Getting a Mortgage in Scotland

Looking for a mortgage in Scotland and want to know how the process differs to the rest of the U.K? Read on to find out more.

Are you looking for a mortgage on a property in Scotland?

Home Mortgage Application Getting A Mortgage In Scotland
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

Although the process of buying a house in Scotland is slightly different to in other parts of the U.K, getting a mortgage is broadly similar and should be straightforward as long as you meet the lender’s eligibility and affordability criteria.

In this article we’ll look at what’s involved in the mortgage process, how to find the right lender for you and we’ll explain any mortgage schemes or requirements specific to Scotland.

Are mortgages any different in Scotland?

No, the general principles of getting a mortgage are the same as the rest of the U.K and you should expect to pay similar rates, as most lenders will be led by the Bank of England base rate. You will find a smaller overall pool of lenders in Scotland though, so using a broker with experience of the Scottish mortgage market will be invaluable.

While a mortgage application in Scotland is similar, there are slight differences in other parts of the house buying process. For example, you will need to have a solicitor in place earlier on, as they place an offer on your behalf. Offers become legally binding much sooner, meaning gazumping and the breakdown of buying and selling chains is far less common. The other significant difference is that Scotland imposes a Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) rather than stamp duty, and rates can be different to other parts of the U.K.

How long does it take to buy a house in Scotland?

Buying a house in Scotland is slightly quicker on average than in England or Wales. From the point of having an offer accepted you should expect the process to take around 6-8 weeks.

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Eligibility criteria and deposit requirements

In order to qualify for a mortgage in Scotland, you’ll need to meet a lender’s eligibility and affordability criteria. These can vary from lender to lender, but your broker will be able to help you find the most relevant options for your circumstances.

Let’s take a look at the key things a lender will be interested in:

  • Affordability – When you borrow any money, one of the most important things to think about is whether or not you can afford to pay it back. Lenders will assess this by looking at your annual salary, some will even consider other income including child maintenance payments, bonuses and some benefits, and factoring in other credit commitments such as loans and credit cards. Most lenders in Scotland work on a maximum loan amount of 4.5 times your annual salary, although in some circumstances this could be as high as 5 times or even 6 times your salary.
  • Credit history – Risk is a big consideration to mortgage lenders and if your credit reports show a history of late or missed payments then this will be a red flag for them. Past issues aren’t necessarily a deal breaker – you can get bad credit mortgages in Scotland – but you may need to offer a larger deposit or pay higher interest rates, at least initially, to offset the risk.
  • Deposit – In terms of deposit requirements, Scotland is, again, pretty much in line with what is expected across the rest of the U.K. If a deposit is a struggle, there are a number of 95% mortgages available, so talk to your broker about the right lenders for you in this situation.
  • Other factors such as your employment type, age, property type, savings and investments and current homeownership status can all play a part in the mortgage application process.

To get an idea of how much you might be able to borrow based on property value and your deposit, take a look at our mortgage affordability calculator below. Bear in mind that any figures are for illustrative purposes only and a broker will be able to provide more bespoke calculations for you.

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Use this calculator to determine how much you could potentially borrow for a mortgage, based on the typical salary multiples used by most UK lenders.

Input full salaries for all applicants

Your Results:

You could borrow up to 

Most lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 4.5 times your household income, the standard calculation used by the majority of mortgage providers. To borrow more than this, you will need to use a mortgage broker to access specialist lenders.

Some lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 5 times your household income, a salary multiple you might struggle to qualify for without the help of a broker. This income multiple is not widely available to customers who are applying directly with a lender.

A minority of lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 6 times your household income, a salary multiple you will struggle to get without a broker. Six-times salary mortgages are usually only available under very specific circumstances.

Get Started with an expert broker to find out exactly how much you could borrow.

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How to get a mortgage in Scotland

Your first step should be to speak to a mortgage broker who has experience and a track record in the Scottish market. Make an enquiry with us and we will match you with an advisor who has these credentials.

The broker we pair you with will guide you through the following steps:

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What schemes are available there?

With average house prices continuing to rise across the UK, including Scotland, it can be difficult for many people to imagine ever being able to afford to buy their own home. Fortunately, there is support available.

These mortgage initiatives are subject to change so speak to your broker about these or any other new support schemes available before you start your mortgage application.

Low-cost Initiative for First Time Buyers (LIFT)

LIFT is a shared ownership scheme that gives first time buyers the chance to own a home.

Operating exclusively in Scotland the LIFT scheme has two strands, both administered by the Scottish government:

  • The New Supply Shared Equity scheme (NSSE) is specifically for first-time buyers and priority access groups to buy property from a local council or housing association.
  • The Open Market Shared Equity scheme (OMSE) is almost identical to the NSSE scheme but is for properties on the open market, not just council or housing association properties.

Lifetime ISA

The Lifetime ISA (LISA) replaced the Help to Buy ISA and allows savers through the UK aged 18-39 to build up money either for retirement or to buy their first home. You can save up to £4,000 a year and savings will be matched with a 25% bonus from the UK government.

In addition to these schemes, you could also consider a guarantor mortgage, which involves someone (usually a close family member) providing security for your repayments.

Which mortgage lenders are available?

All of the high street banks like Halifax, HSBC and Natwest will be able to offer mortgages in Scotland, but a lot of the smaller building societies operating in England and Wales don’t extend their offering north of the border.

Some banks and building societies restrict their lending to certain postcodes or to mainland Scotland only. Furness Building Society for example limits borrowing to 75% LTV (loan to value) on mainland Scotland only, Leeds Building Society will consider mainland Scotland and the Isle of Skye, while TSB includes the Shetland islands, Orkney islands, outer and inner Hebrides and Clyde islands.

Despite the restrictions and smaller overall pool of lenders, a good broker will still find plenty of options to compare and you should be able to get a product that suits your particular circumstances.

Remortgaging a property

Remortgaging in Scotland works in the same way as getting a mortgage for a new property, in that lenders will be looking at how much you can afford, your credit history and your other financial commitments.

The difference when you’re remortgaging is that you’ll often have equity in your property already, which can count as your deposit. If you have significant equity, this can open up better rates as you’ll be borrowing at a lower LTV. This also gives you the option to remortgage for more than your current loan amount, releasing equity for home improvements or other expenses.

Get matched with a Scottish market mortgage broker

Because the number of mortgage lenders in Scotland is lower than in other parts of the UK, it pays to get help from a broker who has specific experience of the Scottish mortgage industry. They will understand the local market and may have existing relationships with lenders, meaning they will be well placed to find you the best rates and terms.

Our free broker matching service can help you find a broker with experience in Scotland. Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make an online enquiry now and we’ll match you with an advisor who is best placed to guide you through the process.

Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in the Scottish property market

Get Started Phone Icon 0808 189 2301


Home reports are required by sellers – to be made available to any prospective buyers – and must be no more than twelve (12) weeks old at the point the property is put on the market. Once the ‘For Sale’ sign is up there is no official expiry date.

Yes, there are no restrictions on foreigners buying properties or getting mortgages in Scotland as long as you meet eligibility criteria. If you want to live in the property then there may be separate residency requirements to consider.

Yes, it’s possible, although normally through more specialist lenders and often with restrictions and higher interest rates.

The Glasgow Credit Union for example currently (Sep 2022) offers a 100% mortgage for homes up to £200,000 with a SVR of 4.99%. If you need a 100% mortgage in Scotland then a broker is best placed to help you find the right lenders at the best prices.

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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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