Getting on the property ladder – or growing your property portfolio – is both exciting and a fantastic way to boost your finances in the future.
Unless you’re a cash buyer, most people purchasing property will need to apply for a mortgage. Virgin Money is one of the UK’s largest mortgage lenders. They offer a broad range of products to suit both first-time buyers and experienced homeowners.
Founded in 1995 by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Money is one of the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders and commanded around 3.5% of the total mortgage market in 2019. While they merged with Clydesdale Bank in 2018, this guide will look specifically at Virgin Money’s mortgage products.
Virgin Money offers several perks as standard to their mortgage customers, including:
Various fixed rate deals between 2 and 15 years
A personal advisor who will help you at every stage of your mortgage application
Flexible options when it comes to overpayments and mortgage holidays
Cashback deals with numerous mortgages
Virgin Money offers an extensive range of mortgages to suit different buyers and buying scenarios. In addition to standard mortgages for home movers, you’ll also be able to apply for:
If you’re not happy with your current mortgage terms – or you’ve come to the end of your current arrangement – you might want to consider remortgaging your home.
This is something which Virgin Money offer both new and existing customers. You’ll simply choose a new mortgage product that works for you whilst also benefiting from a free valuation and standard legal fees.
Remember, if you’re switching from another provider or a different product, there may be hidden fees involved. Always double-check your paperwork before you consider remortgaging your home.
Those looking to expand their property portfolio with one or more rental properties will likely apply for a buy-to-let mortgage. These are specifically for flats or houses that will be bought and then let out to paying tenants.
Virgin buy-to-let mortgages are an excellent option for rental properties, plus you’ll be able to benefit from some of their flexible features. To qualify for one of Virgin Money’s buy-to-let mortgage deals, you’ll need to:
Earn at least £25,000 a year (this can be combined income if there are 2 of you)
Make sure the monthly rental yield of the property is 145% of your expected monthly mortgage repayments
Have owned the property you currently live in for at least 6 months
Jumping on the property ladder for the first time? Congratulations! You’ll likely want to get a mortgage that suits your first-time buyer status.
Virgin offers a range of mortgage options specifically for the first-time buyer. It tends to let you borrow a more significant proportion of your property’s value, meaning you won’t need to save quite as much cash for a deposit. You’ll also be able to track and manage your mortgage using Virgin’s app.
If you’re keen to pay off your mortgage a little bit quicker, one of Virgin Money’s flexible mortgages might be ideal. These allow you to make additional overpayments on your standard monthly mortgage repayments without having to pay early repayment fees.
You can choose to pay more on those months when you’ve got extra cash to spare or simply pay off a big lump sum at any point during your mortgage term. With a fully flexible mortgage, you might also be able to lower your payment for some months if you’re ever a bit strapped for cash.
The exact amount of money you’ll be able to borrow from Virgin Money will depend on several things. These include:
Your total annual income
Your average monthly expenses
How much you have saved for a deposit
Your credit history and debts
While many mortgage lenders work out a rough estimate of how much they can loan you by multiplying your income, Virgin Money uses an online affordability tool instead. This is found on their site. It uses a variety of information, from your income to your typical monthly costs, to roughly estimate how much you might be able to borrow.
You’ll also want to consider your loan to value (LTV) ratio. This is basically the ratio of your property’s total value, which a bank or lender is willing to loan you. It’s expressed as a percentage, with Virgin tending to offer 60%, 65%, 75%, 85% and 90% LTV mortgages.
Still unsure what this means? Let’s break it down. Say you go for an 80% LTV mortgage. Virgin Money will loan you 80% of your property’s worth, and you’ll then need to provide the remaining 20% as a deposit.
To find out precisely what you might be able to borrow for your mortgage, why not use our mortgage calculator? All you’ll need to do is submit a few details about your finances, income and the property you’re hoping to buy. Note that using a calculator tool won’t affect your credit score.
When we talk about mortgage rates, we mean the interest you’ll pay on top of your monthly mortgage repayments.
Your interest rate will depend on what kind of mortgage you go for. These are the two primary Virgin mortgage rates you can expect to be offered:
A fixed-rate mortgage is when the interest rate stays the same every month for the duration of your mortgage term. This is a popular option thanks to its ability to let you easily keep track of what money is going out of your account every month.
A large chunk of Virgin Money mortgages have fixed rates, and you’ll be able to apply for products with 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, or 15-year terms.
Another option to consider is a tracker rate mortgage. This is when the interest rate tracks closely to the Bank of England Base Rate. It’s the most important interest rate in the UK, and it’s set by the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.
The Base Rate can go up or down at any point due to things such as inflation. This means the interest rate on your tracker mortgage may also change. However, you’ll usually get 2 weeks advance notice from Virgin Money.
In the best-case scenario, you’ll pay less interest than you would with a fixed-rate mortgage. Nevertheless, you could also end up paying a higher rate if the Base Rate increases during your mortgage term.
So, you’re selling your current property and buying your dream home. The only thing is, you’d quite like to keep your current mortgage deal. Luckily, this is definitely a possibility with most banks and mortgage companies!
The process of transferring your existing mortgage to a new property is called ‘porting’. Virgin Money might allow you to port an existing mortgage for a small fee, depending on its terms and conditions. If you need to borrow more because your new property is worth more, you’ll be able to discuss this during the porting process.
Whether you’ve had a setback in your career or something has impacted your finances, it might be necessary to apply for a mortgage holiday.
This is what it says on the tin: when you take a brief break from repaying your mortgage. Virgin Money mortgage holidays will vary depending on which kind of mortgage you have. You might be able to apply for a one month mortgage holiday every time you complete 9 standard monthly mortgage repayments in a row. It might also be possible to temporarily reduce your monthly payments.
While you’ll briefly stop paying your monthly payments during a mortgage holiday, interest continues to add up. This means you’ll ultimately end up owing Virgin Money more than you did before you took a holiday. Note also that your monthly repayments will be adjusted to reflect those months when you weren’t paying anything once your mortgage holiday ends.
A mortgage overpayment is the opposite of taking a mortgage holiday. You might find you have extra money at the end of the month or year you’d like to pay off your mortgage sooner.
Virgin Money is flexible with overpayment terms and usually offers customers a 10% annual allowance. This means you can pay back an additional 10% of your total mortgage value every year. Nevertheless, there may be conditions, so you’ll want to double-check your mortgage documents.
Like the sound of one of Virgin Money’s mortgage products? As long as you meet all the criteria and have a good credit history, you should be able to apply for a mortgage with Virgin Money online, in a branch, or over the phone.
The first step of your mortgage application with Virgin Money will be to meet with a personal advisor for your mortgage interview. During this meeting, you’ll need to supply various paperwork, including:
Proof of address for the last 3 years
Details about your income, including payslips, overtime, and any bonus payments
If you’re self-employed, business bank statements, net profit details, or a self-employed supplementary form
Information about your monthly outgoings and expenses
Details of any pensions
At some point during the application, Virgin will also complete a full credit check. Having bad credit can have a significant impact on the success of your mortgage application.
Bear in mind that you’ll usually always need to have sourced an agreement in principle (see below).
Before you begin the mortgage application process, you’ll need to apply for something called an agreement in principle.
Put simply, this is a document that acts as proof to a mortgage company or bank that you’re responsible and will be able to make your monthly repayments. Virgin Money’s equivalent is their eligibility check. You can complete it online in 5 minutes, and it’s designed to give you a basic idea of what Virgin might be willing to lend you for a mortgage.
The main things you’ll need to have handy to complete Virgin Money’s mortgage eligibility check (or an agreement in principle with another lender) are:
Details about your age, identity and address
Your annual income
A good idea of your monthly expenses
Information about any debt or bad credit
Note that applying for any kind of agreement in principle will not affect your credit score. That’s because it only requires a soft credit check to be completed.
Once you’ve submitted all the relevant documents for your mortgage application, you can typically expect to hear back from Virgin Money within 14 working days. Nevertheless, it could be more or less time depending on:
If you’ve supplied all the correct paperwork first time round
How busy the housing market is at the time you’re buying
Your unique personal circumstances
Once you’ve been offered a mortgage with Virgin Money, you’ll have 6 months to finish up with your house purchase before it expires. If the sale goes over 6 months, you might be able to apply for an extension on your mortgage offer. You’ll also need to pay any applicable fees during this period.
On the completion date (the date you officially become the owner of your new home), Virgin Money will release the money for your mortgage. Your solicitor should let them know when this date will be and sort out the details.
Virgin Money is one of the UK’s biggest mortgage lenders, currently nominated for two different mortgage categories in the 2021 What Mortgage awards. In the Which? Guide 2020 mortgage survey. They also came 16th out of 23 major mortgage companies, scoring high for their transparency, overpayment options, and customer complaint handling.
With so many different products available with Virgin Money, it might be a good idea to compare mortgages. You can also use our handy tool to look at products from other banks and lenders. Why not find out more about what’s on offer, and receive tips on the house buying process as a whole on our mortgages page?