539.00
£800,000 £596.00
£900,000 £652.00
£1,000,000 £708.00
£1,250,000 £840.00
£1,500,000 £953.00
£1,750,000 £1,169.00
£2,000,000 £1,287.00

Re-Inspection Valuation Report

This may be required where applicants are purchasing a ‘New Build’ or where the initial valuation report recommend(s) a retention sum pending completion of essential work/repairs. The valuer is required to revisit the property to validate the completion of the works and re-affirm the finalised value of the property. There are other types of valuation reports which an applicant may wish to obtain when purchasing their property to provide more detailed information on the condition of the property or construction including subsidence, foundations, external walls, history of the property and future maintenance. Our valuers may be able to assist with this wider service the applicant is looking for and if so, they can contact them via the undernoted details:-

Re-Inspection Valuation Report £60.00

Connells Surveying Services Ltd
Valuation Management Centre
Cumbria House, 16-20 Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard
Bedfordshire, LU7 1GN

Tel: 01525 218500

Zero hour contracts

We’ll consider applications on the basis that the applicant has had continuous employment for the last 24 months on a zero hour’s contract and for the purposes of affordability, we will take the lower of:

  • 100% of the average of the last 2 years figures; or
  • The latest year’s figures.

Applicants must be keyed as self-employed.