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NatWest Mortgage Review

We explain who NatWest are, the mortgages they provide and helpful details for you to know before deciding to apply 

A photo of Grace Lynch, the author

By Grace Lynch

Published on: 21 January 2023

12 min read

NatWest Mortgage Review

NatWest has over 19 million UK customers and you may be one of them. NatWest provides a wide range of services and products including mortgages, and is a popular choice with UK borrowers looking to buy a home.

If you’re new to NatWest or even if you already have an account with them but need some more information, we are here to help. If you are considering NatWest for your next mortgage, there are many things to think about before making a final decision. 

With so many people looking to get on the property ladder, there are a lot of mortgage lenders offering some great mortgage terms. Luckily, if you don’t think NatWest feels quite right after reading this review, you still have a range of options left to choose from. 

Why choose a NatWest mortgage? 

NatWest are an award-winning mortgage lender, dedicated to helping their customers take control of their finances. They offer a wide range of mortgages, including more specialised mortgage deals unavailable with other lenders. 

NatWest understands how important protecting the environment is and so has a specialised Green Mortgage on offer. This mortgage:

  • Rewards people buying energy efficient homes (with an Energy Performance Certificate rated A or B) with lower interest rates
  • Means could benefit from both lower mortgage payments and lower household energy bills 

About NatWest 

Two of the UK’s biggest banks, National Provincial Bank and Westminster Bank decided to merge back in 1986, becoming National Westminster Bank or ‘NatWest’. They completed this deal and began trading under this new name from 1970 onwards, introducing new services including credit cards in 1972. 

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group bought out NatWest in 2000 (though they continued trading under the same name), creating the UK’s third largest banking group. This group rebranded itself as the NatWest group in 2020. 

The NatWest group includes several businesses (not just NatWest itself) including The Royal Bank of Scotland, Lombard, Ulster Bank and Isle of Man Bank. 

[NATWEST TIMELINE] 

Main areas of business for NatWest include: 

  • Current accounts  
  • Mortgages  
  • Savings accounts  
  • Loans  
  • Investments  
  • Credit cards  
  • NatWest premier accounts  
  • Business banking accounts and loans
  • Insurance policies 

NatWest has a proven track record of providing UK mortgages, helping over 167,000 new customers get a mortgage in 2021, with over 48,000 of these being first time buyers.  

If you think NatWest might be the right choice for your next mortgage, you can read the below table of facts for more information about the mortgages on offer. 

Type of product Mortgages 
Repayment options Capital and repayment mortgage (you repay both the loan and the interest every month). 
Interest only mortgage (you repay only the interest on your mortgage every month, with the full mortgage loan repaid at the end of the mortgage term). 
Part interest or ‘part and part’ mortgage (you can combine repayment and interest only into one mortgage, paying part of the loan on an interest only basis and the rest as capital and repayment). 
Types of mortgages available  Traditional mortgage or remortgage 
NatWest First Time Buyer mortgage (95% LTV) 
NatWest Buy to Let mortgage 
NatWest New Build Mortgages 
NatWest Green Mortgages (available for properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or B) 
NatWest Cashback Mortgage (first time buyers) 
Interest rate types available NatWest fixed rate mortgage (the interest rate you pay each month stays the same for a set period of time, usually 2, 5 or 10 years)
NatWest tracker rate mortgage (the interest rate you pay each month can change, if the Bank of England changes their base interest rate)
Maximum mortgage term Capital and repayment: 40 years 
Interest only or buy to let: 35 years 
Loan to Value (LTV) options (deposit amount vs overall property value) 60% LTV mortgage (deposit 40% of property value) 
65% LTV mortgage (deposit 35% of property value) 
75% LTV mortgage (deposit 25% of property value) 
80% LTV mortgage (deposit 20% of property value) 
85% LTV mortgage (deposit 15% of property value) 
90% LTV mortgage (deposit 10% of property value) 
95% LTV mortgage (deposit 5% of property value) 
Does NatWest have early repayment charges (ERCs)? YES, you will be charged early repayment charges if you overpay more than 10% of the overall mortgage value within one year. 
Fees charged for NatWest mortgages You may be charged a £995 product fee for certain mortgages as well as other fees including: 

Property valuation fees (£102 for properties worth up to £3million and £1,380 for properties up to £10million) though some mortgages will offer a free valuation service. 
£75 admin fee 

Buying a property will likely be one of the biggest purchases you will make, and the majority of buyers will need a mortgage to make this happen. When looking for a mortgage, the first question will usually be about how much you can borrow.  

This will vary depending on several factors including the lender you choose, your income, credit history and how much you have saved for your deposit. Luckily, most lenders will have a calculator on their website that can make it easier to estimate how much you could borrow with them.  

There is a NatWest mortgage calculator located on their site, that can quickly give you a rough guide as to how much you could borrow for your mortgage. NatWest even have dedicated calculators for different mortgage types including: 

  • A first-time buyer calculator 
  • A remortgage calculator 
  • A buy to let mortgage calculator 
  • A moving home mortgage calculator 

The calculators will start by asking questions such as: 

  • Number of applicants (1 or 2?) (the below questions about income will be asked twice if a joint application) 
  • What is your annual income before tax?  
  • Do you have other income sources? (overtime, commission, benefits, investments etc) 
  • Do you have any unsecured loans, credit cards or other monthly expenses e.g. school fees? 
  • Do you have any dependents? (children or adults) 
  • The price of the property and how much you have saved as a deposit 
  • How long you want the mortgage term to be  

This will then give you an idea of how much NatWest may be willing to loan you.

Note: As of December 2022, the maximum NatWest will lend is 5.5 times annual income. This is where the applicant has a sole income of £75,000 (or joint applicants with a combined income of £100,000) with a deposit at least 25% of the property value. 

How to contact NatWest mortgages 

Whether you are looking for a new mortgage or have had a mortgage with NatWest for years, there may be times you need to get in touch with your lender.

This could be to remortgage or adjust your mortgage term, to change details such as your name (if you get married for example) or to check the status of your new mortgage application. 

There are several ways you can contact NatWest:

  • You have the option to manage your mortgage and change details online via the NatWest Manage My Mortgage service and make payments via your online banking.
  • NatWest also have a chatbot (playfully referred to as ‘Cora’) on their website, who can answer basic questions or pass you on to the relevant department.  

If you would prefer to speak over the phone, there are many contact numbers for NatWest, so we have put together a list of the most relevant ones below. This will hopefully make it a bit more straightforward for you to know where to contact, so you don’t need to scour the web for the right number. 

To contact NatWest about general mortgage enquiries: 

Tel. 0345 302 0190 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm / Saturday 9am-4pm (excluding Bank Holidays) 

NatWest mortgage contact number to discuss new applications:  

Tel. 0800 092 9585 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm / Saturday and Sunday 9am-4pm (opening times will vary on Bank Holidays) 

OR  

To apply for a new mortgage: 

Tel. 0800 096 9572 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm / Saturday 9am-4pm (excluding Bank Holidays) 

NatWest contact number for new mortgage applications from overseas:  

Tel. +44 121 629 0739 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm / Saturday and Sunday 9am-4pm (opening times will vary on Bank Holidays) 

What does NatWest look at before approving your mortgage? 

Every mortgage lender will have slightly different criteria they will look at before deciding whether to approve your mortgage application.

We have put together all the information you need to decide whether you think you NatWest is a good choice for your application.

If you are still unsure, you can contact NatWest directly or speak to an independent broker for further advice. 

Lending criteria  NatWest mortgages 
Acceptable deposits Savings account: a savings account will be an acceptable deposit source 
Help to buy: ISAs and Equity loans: can be used but you will not be able to apply for your mortgage online. 
Gifted deposits: will be accepted as if they were the applicant’s own money, if they have come from a parent or guardian. If from another third party, they will be accepted but you will need to provide proof this is not a loan that needs to be repaid. 
Vendor gifted deposits: usually will be in the form of a discount on the property price, only accepted when no repayment is required, and this will need to be taken off the overall value of the property. 
Gifted equity or concessionary purchase: usually will be when a family member sells to you at a reduced price, only permitted if there is a family connection. With all gifted deposits you will need to submit a gifted deposit lender. 
Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) loans: can be used but it is worth speaking to a mortgage broker for more advice
Number of applicants  Maximum of 2 applicants (joint mortgage) 
Minimum and maximum ages of applicants Minimum age 18 years.   
Maximum age of the applicant at the end of the mortgage term is 75 (repayment) or 70 (interest only) for residential mortgages.  
Maximum age of the applicant at the end of the mortgage term is 80 for buy to let mortgages, but with a larger portfolio this decreases to 70 or retirement age (depending on which is lower). 
Will NatWest approve mortgages for foreign nationals? YES, but if you do not have permanent right to reside in the UK you cannot use a gifted deposit and will need a deposit at least 25% of the property value (unless it is a joint application, and the other applicant has permanent right to reside). 
If you are a non-EU national, NatWest will always request to see a copy of your passport and a valid Visa. 
Credit score/history requirements NatWest generally lends to people with good credit, though if you have a few missed payments an excellent credit score may override this.  Your application will be declined if: 
You have been made bankrupt in the past 
You have had an individual voluntary agreement (IVA) on your credit file in the last 6 years 
Applicants who work or live abroad NatWest will accept applications from overseas from their international banking customers. Find out more on their website.

Any mortgage will charge interest, so it is a good idea to try and choose the right interest rate type for your mortgage deal. NatWest has several types of mortgage interest rate available: 

  • NatWest fixed rate mortgage: the interest rate you pay will stay the same for a set amount of years agreed (usually between 2 to 5 years).  
  • NatWest tracker rate mortgage: the interest rate you pay will change in line with any changes in the Bank of England base rate of interest. This will usually be set for 2, 3 or 5 years. 

Note: After you reach the end of the fixed or tracker rate, you will be switched over to NatWest’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). NatWest’s Standard Variable Rate is currently 6.24% for both standard residential and buy to let mortgages.* 

*as of 02/12/22. 

Should I get a NatWest Buy to Let mortgage? 

Buy to let mortgages can be a great investment but will have slightly different criteria and requirements than standard residential mortgages. It can be worth speaking to a broker for advice, particularly if this is your first time buying a property to rent out. 

NatWest do have online tools and guidance for people looking for Buy to Let mortgages, to help you understand the process and requirements before applying. They also have a specific section for getting your Buy to Let agreement in principle.  

This can make it easier and more convenient for you to complete your mortgage application process online.

Note: You will need to apply in branch or over the phone if you already own 4 or more buy to let properties.

To talk about your buy to let mortgage over the phone, you can call: 

Tel. 0800 096 9527 

Are NatWest mortgage overpayments possible? 

If you end up with extra funds in your bank account for any reason, e.g. a return on investments or an inheritance, you might decide to repay some or all of your mortgage. This can be a good option to remove a significant monthly bill while you can, compared to something that is beneficial short term like a holiday.  

Not every lender will allow you to overpay on your mortgage and many who do will charge you a fee for doing so. Lenders benefit from discouraging overpayments, as if people reduce their mortgage size or term early, they will lose out on the interest that would have been charged. 

NatWest does allow overpayments:

  • Up to a set limit of up to 10% of the total amount payable on your mortgage each year.
  • These can be in regular monthly overpayments or one lump sum.
  • If you overpay you could lower your monthly repayments moving forward or reduce your mortgage term

You can arrange to overpay on your mortgage in several ways including: 

  • By logging into the Manage My Mortgage NatWest service online or in the mobile app
  • With an advisor over the phone (you will need your mortgage account number/customer number): 

Tel. 0345 302 0190 

How long until you receive a NatWest mortgage in principle? 

If you have seen the perfect property and want to put in an offer as soon as possible, it can take as little as 5 minutes to get a NatWest agreement in principle.

They will start by asking if the mortgage will be for your own home or a buy to let property, and whether this a first mortgage, home move or remortgage. They will then move on to asking further questions like: 

  • Are you planning to use any buyer support schemes such as shared equity, Help to Buy or Right to Buy schemes? (if so you will need to apply over the phone or in branch) 
  • Number of applicants (1 or 2?) (you will be redirected to their older application tool if applying for a joint mortgage as they are still updating their new system) 
  • Basic details including name, date of birth and your last 3 years worth of addresses 
  • More detailed questions about your annual income and expenses 

You can only apply online if: 

  • You are a permanent UK resident aged 18 or over 
  • Your income is paid in pounds Sterling 
  • The property you wish to buy is in the UK (not a UK holiday home or second home) 
  • You’ve never had a property repossessed or defaulted on a mortgage, never been declared bankrupt and not had CCJs on your credit file in the last 6 years 
  • You are applying for a capital and interest mortgage (interest only will need to be applied for over the phone or in branch) 

You should get a decision quickly and you can save the details you have submitted, to save time if you decide to start a full NatWest mortgage application.

Tracking your NatWest mortgage application

NatWest makes it easy for you to track the status of your mortgage once you have applied using their online NatWest mortgage tracker. All you need is your mortgage reference number and you can find out exactly what stage your application is at.  

Benefits of NatWest mortgage deals 

There are some specific benefits to taking out a mortgage with NatWest. This includes the option of mortgage types unavailable with other lenders. These include: 

  • NatWest Green Mortgages with additional rewards are available, if the property has an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A or B. These mortgages can mean lower interest rates as a reward for your home or rental property being energy efficient. You will need to be on a 2- or 5-year fixed rate and have a 25% deposit. 
  • NatWest Cashback Mortgages are available as a ‘first time buyer exclusive’ product. NatWest will pay £150-£1000 in cashback when your mortgage is completed with the amount varying depending on each individual mortgage. 
  • FREE Mortgage Concierge Service if applying for a NatWest Premier mortgage of £500,000 or more. 
  • Get a mortgage with only a 5% deposit if applying for a 95% LTV mortgage available to first time buyers and home movers. 

Mortgage applications can take some time and research, to make sure you are putting the best possible mortgage in place. This can be time consuming or difficult, especially if this is the first mortgage you have ever applied for.  

If you want to apply for a mortgage with NatWest, there are a few ways you can do this: 

An independent mortgage broker will be able to offer you additional support and guidance through your mortgage application, and help you decide which mortgage and lender is best suited to you. 

NatWest mortgage reviews 

Buyers will often look to independent reviews to get an idea of a lender’s service before applying for a mortgage. As of December 2022, NatWest is rated 1.4 out of 5.0 stars on Trust Pilot with over 4,400 reviews. 

Although this is a low score, it is best to remember this relates to all products and services and is not specific to mortgages. 

You can read the reviews or add your own on the NatWest Trust Pilot page.

If you are looking for information more specific to mortgages, Natwest: 

  • Is the winner of the YourMortgage Awards Best Bank, Best First-Time Buyer Mortgage Lender and Best Green Mortgage Lender 2022/23. 
  • Works hard to support and recognise the achievements of local independent brokers with their annual NatWest Local Hero Mortgage Awards 

Resources

NatWest – Manage your mortgage online

Citizen’s Advice – Managing your mortgage

Gov.uk – How to buy a home

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