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Where can my mortgage deposit come from?

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: August 9, 2021

Every mortgage borrower and property purchaser is now asked where their deposit has come from, not because people are nosey, but because the lenders and solicitors want to know.

They have strict anti-money laundering regulation and guidelines to follow to ensure deposits are from legal sources. Where your deposit is from is a vital piece of info in the mortgage selection process – some lenders accept sources where others would decline. For this reason your advisor will need to be aware of this from the start to avoid being placed with the wrong lender.

For reference, see the table below for the most common deposit sources currently acceptable to lenders in the UK.

Acceptable sources of deposit for mortgages

Own personal savings / investments Every lender is happy with this, although some are picky and require the proof of your increasing balance over time.
Gift Usually required to be from a family member (parents, grand-parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, step family etc), although in certain circumstances one or two lenders may well accept a gift from someone not related (such as a close family friend or other explainable source). Gifts from a third party are usually NOT acceptable because of the risk of money laundering and fraud. Enhanced due diligence checks will usually take place looking into the source of funds and sometimes ID verification checks on the donor can even be required.
Inheritance Most lenders will accept this without problem.
Sale of property Usually no problem so long as the property proceeds aren’t under charge by someone else. Obviously they must be clear funds at the time of completion.
Sale of other assets Other assets such as cars, boats, valuable memorabilia, artwork, or just about anything legal that is to be sold, should be fine to use as deposit with most lenders. The issue is when there is the suspicion of money laundering, as lenders, advisors, and solicitors have a duty to ensure all funds are from a legitimate source.
Unsecured borrowing Unsecured borrowing means credit cards and personal loans etc. and raising deposit using them will NOT be acceptable with most lenders. One or two are happy with it – including some mainstream lenders.
Bridging finance Bridging finance is very short term borrowing which enables customers who need to buy before they sell, or who are buying on a very short term basis. It’s a pricey arrangement with rates between 1-3% a month! (@ 2% a 100k loan = 2k a month!).
Gambling win Be careful with this. Some lenders may have an issue with this if gambling is a regular occurrence. It has been known for lenders to go through bank statements and deduct regular gambling withdrawals as monthly commitments, deducting this from available income and influencing affordability, even if you regularly win! That said, there are providers who may even offer you a mortgage based on gambling income.
Deposit from overseas This is a tricky one for most lenders because it can be really difficult to trace the origin of the cash in order to be satisfied it’s legitimate and not at risk of money laundering. As a result, you may find many lenders declining the application. Some lenders do have a flexible approach and will consider overseas deposits if for instance they are in established bank accounts and the money can be traced from a legitimate source. This is really on a case by case basis so get in touch if you have more questions and want to know which lenders will consider your application.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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