Getting a Mortgage With 3 or 4 People

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Home Mortgage Application Getting A Mortgage With 3 Or 4 People

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

In this article, we’ll explain how to get a mortgage with three or four applicants, which lenders will consider these applications and why using a mortgage broker can boost your chances of success. 

How many people can be on a mortgage?

Three to four people can buy a house together. It’s essential to draft a legal agreement detailing each person’s financial contributions, ownership shares, and exit strategies. This document ensures clarity, and fairness, and outlines decision-making for maintenance, costs, and unforeseen events among all involved.

All applicants are equally responsible for repayments, and lenders will assess each person’s financial details. This option is available to first-time buyers as well as other purchasers.

Most lenders won’t accept more than two applicants, however, and of those that do, some will only do so if they are members of the same family. Only a few will offer three or four-person mortgages where the borrowers are not related, such as groups of friends.

Mortgages with three or more named borrowers are sometimes known as multi-applicant or multiple-person mortgages or occasionally 3-way or 4-way mortgages.

If you’re applying with more than one other person, seeking specialist advice is recommended as many mainstream lenders won’t be equipped to handle your application.

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How do these multi-applicant agreements work?

Once arranged, multi-applicant mortgages work in much the same way as other residential mortgages do. The key difference is that three or sometimes four people are legally responsible for the repayments, as well as having rights to the property itself.

In most cases. all applicants will need to live in the property being purchased (owner-occupiers). It may also be possible to get a mortgage for two or more people where only one of the named borrowers will be living in the property: this is called a joint borrower sole proprietor agreement.

How is ownership split?

Mortgages with 3 or more applicants are usually (though not always) taken out on a tenants-in-common basis.

Whereas a joint mortgage grants all named parties equal rights over the ownership of the property, holding as tenants-in-common means each person has their own percentage stake in the property, agreed and formalised with a solicitor before the purchase.

How much of each person’s income can be declared?

Many of the lenders offering multiple-person mortgages will only accept the incomes of up to two of the applicants when establishing how much the group can afford to borrow, usually the two highest earners.

In the illustration below for example, although the group has a combined annual income of £100,000, a lender may only accept the annual earnings of two of the applicants, i.e. £70,000 per annum.

Applicant named on deed Annual income
Applicant A £40,000
Applicant B £30,000
Applicant C £30,000
Total income for affordability calculation £70,000

The good news is that a few lenders do allow all parties to declare their incomes for the purposes of affordability, even where the applicants are not close relatives. This allows the group’s collective buying power to go further, which is often the main reason for resourcing together to buy a house or flat in the first place.

Some multi-person mortgage lenders will consider all applicants’ earnings by default, others do so only in specific circumstances. This may be tied to the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, for example by allowing up to 3 people to declare their income only if the LTV is less than 80%.

For a rough estimate of how much you could borrow with a multi-applicant mortgage, simply add together the incomes of everyone in your group who is eligible to be included in the affordability assessment, and enter them into our calculator below…

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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To get approved for a three-person mortgage where all parties’ incomes are declared, we strongly recommend speaking to a broker who specialises in multi-person mortgages. They will have existing relationships with the most suitable lenders for groups of friends or family members looking to buy property together, maximising your chances of success first time.

How to get a mortgage with 3 or more people

Your first step should be to find a mortgage broker who specialises in arranging mortgages where three or more people are involved. Make an enquiry with us and we will match you with an advisor who has these credentials.

Your handpicked mortgage broker will guide you through the following steps to full application:

  • Getting the necessary paperwork ready. For multiple applicant mortgages, a lender will want to see proof of income, address and identity for all those applying – payslips (or certified accounts if self-employed), bank statements, copies of utility bills and I.D (passport or driving licence)
  • Downloading and optimising your credit reports. A lender will review all applicants’ credit records so it’s advised to check each before you apply in order to correct any inaccuracies or remove outdated information in advance. 
  • Finding the right lender. Your broker will be able to identify the lenders who can help with an application of this nature.

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Can you apply for a mortgage with friends?

Yes – but this varies a lot between mortgage providers: the strictest will only offer multiple-person mortgages to applicants who are blood relatives. Others will allow up to 3 friends to be named on the deeds, but as mentioned above, they are less likely to allow all parties to declare their incomes in the affordability assessment where there’s no family relationship.

Which lenders will consider your application?

There are currently several lenders offering multi-applicant mortgages at the time of writing (September 2023), but it’s important to note that products may be taken off or added to the market at any time. These include: 

  • Barclays – will accept up to four applicants with up to two of the applicants’ income taken into account for affordability purposes
  • Metro Bank – will consider income from all applicants (up to 4 people if close family relatives) 
  • Leeds Building Society – will factor in income from up to 4 people for affordability, but all must be members of the same family
  • Teachers Building Society – will consider 100% of the first two applicants’ incomes and 50% of one further applicant.
  • Skipton Building Society –  accepts up to 4 applicants and will consider all parties’ incomes in their calculation provided they intend to live in the property

Many of the lenders offering multi-applicant mortgages only work with brokers, so you will need to apply through one in order to get a complete picture of the available options.

Get matched with a broker who specialises in multi-applicant mortgages

While three-person mortgages are not the norm, we can quickly put you in touch with brokers who specialise in the multi-person market, arrange these types of deals every day, and will know which lenders are currently making competitive offers to people in exactly the same situation as you.

If you’d like us to put you in touch with one of the multiple applicant mortgage experts we work with, call us today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll be in touch to arrange a free, no-obligation chat between you and a suitable broker today.

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Yes, it’s possible to add a third person to your existing mortgage in the right circumstances.

If your current lender allows you to add an extra name to the deeds, you will usually have to pay fees associated with changing the contract between you and the lender. They will also treat the third borrower as they would any new applicant, which means putting them through the usual application checks. You’ll usually need a solicitor to oversee the process and give you advice.

If your lender does not allow the addition of a third borrower, your best bet is to remortgage and collectively apply for a 3-person mortgage. A whole-of-market broker can quickly guide you towards the most appropriate providers.

There are no specific age restrictions for these types of mortgages other than those which apply, as standard, by each lender. 

If there are any age requirements amongst your group of applicants, speak with your mortgage broker first and they can find the right lender best placed to cater for this situation.

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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!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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