High Net Worth Mortgages

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: April 5, 2024

Not all mortgage lenders fully understand the needs of high net worth customers, but the good news is that there are mortgage brokers who specialise in these deals, and they can help you land the kind of bespoke deal you won’t find on the high street.

To help you get the advice you need, we’ve put together this guide to high net worth mortgages, and here, you’ll learn how to qualify for one, what rates to expect and how to find the right lender.

What is a high net worth mortgage?

A high net worth mortgage is a type of mortgage for individuals who have an annual net income of £300,000 or assets worth £3 million or more.

People who meet this criteria aren’t always bound by the same lending regulations as other customers as mortgage lenders who specialise in high net worth agreements are often willing to offer much high loan amounts, income multiples and bespoke terms and conditions.

Often required for high-value properties or investments to build a property portfolio, high net worth mortgages can be larger and often more complex than standard residential home loans.

Many customers who qualify for these mortgages wish to protect their assets and so lending through offshore structures, special purpose vehicles, trusts, and foundations may be required.

For some mortgage lenders, this can complicate things which is why many stick to mainstream mortgages that can be quicker to process.

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Why get a high net worth mortgage?

Many investors take out high net worth mortgages when financially, they may be in a position to purchase outright. However, by doing so, this would limit their liquidity for other possible investment opportunities.

Additionally, tying up a large sum of money in one asset can be financially inefficient.

For many buyers, asset protection is also crucial. The advisors we work with have a wealth of experience with this and can discuss the options that are best suited to your situation.

How to get a high net worth mortgage

Most lenders who offer this type of finance won’t deal with the public directly. For that reason, your first recommended step is to speak with a broker who has existing relationships with these lenders and experience arranging high-net-worth mortgages. 

If you make an enquiry with us our free broker-matching service will be able to match you with the right advisor. 

Your high net worth mortgage broker will then be able to offer the following services: 

  • Negotiating with lenders on your behalf: High net worth mortgages are offered on a case-by-case basis and there is more flexibility to negotiate rates on a bespoke basis. A broker will take the lead on these negotiations and boost your chances of getting the best possible terms. 
  • Bespoke advice: Private mortgage brokers understand complex income types and the needs of high net worth individuals. They can advise you on what mortgage type is the best fit for your requirements and help you make your wealth go further.
  • Introduce flexible ways to borrow: Through a broker, people with complex financial circumstances can find new ways to borrow that simply aren’t possible on the high street. For example, those who are cash-poor but asset-rich can potentially secure mortgages against their valuable assets, such as stocks and shares portfolios.
  • Access to the whole market: With a private broker’s expertise on your side, you won’t just have access to a select few private lenders. They have access to the entire high net worth market, including the private arms of high street banks such as HSBC. They can compare the deals you’d be offered by mainstream lenders with what you could qualify for from a specialist provider to make sure you get the best rate.
  • Preparing your mortgage application: Your broker will be able to guide you step-by-step through the mortgage process, including what documentary evidence may be required for the type of lending you’re applying for. 
  • Ongoing advice and support: Most high net worth mortgages are offered on a short-term, renewable basis but your broker will keep in touch to make sure your needs continue to be met and ensure you get the best deal when the time comes to remortgage.

How much will a high net worth mortgage broker cost? 

Due to the bespoke nature of this type of service, the fees charged by a broker arranging high net worth lending will vary and depend on the complexity involved with an application. 

Typically, a high net worth broker will charge a percentage of the amount borrowed, somewhere between 0.5%-1%, payable once the finance has been agreed by all parties. 

Some brokers may ask for an administration fee payable upfront as part of their overall compensation before commencing negotiations with a lender. 

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Can you get one on low income?

Yes, under the right circumstances.

High net worth mortgages are usually offered to those that earn an above-average income, but if you are asset rich, there are lenders who might still offer you high net worth mortgage exemption and secure the debt against your assets, assuming you have enough wealth tied up in them.

Every lender has their own affordability checks but in most cases, income will play a big factor when they conclude how much and if they are willing to lend to you.

Most will cap lending at 4.5 x your annual income, whilst some will cap at 5, and a handful will even lend up to 6 x your income in the right circumstances.

However, high net worth mortgage borrowers can be assessed differently to mainstream customers as some lenders take the value of assets into consideration when judging affordability.

This means you could get a mortgage based on more than 7 x your income, as well as bespoke terms and conditions.

Asset-backed mortgages

Many high net worth individuals choose an asset-backed mortgage over a traditional home loan, especially if they are asset rich but their actual income is more limited.

With an asset-backed mortgage, the debt is secured against high-value assets, such as a stocks and shares portfolio, rather than the property itself.

One of the main benefits of an asset-backed mortgage is that borrowers can buy property without having to liquidate their assets.

If your assets are valuable enough to meet the high net worth criteria, it may be possible to take out a much bigger mortgage than what you’d qualify for from a traditional high street lender, and the rates are usually more favourable compared to other mortgage types.

Many of the lenders who offer bespoke asset-backed mortgage deals for high net worth borrowers are only approachable through mortgage brokers, but the good news is that we work with mortgage advisors who specialise in this area of lending, and they can make sure you’re introduced to the right mortgage provider.

Can they be secured across a number of properties?

Yes, absolutely.

If you’re a landlord with a large portfolio looking to release capital in order to fund new purchases your portfolio as a whole can be used for refinancing purposes. One asset-based mortgage can be considered for the whole portfolio.

This, again, will come down to the specific lender’s affordability assessment and the strength of the assets involved as security against any proposed lending.

Refinancing an asset-based mortgage

You could always talk to your current lender about the possibility of refinancing an existing asset-backed mortgage.

If you’re hoping to remortgage onto a deal with another mortgage lender, this is also possible and the advisors we work with can help you find the best deal for your needs and circumstances.

Keep in mind that there may be additional charges to foot as your existing mortgage provider will hold a charge on the assets you’ve secured the loan against.

What if you have bad credit?

bad credit rating can cause problems even for a high net worth individual who’s in the market for an asset-backed mortgage.

There’s lots of wealthy people who have declared themselves bankrupt due, for example, to poor performing businesses.

The good news is, regardless of your financial position, there are high net worth mortgage lenders who will look at applications from borrowers who have had credit issues in the past and a few who specialise in these types of mortgage applications.

What rates to expect

When searching for the desirable rates, some property investors or house buyers can make the mistake of only considering their current lender or bank. In reality, there might be a better rate out there is you’re a high net worth individual as lenders are known to offer bespoke deals for people in this category.

Often banks and building societies do offer ‘exclusive rates’ for current customers, however on closer inspection and when comparing these rates to others on the market, in some cases a better one can be found, and this is where the expert advisors we work with come in.

They specialise in high net worth agreements and have access to deals that aren’t available to the public. They can also negotiate rates and terms from the ground up, if you meet the high net worth criteria.

As well as this, the property market can change quickly. Interest rates fluctuate and the criteria needed to meet affordability checks can differ extensively between lenders.

Get matched with a high net worth mortgage broker

High net worth mortgages can be tricky to obtain without the right advice, but the good news is that we work with brokers who specialise in arranging them. They have access to private lenders who offer deals for high net worth individuals, including higher loan amounts, bigger income multiples and bespoke terms and conditions.

By using our free broker-matching service, you can get yourself paired with the mortgage advisor who is best placed to help you get the best high net worth mortgage deal possible.

Call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and a high net worth mortgage broker today.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects.

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As you would expect, the larger the property value (and borrowing) the higher the deposit requirements.

Also, as previously mentioned above, larger borrowing requests are usually caveated with a more stringent loan to value criteria.

So, for example, an asset-backed mortgage may be approved on a property worth £4,000,000 with a 50% loan to value restriction, therefore, requiring a £2,000,000 deposit.

A lender would not expect such a large amount to be derived from disposable income. A HNWI may draw upon these funds from a variety of sources:

  • Sale of a UK property
  • Sale of a property overseas
  • Cash funds from investment portfolio
  • Inherited or trust monies
  • Family gift
  • Funds from sale of a business

Whichever the source a lender would require documentary proof of where these funds came from in order to satisfy its internal and regulatory money laundering requirements.

Yes, this may be possible.

The approach lenders tend to take towards buy to let properties can generally be more relaxed towards criteria such as an individual’s income stream as the focus really is on the assets available for security and the income generated from the rent can be used for the mortgage payments.

This can also reduce the overall tax liability from the rental income.

Most lenders will want to see evidence of some sort of regular income however there are some who will accept no minimum income on a buy to let purchase.

Another benefit of having a large property portfolio, as mentioned above, you could use this portfolio to raise finance for a residential property purchase for use as your main residence.

Again, it’s certainly possible if you meet a high net worth lender’s criteria for second home mortgages.

Owning additional homes purely for your own use is quite common for high net worth individuals whether that’s within the UK or, perhaps, a holiday home overseas.

Borrowing to purchase a second home, unlike buy to let properties, would usually require evidence of income sufficient to cover any mortgage payments as there would be no rental income derived from the property.

If the property is overseas it is worthwhile liaising with a local broker or lender, or at least a lender/broker who handles UK mortgage applications based on foreign income.

They will have a firmer understanding on the local laws and regulations surrounding a property purchase, as these will differ from one country to the next.

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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 Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

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Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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