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First Direct mortgage review

Our First Direct mortgage review combines customer feedback with expert deal analysis to reveal whether the lender is worth considering next time you apply for a mortgage.

In this article
First Direct mortgages customer ratings What kinds of mortgages does First Direct offer? Does First Direct offer the best mortgage deals? Interest rates on First Direct mortgages How much can I borrow from First Direct?
Can I make overpayments? How can I contact First Direct? First Direct mortgage eligibility What First Direct mortgage customers say

First Direct mortgages customer ratings

Mortgages
First Direct Review
Which? Customer Score
6th out of 25 mortgage lenders
72%
Which?'s rating for customer satisfaction, based on feedback from real customers. The score is made up of a customer's overall satisfaction with the brand, and how likely they are to recommend that brand.
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The table below shows how First Direct mortgages performed in our latest mortgage satisfaction survey, which collected real customer feedback on every aspect of their mortgages. 

Customer rating for: Star rating
Customer service

4 out of 5

Application process -
Value for money

4 out of 5

Keeping you well informed

4 out of 5

Clarity of statements

5 out of 5

Transparency of charges

4 out of 5

Query and complaint handling

4 out of 5

Ability to overpay or underpay mortgage

3 out of 5

Online access

4 out of 5

 

Star ratings based on a June 2019 Which? survey of 3,574 members of the general public, in which 72 people told us they had their mortgage with First Direct. Where no rating is given the sample size was too small.

What kinds of mortgages does First Direct offer?

When we checked in September 2019, there were just over 30 different mortgages available from First Direct – a fairly small number.

Most were fixed-rate deals, meaning your interest rate would stay the same for a certain period. First Direct's mortgages mostly have fixed periods lasting two or five years, with a few 10-year deals available too.

The rest were tracker mortgages.

Does First Direct offer interest-only mortgages?

Yes, although your salary needs to be at least £50,000 in order to apply.

Alternatively, if you’re applying with another person, your combined salaries would need to total at least £75,000, unless one of you earns at least £50,000.

Interest-only mortgages from First Direct are offset mortgages. This means that any money held in an eligible First Direct savings or current account will be deducted from the mortgage balance you pay interest on.

You can have an interest-only mortgage from First Direct for up to 25 years. You can repay capital during the mortgage - though you might face early repayment charges - and you may also be able to borrow back capital that you’ve repaid.

Does First Direct offer the best mortgage deals?

Which? analysis has found that First Direct offers slightly more cheap mortgages than the average lender.

In order to work this out, our experts analysed thousands of mortgages over a four-week period in August 2019. They compiled a total of 208 ‘top-10 cheapest deal’ tables based on a variety of borrowing scenarios, and counted how many times each lender featured in a table.

The average number of times a lender made it into a table was 15, while First Direct featured 17 times. (Data source: Moneyfacts.)

 

Interest rates on First Direct mortgages

First Direct offers three types of interest rates – fixed, tracker and standard variable.

In September 2019, most mortgages from First Direct were fixed-rate deals. The average rate of two-year fixed-rate mortgage from First Direct was 2.02%, lower than the industry average of 2.77%.

How much can I borrow from First Direct?

Below we’ve outlined how much you could borrow on a repayment mortgage from First Direct, in relation to the percentage of the property’s value.

Loan size Loan-to-value
Up to and including £400,000 90%
More than £400,000 up to £1m 80%
More than £1 million up to £2m 75%
More than £2m 65%

We’ve also outlined how much you could borrow on an interest-only mortgage from First Direct, in relation to the percentage of the property’s value.

Loan size Loan-to-value
Up to and including £400,000 75%
More than £400,000 up to £1m 75%
More than £1m up to £2m 65%
More than £2m 50%

If you’re buying a new-build property, the most you could borrow from First Direct is 85% of the property’s value. But if you want to borrow more than 75% for a new-build, you’ll need to have a deposit of at least £25,000.

Can I make overpayments?

If you have a tracker or standard-variable-rate mortgage, you can make unlimited overpayments without having to pay an early repayment charge.

With a fixed-rate mortgage from First Direct you can make unlimited overpayments unless you're clearing the entire mortgage, in which case you may face an early repayment charge.

How can I contact First Direct?

New customers can contact 03456 100103, and existing customers can call 03456 100236.

Its website is firstdirect.com.

First Direct mortgage eligibility

Income and employment

First Direct doesn’t require a minimum salary if you’re applying for a repayment mortgage.

Types of property

The bank currently doesn’t lend on buy-to-let properties or those bought using Right to Buy or a shared ownership scheme.

If your property is a leasehold, you’ll only be able to get a mortgage from First Direct if there are at least 30 years left on the lease when the mortgage ends.

What First Direct mortgage customers say

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