HSBC mortgage review – is it the best high street lender?

7 min Read Published: 28 Mar 2023

HSBC mortgage reviewHSBC is a global bank that serves almost 39 million customers in 62 countries and territories. HSBC offers customers banking services as well as loans, credit cards, savings, investing, insurance and mortgage products. In 2022, HSBC was awarded 'Best remortgage lender' by YourMortgage and the 'Mortgage intermediaries choice' by MoneyFacts. In this article, we take a look at HSBC's mortgage products explaining the types of mortgage it offers, how much you can borrow and the fees it charges. We also provide a summary of the key features as well as the pros and cons of HSBC mortgages.

HSBC mortgage key features

  • Term tracker-rate and fixed-rate mortgages for residential and buy-to-let borrowers
  • Lending allows up to 4.75 x income for those earning under £100,000 and up to 5.50 x income for those earning over £100,000
  • Mortgage terms of 5 years up to 35 years are available
  • Mortgage booking fees are between £0 and £1,999
  • Cashback mortgage offers are available
  • Buy-to-let borrowers should own 3 or fewer buy-to-let properties (portfolio landlords not accepted)
  • Fixed-rate and term-tracker mortgages allow up to 10% annual overpayment on the original mortgage balance without an early repayment charge

What types of mortgages does HSBC offer?

HSBC offers mortgages as well as remortgages for the following buyers:

  • First-time buyer mortgages
  • Home mover mortgages
  • Buy-to-let mortgages

Expats can arrange international mortgages to purchase a property outside the UK as long as HSBC offers mortgages in the country they are buying in. They will need to have an Expat bank account in order to arrange this type of mortgage and enquiries can be started through HSBC UK which will arrange contact with HSBC mortgage advisers in the country of purchase.

Types of mortgage include capital repayment and interest-only. Interest-only options are available to borrowers as long as they are able to prove a repayment method or other financial product that will repay the balance of the mortgage at the end of the term. International mortgages are offered based on the products available with HSBC bank in the country where the property is being bought and may differ from options available through HSBC UK.

As a high-street lender, HSBC offers reasonably competitive rates for its fixed-rate and tracker-rate mortgages and these are available over 2, 3 and 5-year fixed-term deals. Customers can apply for a mortgage directly with the lender or through a mortgage broker.

If you do not have a mortgage broker or intermediary to act on your behalf, you can choose one that is local to you and verified through users on the VouchedFor* site. Using a mortgage professional to arrange your mortgage can provide you with access to mortgage deals that may not be available to direct customers and they can search the market for the best deal taking into consideration your personal circumstances. You can also search for current mortgage rates based on your borrowing needs using our Mortgage rate comparison tool that searches over 20,000 mortgage deals available in the market.

How much can I borrow with HSBC mortgages?

For all mortgage applications with loan-to-value that exceeds 85%, the maximum income multiple available with HSBC is 4.49 times your salary regardless of your earnings. However, you can borrow up to 5.5 times your salary based on a mortgage loan-to-value of up to 85% but this is dependent on your earnings. See our table below for more information.

HSBC Income Multiples

Salary Income Multiple (LTV over 85%) Income Multiple (LTV 85% or under)
Up to £44,999 4.49 times 4.49 times
£45,000 to £99,999 4.49 times 4.75 times
£100,000 and over 4.49 times 5.50 times

Buy-to-let mortgages offered by HSBC must be funded by rental income only and at least one applicant should be an owner-occupier of a residential property. Additionally, at least one applicant must prove earnings of at least £25,000 without any rental income included.

What is the maximum loan size and loan-to-value (LTV) for a house purchase with HSBC?

Maximum loan amount Maximum loan to value - Capital repayment mortgage Maximum loan to value - Interest-only mortgage
Up to £500,000 95% 75%
£500,001 to £550,000 90% 75%
£550,001 to £750,000 85% 75%
£750,001 to £1,000,000 80% 75%
£1,000,001 to £2,000,000 75% 65%
over £2,000,000 65% 50%

What is the maximum loan size and loan-to-value (LTV) for remortgages with HSBC?

Maximum loan amount Maximum loan to value - Capital repayment mortgage Maximum loan to value - Interest-only mortgage
Up to £500,000 90% 75%
£500,001 to £550,000 90% 75%
£550,001 to £750,000 85% 75%
£750,001 to £1,000,000 80% 75%
£1,000,001 to £2,000,000 75% 65%
over £2,000,000 65% 50%

What is the maximum loan size and loan-to-value (LTV) for a buy-to-let mortgage with HSBC?

Maximum loan amount Maximum loan to value
Up to £1,000,000 75%
£1,000,001 to £2,000,000 60%
Up to £50,000 additional borrowing for debt consolidation 60%

What is the maximum mortgage term with HSBC?

HSBC's maximum term for a repayment mortgage or remortgage is 35 years. Its maximum term for an interest-only or part repayment and part interest-only mortgage 25 years.

Home loans linked to a remortgage or secured against an unencumbered property are subject to a maximum term of 30 years if the mortgage is a repayment mortgage - as are applications for borrowing associated with a second home.

What are HSBC's mortgage fees

Legal fees

If you choose to appoint your own solicitor and HSBC approves them, you will pay your legal fees directly to them and none to HSBC. Otherwise, HSBC charges legal fees of £295 for an appointed solicitor.

Booking/Application fee

HSBC charges a booking fee of between £0 and £1,999 depending on the mortgage deal that you choose. Mortgage deals with no booking fee (referred to as fee-saver mortgage deals) will usually charge a higher rate of interest than those that charge fees.

Valuation fee

HSBC offers a standard valuation at no extra cost as this forms part of the application process but borrowers are required to pay for more in-depth reporting such as a homebuyer report or a full building survey.

Completion fee

A completion fee of £17 is payable upon transfer of the mortgage funds from HSBC to your solicitor.

Exit fee

HSBC does not charge an exit fee on repayment of the full mortgage balance

Can I overpay on an HSBC mortgage?

HSBC customers can make overpayments at any time on its lifetime tracker mortgages. For fixed-rate and term tracker-rate mortgages, HSBC will allow annual overpayments of up to 10% of the original amount borrowed or the balance at the time that you switched rates.

You can see how much your monthly payments will increase with a regular overpayment arrangement using HSBC’s mortgage overpayment calculator.

How does HSBC check my credit rating for a mortgage?

HSBC uses Experian to assess mortgage customers’ credit scores. Experian is one of the 3 main credit reference agencies used by financial institutions to check your credit history and score.

It can be helpful to check your credit report ahead of making an application for any type of credit including a mortgage as a declined application will affect your credit report for subsequent mortgage applications. You can do this simply by using Clearscore which does not charge a fee.

Does HSBC offer mortgages to people with bad credit?

HSBC is not known to be an impaired credit lender and as such, is unlikely to offer a mortgage to applicants with a history of credit impairment. Light adverse credit in the form of missed payments on credit commitments will usually cause a mortgage application to be rejected and only in very exceptional circumstances would HSBC offer a mortgage loan that cites missed payments.

HSBC won’t offer a mortgage to applicants who are credit impaired due to any of the following reasons:

  • 3 months of overdue payments on a mortgage or loan, secured or unsecured in the last 2 years
  • 1 or more county court judgements (CCJ) within the last 3 years totalling more than £500
  • Individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) or bankruptcy order in force in the last 3 years

HSBC Mortgage pros and cons

Pros Cons
tick95% LTV mortgages offered Additional borrowing is only allowed for existing customers with a mortgage held for at least 6 months or if your property is unencumbered
tickNo early repayment charges on tracker-rate mortgages Mortgage unlikely to be offered to those with impaired credit
tickNo fee for a standard valuation Help-to-buy mortgages and remortgages for those with existing help-to-buy arrangements not available
tickNo-fee mortgages are available but at higher interest rates Guarantor mortgages are not available

HSBC mortgage customer reviews

HSBC is ranked 8th out of 15 mortgage lenders with a customer score of 68% by the consumer review website, Which?. In the customer satisfaction scores, the highest rating awarded to HSBC was 4 out of 5 stars for 'transparency of charges' whilst the lowest rating was 2 out of 5 stars for the 'mortgage application process' as well as the 'query and complaint handling' experience. 'Value for money', 'Customer service in general' and 'Online access' received a mid-rating of 3 out of 5 stars.

HSBC is rated 1.4 out of 5 stars by independent review site Trustpilot, ranking it as 'Bad' and many of the reviews suggest a poor customer service experience. However, it is important to note that Trustpilot reviews are for all of HSBC's financial services and not specifically a reflection of the mortgages offered by HSBC.


HSBC is a good high-street lender and is likely to appeal to borrowers with conventional borrowing needs looking for fixed or tracker rate mortgages over a 2, 3 or 5-year period. Although HSBC offers up to 5.5 times your salary for borrowing purposes, this is only available to those earning over £100,000 and it may be possible to achieve better salary multiples through other lenders.

To compare HSBC mortgages with the rest of the mortgage market, it is a good idea to engage with a mortgage broker who will have market insights as well as access to mortgage deals that are only available through intermediaries. It can be difficult to accurately compare the terms and conditions of one lender over and an independent mortgage broker can carry out this work for free on your behalf. Habito* is an online mortgage broker that does not charge customers for the service it provides and has access to 90 lenders and over 20,000 mortgage deals.



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