How do zero deposit mortgages work?

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Zero deposit mortgages work where you are not paying any deposit to take out a mortgage loan. This type of mortgage can be fairly expensive and difficult to qualify for so read on carefully in the headings below.

How to get a mortgage with no deposit

While uncommon in the UK, it is not out of the realm of possibility. The majority of 100% mortgages vanished from the market after the financial crisis of 2007-2008. However, in May 2023, some lenders re-introduced a 100% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage, aiming to assist first-time buyers who are presently renting in acquiring their first home or apartment.


What does a mortgage with no deposit mean?

A mortgage without a deposit is occasionally referred to as a 100% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage. This type of mortgage necessitates no upfront deposit, as it entails borrowing the complete value of the property for sale.

The newly launched no deposit mortgage allows first-time buyers who have rented for at least 12 months to qualify for a 100% loan based on their rental payment history. For example, if your average monthly rent was £1,000 over the past 6 months, you could potentially borrow up to £176,627 without a deposit at a 5-year fixed interest rate of 5.94%. 

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The maximum loan amount increases progressively alongside higher proven rental payments, up to a limit of £600,000. However, borrowers must still have funds for other upfront costs like legal fees and stamp duty. While removing the barrier of raising a deposit, these 0 deposit mortgages enable renters to purchase a home using their rental track record to demonstrate creditworthiness.

How do zero deposit mortgages work?

The concept of house deposits involves a percentage of the property’s value paid using accumulated savings, with the remainder covered by a home loan or mortgage. Generally, the minimum deposit is 5%, requiring £15,000 for a house priced at £300,000. This results in a mortgage with an 95% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, covering 95% of the purchase cost.

Increasing your deposit enhances the likelihood of mortgage approval and secures lower interest rates. For the same £300,000 house, a 10% deposit amounts to £30,000, a 15% deposit requires £45,000, and a 20% deposit calls for £60,000. Optimal interest rates are often offered to those with a substantial 40% deposit (60% LTV), translating to £120,000 for a £300,000 property.

How have they changed?

When zero percent mortgages were first introduced, they were a lot more popular. They were also strictly used for residential property with the aim to help first time buyers so they aren’t and never have been available for buy to let mortgages.

Now, 0% mortgages are making a return as some lenders attempt to bring them back as inflation rates are high, raising questions as to whether it is ethical to allow first time buyers to take on a lot of debt in this way with a lot of inflation at the same time.


Can you get a 0 deposit mortgage for your first home?

This mortgage variant is typically designed for individuals facing challenges in accumulating a sufficient deposit to purchase a home. So, yes, you can and the scheme is likely designed to aid you.

Is it more expensive than other types of mortgage?

So, here’s the lowdown on zero deposit mortgages – they can sometimes feel a bit pricier than the regular ones. Some lenders might jack up the interest rates a bit, and there could be extra fees in the mix, making the overall cost climb. 

Plus, you might not have a ton of options to choose from, and the property prices could be nudged a bit higher. It’s like a trade-off for not having to cough up a down payment. So, before diving in, check the terms, weigh the pros and cons, and maybe chat with a financial whiz to make sure it’s the right move for you.

What are the alternatives to a zero deposit mortgage?

The primary option instead of a 0% deposit is a 5% deposit mortgage. Achieving a savings target equivalent to 5% of your property value could be feasible for you. If you manage to reach this goal, it’s likely that you can secure a more substantial mortgage or benefit from a reduced interest rate for your first home.

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However, if you don’t think this is possible, here are some other alternatives on setting up a zero deposit mortgage to help you in the buying process.

  • Guarantor mortgage
  • Save up for a deposit (gifted deposit)
  • Using equity from another property
  • Use a personal loan
  • Use a credit card
  • Use a government scheme
  • Rent instead for the same price

What are the pros and cons of a 0 mortgage?

While a 0 percent mortgage may seem like an attractive proposition, it’s essential to consider both the advantages and potential drawbacks:


  • The most apparent benefit is that you won’t be paying any interest on your mortgage, leading to significant savings over the life of the loan.
  • With no interest, your entire payment goes toward reducing the principal amount, allowing for faster equity buildup.
  • Monthly payments may be more manageable, as they only cover the loan amount without any interest added.
  • A 0 percent mortgage might provide you with increased financial flexibility, allowing you to allocate funds to other investments or financial goals.


  • Lenders offering 0 percent mortgages may compensate by pricing homes higher, potentially making the overall cost of the property more expensive.
  • Securing a 0 percent mortgage may come with stricter eligibility criteria, making it challenging for some buyers to qualify.
  • These types of mortgages may not be widely available, limiting your options and requiring you to shop around extensively.
  • While the interest rate is zero, there could be other associated fees, such as application fees or higher closing costs.
  • Some 0 percent mortgages may come with shorter repayment periods, leading to higher monthly payments.

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