Money People Online Money People Online

Search MoneyPeopleOnline:

Santander Mortgage Review

The key facts you need to decide if Santander is the right fit for your next mortgage or remortgage

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 21 February 2023

12 min read

Santander Mortgage Review

Santander is well known in the world of mortgages, being the third largest UK mortgage provider with over 400 branches across the country. Even if you don’t have a Santander mortgage or bank account, you are bound to be familiar with the name. 

On this page, we’re talking about who Santander is and what they do, the mortgages they offer and benefits you can access with this mortgage provider.  

Buying a home or investment property can be a complicated process, and we want to try and make this a little easier for you. You might read this article and decide Santander isn’t for you, but this is fine as there are many other excellent lenders to choose from.

Why choose a Santander mortgage? 

Santander offers many different types of mortgages, meaning you have a range of mortgage products to choose from. Santander can help you with your mortgage in various circumstances, offering particularly good buy to let mortgages compared to some other lenders. 

If convenience is your main concern with your mortgage, Santander was awarded YourMortgage Best Online Mortgage Provider 2021/22 for their online application service. This allows you to apply for a mortgage from the comfort of your own home if you wish to, though it is important to note this service is only available for repayment mortgages.  

About Santander 

Santander is a massive organisation with over 14 million loyal customers. Santander as we know it was only formed in 2010, but they have a history that pre-dates this by over 170 years.  

The National Freehold Land and Building Society was founded back in 1849 in London, to secure voting rights with investments and selling shares to buy land. In 1874, The Abbey Road & St John’s Wood Permanent Benefit Building Society was established to provide people with mortgages to build their own homes. These two societies merged to form Abbey National Building Society in 1944.  

Abbey National became the first UK building society to register as bank in 1989 and they continued to grow, buying out banks and building societies such as Scottish Mutual and National and Provincial Building Society. Abbey National was bought by the Santander group in 2004 and their last big mergers were with Bradford and Bingley (2008) and Alliance and Leicester (2009) before Abbey National officially rebranded as Santander in 2010.  

Santander strives for innovation and making their customer’s lives easier, being one of the first banks to support contactless payments via ApplePay. 

[SANTANDER TIMELINE] 

Main areas of business for Santander UK plc include: 

In 2022, Santander provided roughly £187.1billion worth of mortgage loans to people in the UK. They have helped thousands of people in the last year alone move into their new home. 

If you are one of the many people considering taking out a mortgage with this lender, you may find the below table of facts about Santander mortgages helpful. 

Type of product Mortgages 
Repayment options Santander capital and repayment mortgage (you repay both the amount borrowed plus interest every month). 
Santander interest only mortgage (you repay only the interest on your mortgage each month, with the full mortgage amount being paid at the end of the mortgage term). 
Types of mortgages available  Traditional mortgage or remortgage 
Santander Buy to Let mortgage 
Santander Shared Ownership mortgage 
Santander New Build mortgages 
Santander Help to Buy mortgages 
Santander Right to Buy mortgage 
Santander mortgage for a second home/holiday home  
Santander Offset mortgages 
Interest rate types available Santander fixed rate mortgage (interest rate charged stays the same for a set time, usually between 2 and 5 years) 
Santander tracker rate mortgage (interest rate charged will change if the Bank of England adjusts their base interest rate. This will be for a set number of years) 
Santander lifetime tracker rate mortgage (interest rate charged will change if the Bank of England adjusts their base interest rate. This will be for the entire mortgage term.) 
Maximum mortgage loan Over £3,000,000 with a 60% deposit 
Maximum mortgage term 40 years (but the mortgage must end before your 75th birthday) 
Loan to Value (LTV) options (deposit amount vs overall property value) 60% LTV mortgage (deposit 40% of property value) 
70% LTV mortgage (deposit 30% of property value) 
75% LTV mortgage (deposit 25% 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 Santander have early repayment charges (ERCs)? YES, you may have to pay early repayment charges if you are on a fixed rate mortgage and: 

You repay more than 10% of your total mortgage value within January – December of that year 
Switch to a new mortgage deal Repay your entire mortgage before the end of the mortgage term.

SVR and tracker rate mortgages can make unlimited overpayments with no extra charges. 
Fees charged for Santander mortgages You may be charged product fees (these can be paid upfront or added to the cost of the mortgage) and valuation fees (£180) for some mortgages. 
Santander also charges a £225 fee on the completion of any mortgage 

For more general mortgage information, you can read our extensive guide ‘What is a mortgage?’.

Buying a new property is exciting and the first step will usually be working out how much you will be able to afford to pay. It can be tricky to work this out, particularly if you are buying for the first time.   

This is why most lenders have dedicated mortgage calculators on their websites, to make it a bit easier to work out roughly how much they may be able to lend you. 

The Santander mortgage calculator starts off by asking why you need a mortgage (buying for the first time, moving home or remortgaging). They then ask: 

  • How many applicants are applying for this mortgage (if more than 2 you will need to call and speak to an advisor at 0800 068 6064) 
  • If you have any dependents (e.g. children or people you are financially responsible for) 
  • Your annual income before tax (this includes any allowances for things such as company cars, pension income if retired etc) 
  • If you have any other regular income (e.g. commission, bonuses or benefits) 
  • Your outgoing expenses e.g. debts, car finance, credit cards, school fees 
  • How much deposit you have saved and how long you would like your mortgage term to be 

This will give you an instant estimate of how much you might be able to borrow, as well as the option to look at available mortgage deals or go straight into applying for a decision in principle. 

Note: As of 2023, the highest you can borrow with Santander is 5.5 times your annual salary at most (with £100,000 or more income and a deposit of at least 25% of the property value). 

Santander mortgage contact information 

There are many reasons that you might need to contact Santander mortgage customer service. This could be to discuss a current mortgage, a new application or even just make a general enquiry.  

Large companies like Santander have a lot of different contact numbers listed, which can make it harder to know which one to ring for each department. We have put together the below list to make things a bit more straightforward for you. 

Santander mortgage contact number for current mortgages 

If you need to change your mortgage, accept a mortgage deal, borrow more money or arrange to repay your mortgage early: 

Tel. 0800 092 3881 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am-6pm / Saturday 9am-2pm (excludes Bank Holidays) 

If you want to speak about managing your mortgage online: 

Tel. 0800 783 9738 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 8am-6pm / Saturday 9am-2pm (excludes Bank Holidays) 

Santander mortgage number to contact for new mortgages

Tel. 0800 068 6064 

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9am-7pm / Saturday 9am-2pm (excludes Bank Holidays) 

What does Santander look at before approving your mortgage? 

Lending criteria  Santander mortgages 
Acceptable deposits Savings account (Help to Buy: ISAs are accepted for first time buyers): you may need to provide proof of deposit in the form of a savings book or bank statement. 
Gifted deposit: accepted unless they are vendor gifted, protected by a trust or the person providing the deposit has a vested interest in the property or will also be living there 
Loans: will be accepted in some circumstances, but you will need to provide details such as the loan amount, the lender and the loan terms. 
Inheritance: should be classed as savings, will need a letter from the executor/solicitor of the estate and a bank statement showing the money going into your account 
Equity from the sale of another property will be accepted 
Number of applicants  Up to 4 applicants (the income of 2 will be assessed) 
Minimum and maximum ages of applicants Minimum age 18 years. 
Maximum age will depend on the mortgage term. 
Mortgage must be repaid by the applicants 75th birthday for repayment mortgages and 70th birthday for interest only (the older applicant if a joint mortgage). 
Will Santander approve mortgages for foreign nationals? YES, Santander will consider applications from foreign nationals if the mortgage is intended for their own use. They must have permanent right to reside in the UK and must have 3 months bank statements and one of either: 

A visa stamp in a passport (can be an expired passport) 
An unexpired Biometric Residence permit A share code so Santander can check the status of EEA or Swiss citizens 
Credit score/history requirements Santander will decline the application if you have: 

Had a property repossessed by a mortgage lender 
Been bankrupt or have an individual voluntary agreement (IVA) in your credit history 
A very low credit score 
Applicants who work or live abroad As of January 2021, Santander no longer accepts mortgage applications from people living abroad. 

There are several available Santander mortgage rates, giving you a few options to choose from. The 3 interest rate types available are: 

  • Santander fixed rate mortgage: the interest rate you pay will stay the same for an agreed period of time, usually 2, 3 or 5 years. You will then be moved the Santander Follow-on Rate (variable rate). 
  • Santander tracker rate mortgage: the interest you pay changes in line with increases or decreases in the Bank of England base interest rate, set for 2 or 3 years at which point  
  • you will be moved the Santander Follow-on-Rate (variable rate). 
  • Lifetime tracker mortgage Santander: the same as a standard tracker rate mortgage except that you will be on the tracker rate for your monthly payments for the entire mortgage term 

If you are an existing customer, you will be moved onto the Santander Follow-on Rate (FoR) when your mortgage deal ends if your mortgage was taken out on or after 23rd January 2018. Any mortgages taken out before this will be moved on the Santander Standard Variable Rate (SVR) instead. 

Note: The Follow-on Rate follows the Bank of England base rate whereas the SVR is managed by Santander. This rate can be changed at their discretion or remain the same even if the Bank of England rate changes. Santander has stated on their website that their standard variable rate will rise to 6.75% as of February 2023. 

Should I get a Santander buy to let mortgage? 

If you are an experienced landlord or investing for the first time, you might be thinking about using Santander for your buy to let mortgage.  

Santander offers buy to let mortgages using their Santander for intermediaries service, meaning it is absolutely possible to get this mortgage type but you will need to do so via a mortgage broker.  

Using a mortgage broker can be a good idea anyway, as this offers you additional help and support with your application. This can be especially useful if this is your first time applying for a buy to let mortgage and you are not familiar with the requirements of this mortgage type.  

If you choose Santander for your buy to let mortgage, you will benefit from a free property valuation (for properties worth up to £2.5million), as well as either your standard legal fees paid or £250 cashback. To apply you must also: 

  • Already own either a residential or buy to let property 
  • Have a minimum income of at least £25,000 (only one applicant needs this if a joint application) 
  • Be borrowing between a minimum of £75,000 and a maximum of £750,000 
  • Have a minimum deposit of 25% (house) or 30% (flat). 

A mortgage overpayment refers to when you pay more in mortgage repayments than the agreed amount, either as a regular payment or one lump sum. Not all lenders will allow you to overpay, as they will then lose out on the interest they could otherwise charge. 

If you have come into extra funds unexpectedly, through an inheritance for example, you may choose to repay part or even all your mortgage. This can make more sense financially long term than paying out for an expensive holiday or a new car.  

Overpaying Santander mortgages is possible, but how much you can overpay depends on the mortgage you have:

  • Anyone with a Santander variable rate mortgage is can overpay without a limit or risk of early repayment charges. 
  • If you have a fixed rate mortgage you can still overpay, but only up to a limit of 10% of the overall mortgage value every calendar year (January-December).  
  • If you pay more than 10% (fixed rate mortgage) you will also have to pay an early repayment charge. You will need to weigh up whether paying more than your limit is worth this fee.  

Overpayments can help you to reduce the amount you owe on your mortgage more quickly, lowering your monthly repayments. You may also be able to reduce your mortgage term with overpayments if you have an interest only mortgage, but this will need to be agreed with Santander directly.  

You can arrange overpayments with Santander: 

  • In your banking app or online, if you have a Santander current account 
  • In person in a Santander branch 
  • By calling the Santander mortgage team: 

Tel. 0800 917 5630 

How long does it take to receive a mortgage in principle with Santander? 

When buying a new home or investment property, you may be keen to get the purchase sorted and finalised as soon as possible. Luckily you don’t need a full mortgage offer to put in an offer on a house, but you will need to have a mortgage in principle in place. 

It is faster and easier than you may think to get a mortgage in principle (referred to as a Santander decision in principle), you simply need to go on the website and answer a few questions – you should get a decision instantly! This will then be valid for 60 days.

Note: You will have to apply in branch or over the phone if you want an interest only mortgage or want to use a buying scheme e.g. shared ownership or Help to Buy). 

Whether applying online, on the phone or in branch the process will start by checking your eligibility with questions such as: 

  • Are you 18 years old or over? 
  • Do you need the mortgage for a UK property you will live in with your family? 
  • Have you ever had a home repossessed or been declared bankrupt? (You will not be eligible if you have) 
  • Do you need a guarantor? (You will not be eligible if you do) 
  • Do you work in the UK and can provide proof of income? 
  • Do you have only 5 or less mortgaged properties? 

Getting a mortgage with Santander

After you have your mortgage in principle you can move forward with your full application:

  • Santander will assign you a dedicated Mortgage Relationship Manager (MRM) to help you start your application and they will ask for supporting documents such as proof of income.
  • They will then assess your credit and affordability, which can take up to 4 working days. 

It can take as little as 9 working days on average for Santander to process and approve a mortgage application, but this can vary depending on the individual application and mortgage type. Be prepared you may need to wait longer than this to hear about your mortgage, particularly if you are applying for a more specialist mortgage like a buy to let. 

Benefits of Santander mortgage deals 

There are a few benefits that you can access if you have a Santander mortgage such as: 

  • Specialist mortgage products and deals are available with Santander for intermediaries, if you apply using a mortgage broker. 
  • Convenient online service where you can contact Santander through any channel e.g. live chat and pick up where you left off even if through another channel 
  • Online budget planner to help you cut costs if you are struggling to afford your mortgage repayments 
  • FREE EnergyFact report from Countrywide Surveying Services to help you save on household bills by making your home more energy efficient. 
  • FREE standard property valuation on properties worth up to £2.5million with selected Santander mortgage products 
  • Supports affordable home ownership schemes including shared ownership mortgages and acceptance of Help to Buy ISAs 
  • Santander covers standard legal fees or gives £250 cashback when taking out a buy to let mortgage or remortgaging to Santander from another lender. 

It isn’t always easy to know where to start with a mortgage application, even if you have applied for a mortgage before. It can be particularly tricky for first time buyers who may not know where to start. 

To apply for a Santander mortgage, you must be a UK resident aged 18 or over and have 3 years of address history.  

There are several ways you can start a mortgage application with Santander: 

An independent mortgage broker can help advise you as to what mortgages Santander offer and whether they seem suitable for what you need. They will compare available rates and deals to help you assess your best options.  

Santander mortgage reviews 

It makes sense to research what other people think of a certain insurance provider before deciding whether to take out your own mortgage through them. Most often people’s first point of call will be independent review sites like Trust Pilot. 

Currently, Santander’s Trust Pilot review score is 1.3 out of 5.0 stars with over 5,500 independent customer reviews. While this may seem low, it is best to remember these reviews are not specific to mortgages and cover all Santander products and services. 

You can view Santander’s reviews or add your own on their Trust Pilot page.

When looking at mortgages specifically, Santander: 

  • Has won the YourMortgage Awards Best Remortgage Lender 2021 and the WhatMORTGAGE Awards Best Remortgage Lender2021 
  • Won the WhatMORTGAGE Awards Best Large Loans Mortgage Lender 2021 
  • Was highly commended for both Best Intermediary Lender and Best Online Lender at the WhatMORTGAGE Awards 2021 

Resources

Santander – (News) Press Releases

Citizen’s Advice – Managing your mortgage

Gov.uk – How to buy a home

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign up today for all the best deals and helpful guides. Take control of your finances the MoneyPeople way!