Barclays mortgage review: Is it the best high street lender?

14 min Read Published: 16 Jun 2022

Barclays mortgage review What is a Barclays mortgage?

Barclays is one of the largest mortgage lenders in the UK, as well as being a mainstay of British high street banking. It has a reputation for developing different types of mortgage products to meet a wide range of borrowers' needs. Its products are available either direct from Barclays or through an intermediary, such as online broker Habito*. It is suitable for first-time buyers, movers and those remortgaging, either for residential properties or for buy-to-let investors.

Barclays mortgage key features

  • Residential and buy-to-let mortgages for first-time buyers, movers and those remortgaging
  • Different types of mortgage available include a family guarantor mortgage, "green" mortgage, offset mortgages and deals for those looking to participate in the government's shared ownership and help to buy schemes
  • Income multiples of between 4 to 5.5 times monthly income

Barclays mortgage pros and cons

Pros Cons
tick A broad range of mortgages, including Barclays Family Springboard, which offers an innovative way for people to help family members on to the property ladder

tick Income multiples of up to 5.5 times for people with salaries of £75,000 or more, or a joint income of £100,000 or more

tick Free valuations for residential properties up to £2m

cross You are unlikely to be approved if you have a severely impaired credit history

cross You may only be offered 4 times income multiples if you require a mortgage with 90% or higher LTV

cross The standard fee of £999 for many of its products is relatively high compared with some of its competitors

What types of mortgage does Barclays offer?

Barclays has a diverse range of mortgages available for first-time buyers, movers and those remortgaging. As well as the usual fixed and tracker-rate deals for both residential and buy-to-let borrowers, it also has:

Barclays Offset

Borrowers can put their savings into an account linked to their mortgage, with that pot of money offset against the mortgage balance. Interest is only then payable on the mortgage balance minus the total savings, reducing the monthly payment or meaning the mortgage can be paid off sooner. We explore this type of mortgage in more detail in our article "How to pay off your mortgage faster - and is it a good idea?"

Barclays Family Springboard

In order to help a family member get on the housing ladder, with the Family Springboard mortgage you can transfer the equivalent of the 10% deposit into a linked "Helpful Start" savings account. If the borrower misses any repayments, the money will be taken out of the link account. At the end of 5 years, the money is released, plus interest. This mortgage, along with versions of it from other lenders, are explained in greater depth in our article "Can I get a mortgage without a deposit?"

Green Home

If you're buying a new-build home that has high levels of energy efficiency, you may be able to secure a lower rate with a Barclays Green Home mortgage. To qualify, the property must have an energy efficiency rating of 81 or above, or is in energy efficiency bands A or B.

Shared Ownership/Help to Buy

The lender offers mortgages to those looking to participate in government schemes to enable them to get on the property ladder. These deals are available at up to 95% LTV, which means the deposit buyers need to secure the mortgage is significantly less than for other mortgages. There is more information about Shared Ownership and Help to Buy in these articles.

How much can I borrow with Barclays?

The amount you will be able to borrow for your Barclays' mortgage will be determined by the lender's affordability assessment, which looks at whether you are likely to be able to make the monthly repayments, not only at the introductory rate, but also if interest rates were to go up substantially in the future. Part of this assessment is looking at your income, with Barclays typically offering between 4 to 5.5 times your annual income for the loan, depending on your circumstances.

The higher rate of 5.5 times income is reserved for those who have an income of £75,000 or more (or £100,000 or more for joint applicants) looking for a mortgage up to 85% LTV. The lowest multiple of 4 times income is for mortgages at 90% LTV or over.

What interest rates does Barclays charge?

For the most up-to-date mortgage rates from Barclays it pays to check with your broker or with a Barclays' adviser at the time you are making your application. At the time of writing, the following deals were available:

  • 2-year fixed rate at up to 85% LTV at 2.79% with £999 product fee
  • 10-year fixed rate at up to 60% LTV at 2.82% with £999 product fee

How long does it take to get a mortgage offer from Barclays?

The amount of time Barclays takes to process your mortgage application will vary over time depending on factors such as the time of year and how busy it is. Generally, however, it targets a 4 working day turnaround on both residential and buy-to-let mortgages.

What fees does Barclays charge for its mortgages?

In addition to the conveyancing costs you will have to pay to a solicitor, there are also charges specifically linked to the mortgage itself. The first of these is a product fee, which for Barclays is generally around £999, although it goes up to £1,749 for its offset mortgages. This fee can be paid upfront or added to the mortgage, although if you take the latter option you will end up paying interest on the amount. There are some mortgages that are fee-free, but a mortgage adviser will be able to provide guidance on the best option for you and whether it is worth paying a fee to secure a lower interest rate.

Barclays also charges a valuation fee on residential properties worth over £2m, providing a free standard valuation for residential properties under £2m. The fees for buy-to-let mortgages operate on a sliding scale, starting at £175 for a property worth up to £75,000 and rising to £1,945 for properties worth £5m or more.

Can you make overpayments on your Barclays mortgage?

Whether you are permitted to overpay your mortgage without having to pay an early repayment charge depends on the terms and conditions of the individual mortgage product you take out. You will need to check these carefully before making an overpayment, either as a lump sum or regularly, as the charge can very easily wipe out the benefit of making the overpayment.

If you are confident you can overpay without facing a charge, there are two main options:

  • Overpayments of more than 3 times your normal monthly payment, which reduces future monthly payments but the mortgage term stays the same
  • Overpayments of less than 3 times your normal monthly payment, where the money is put into an "overpayment balance", which accumulates over time and can be used to pay off your mortgage early or make underpayments in the future

What is the maximum mortgage term with Barclays?

The longest term you can take out a Barclays mortgage for is 40 years, reducing to 25 years for an interest-only mortgage. The maximum age is either 70 or retirement age, although applicants looking for mortgages that exceed this age are considered on a case-by-case basis, dependent on them being able to demonstrate how they will be able to meet the repayments.

What credit reference agency does Barclays use?

When you apply for a mortgage with Barclays, it runs a credit check on you to assess your creditworthiness and how much of a risk you pose to them in terms of your ability to repay the loan. There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK that hold credit files and assign you an overall credit rating: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Barclays uses all three of these agencies for its checks, which means you are advised to check the information held with each one to determine whether you are likely to be approved for the mortgage. It also gives you the opportunity to correct any inaccuracies that may be dragging down your credit score. You can use ClearScore* (Equifax), MSM Credit Monitor*(TransUnion) and Experian  to do this. 

Does Barclays offer mortgages to people with bad credit?

Barclays is relatively stringent in its lending criteria, mainly lending to people with "good" or "excellent" credit scores. However, it will consider applicants with mildly impaired credit, although there are certain situations where an application will automatically be declined:

Barclays adverse credit lending criteria

Adverse credit type Criteria for application to be declined by Barclays
CCJ
  • An unsatisfied CCJ
  • More than 1 satisfied CCJ where the latest is registered within the past 3 years
  • Satisfied CCJs totalling more than £200 and the latest within the past 3 years
Bankruptcy/Debt Relief Orders/IVAs
  • If registered within 6 years of the mortgage application and still showing on the credit reference agency reports
Payment arrears/missed payments
  • Arrears of 2 or more months on any one account in the last 6 months
  • Arrears of 3 or more secured or unsecured accounts in the last 2 years
Mortgage or rent arrears
  • Arrears of more than 2 months in the past 6 months
  • Arrears of 3 months in the past 2 years

Note: Applications will be considered if there is evidence of a technical issue causing the arrears or a dispute that has been settled with the lender

Barclays mortgage customer reviews

According to customer review site Trustpilot, Barclays scores 1.5 out of 5 based on almost 7,000 reviews. Overall, just 9% of respondents thought the company was excellent, while 85% rated it as "bad". The reviews centred on customer service and slow response times. However, the reviews are not specifically about the mortgage component of the business, so are perhaps not an accurate reflection of mortgage customers' experiences. An independent customer satisfaction review by Which? showed Barclays ranking 7th out of 16 mortgage lenders, based on criteria including customer service, value for money and query and complaint handling.

 

 

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