Richard Branson founded the Virgin Money brand in 1995 and gained its banking licence from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in 2009. Virgin Money along with Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank is now the trading name of Clydesdale Bank plc which in turn is owned by Virgin Money UK plc. All banks within the group are in the process of transitioning over to Virgin Money branding.
In 2022, Virgin Money was awarded the 'Best Mortgage Provider' award at the Personal Finance Awards as well as 'Best Buy-to-let Lender' at the Mortgage Finance Gazette Awards.
Virgin Money mortgage key features
- Everyday mortgage range offers fixed-rate and tracker-rate mortgages
- Cashback offers are available on some mortgage products
- Lending is offered for up to 5.5 times salary if income is over £100,000 (joint or sole)
- A mortgage term of 7 years up to 35 years can be arranged
- Product fees range between £0 and £1,995
- Buy-to-let mortgages offered up to 80% LTV for landlords and up to 75% LTV for portfolio landlords
- Up to 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance is allowed as overpayment with early repayment charges on the Everyday mortgage products
What types of mortgages does Virgin Money offer?
Virgin Money offers a range of mortgage products for first-time homebuyers, home movers and those looking to switch to a new mortgage deal. Unlike some other lenders, Virgin Money offers lending options to landlords seeking to purchase a buy-to-let property including portfolio landlords.
Virgin Money's Everyday core range of mortgage products includes:
- Fixed-rate mortgages
- Freedom to fix tracker-rate mortgages
- First-time buyers up to 95% LTV mortgages
Fixed-rate, tracker-rate and discounted mortgage deals are available over an extensive range of terms with Virgin Money. Virgin Money mortgage rates can be offered over 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 or even 15 years whereas most other lenders will only offer fixed deal terms over 2 to 5-year periods.
Types of mortgage repayment include:
- Capital and interest repayment mortgage where the mortgage balance is repaid over the term of the mortgage
- Interest-only mortgage where an agreed repayment strategy is evidenced to the lender
- Part and part where part of the mortgage balance is repaid using a capital and repayment method while the rest is arranged on an interest-only basis with a suitable repayment strategy in place
Virgin Money's Buy-to-let range of mortgage products includes options to borrow up to 80% loan-to-value. While the Green mortgage range rewards borrowers who purchase new build properties that can prove an energy efficiency rating of A or B with more competitive rates than the equivalent core mortgage deal. Green mortgage ranges can also be offered to those using the Help to buy equity scheme or a Shared ownership scheme to purchase their new build property. The Flexible mortgage range is currently unavailable to new customers but the component options can be applied for separately.
Although many of Virgin Money's mortgage deals are available directly with the lender, there are specific intermediary mortgage rates and deals that you may only access by using a mortgage professional to act for you.
If you do not have a mortgage broker, you can source one close to your location using VouchedFor* - a site that provides reviews of financial professionals in your area so that you can select those that reflect the best customer experiences. If you're not quite ready to start speaking to a mortgage broker and wish to get a sense of the mortgage rates available for your borrowing needs, you can search these using our Mortgage rate comparison tool - it searches over 90 lenders' mortgage deals so that you get the best rates.
How much can I borrow with Virgin Money?
Virgin Money does not use income multiples when assessing how much it is able to lend. Instead, it uses an affordability model as so it may be worth checking out the Virgin Money Mortgage Calculator to work out how much you could borrow.
What is the maximum loan size and loan-to-value (LTV) for a house purchase or remortgage with Virgin Money?
|The lower of valuation or purchase price||Maximum loan to value - Capital repayment mortgage|
|Up to £600,000||95%|
|£600,001 to £750,000||85%|
|£750,001 to £1,250,000||80%|
All purchase and remortgage applications for an interest-only mortgage are limited to a maximum of 75% LTV.
What is the maximum loan size and loan-to-value (LTV) for a buy-to-let mortgage with Virgin Money?
|Maximum loan amount||Non-Portfolio BTL||Portfolio BTL|
|Up to £437,500||80%||75%|
The same maximum LTV applies for interest only and repayment buy to let purchases
What is the maximum mortgage term available with Virgin Money?
Virgin Money offers residential and buy-to-let mortgages for a maximum term of 35 years and this maximum applies to both capital repayment type mortgages as well as interest-only mortgages.
Virgin Money mortgage fees
Legal fees are paid by Virgin Money mortgage applicants directly to the solicitor that they appoint. From time to time, Virgin Money does offer a contribution towards some of your legal costs as part of the mortgage product's incentives which would need to be checked. Legal fees are not charged for remortgages or product transfers.
Virgin Money's product fees range between £0 and £1,995 and allow for the fee to be added to the mortgage loan. Borrowers should consider the fact that fees added to the mortgage loan will incur interest charges equal to those applied to the mortgage loan.
Valuation fees charged by Virgin Money start at £112 for a basic valuation of a property with a purchase price up to £60,000 but the fee amount rises incrementally based on the valuation price allocated. For example, a basic valuation for a property valued between £250,001 and £500,000 is £275. Virgin Money offers some of its mortgage products with a free valuation but these change from time to time and must be checked when you apply. Valuation fees are not charged for remortgages.
Fund transfer fee
Upon completion, Virgin Money will charge £30 for electronically transferring the mortgage funds to you or your solicitor.
Virgin Money charges an exit fee of £50 for any mortgage that is redeemed before the mortgage term has ended meaning you will need to pay this fee if you move to a different lender or repay your mortgage before the full term of the mortgage has expired.
Change of term fee
Virgin Money charges £50 to make alterations to the term of your mortgage.
Can I overpay on my Virgin Money mortgage?
Virgin Money will allow its 'Everyday' mortgage customers to make overpayments (lump sum or regular payments) of up to 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance each year. Where a mortgage holder exceeds this limit, Virgin Money will apply an early repayment charge on the amount that exceeded the 10% limit.
The Virgin Money Overpayment Calculator is a useful tool to help you work out how much you can overpay - without exceeding limits - based on your mortgage balance, mortgage term and the interest rate charged.
Virgin Money does offer a range of mortgages that allow the borrower to overpay without limits or an early repayment charge but this range is currently unavailable to new customers.
How does Virgin Money check my credit rating for a mortgage?
Virgin Money uses one of the three main credit reference agencies - Transunion, Experian and Equifax - to check your credit score and credit history. The report will provide a mortgage applicant's history of managing credit and Virgin Money will likely only accept those with a good credit history.
If you apply for any mortgage and are declined, this is likely to affect your overall credit score as the rejection will show up on your credit file. Before applying for any mortgage, it is wise to check your own credit report for any factors that may cause your application to be declined as this could help you avoid further damage to your credit score. If there are misrepresentations on your credit file, you can apply to the credit reference agency for these to be corrected but this may take some time to do. If you wish to check your credit file, you can check your credit file with all three of the main credit reference agencies for free using Clearscore.
Does Virgin Money offer mortgages to people with bad credit?
Virgin Money is not a specialist lender for impaired credit and as such is unlikely to offer a mortgage to people with a bad credit history. Virgin Money expects mortgage applicants to have a strong credit history which it will check by using a credit reference agency.
A mortgage application is taken on its own merits, however, Virgin Money does provide guidance on the scenarios where it would not offer a mortgage. They are as follows:
- defaults in the last 6 years that are not satisfied regardless of value
- more than 2 defaults or defaults totalling over £5,000 in the last 6 years, satisfied or unsatisfied
- 3 months' worth of arrears on a mortgage, secured loan or unsecured loan in the last 2 years
- 2 months' worth of arrears on any credit in the last 6 months
- CCJ, IVA or bankruptcy in the last 6 years, satisfied or unsatisfied
- 90% LTV or more requires no defaults of any kind in the last 6 months
Virgin Money mortgage pros and cons
|Virgin Money mortgage pros||Virgin Money mortgage cons|
|95% LTV mortgages offered||Contractors and self-employed borrowers may find it difficult to borrow larger sums|
|Up to £1,000 cashback offer for purchase mortgages - first-time buyers and movers||Mortgage unlikely to be offered to those with impaired credit|
|Ability to make overpayments of up to 10% of the outstanding mortgage balance each year||Some flexible mortgage ranges are currently unavailable|
|Portfolio landlord's buy-to-let mortgage applications accepted||Guarantor mortgages are not available|
Virgin Money mortgage reviews
Reviews of Virgin Money show that it is amongst the top 10 lenders for customer satisfaction in the UK. A survey carried out by the consumer website, Which? ranked Virgin Money 8th out of 15 mortgage lenders with an overall score of 68% satisfaction. Customers ranked Virgin Money's mortgages a high score at 3 out of 5 stars for 'customer service in general'; 'query and complaint handling' as well as 'ability to overpay and underpay mortgage'. The lowest score of 1 out of 5 stars was given for Virgin Money's online access for mortgage holders.
At the same time, independent customer review site, Trustpilot presents a different view of Virgin Money, with scores of 1.2 out of 5 stars based on over 5,000 customer reviews. Over 90% of Virgin Money customer reviews on Trustpilot gave it 1 star which is deemed 'bad' by the site. However, it should be noted that Trustpilot does not separate mortgage reviews from other financial services provided by Virgin Money and as such this may not be an accurate reflection of mortgage customers' experiences.
Virgin Money is a well-known brand and has grown to be one of the leading mortgage lenders in the UK. Borrowers will find that the mortgage offering from Virgin Money provides a range of products to suit their needs and circumstances. Higher earners may be able to borrow as much as 5.5 times overall income, however, contractors and those who are self-employed are excluded from this offer. Virgin Money offers buy-to-let mortgages to portfolio landlords, something rarely offered by other lenders and the loan-to-value ratios for buy-to-let lending are at the generous end of the scale too.
In any case, choosing your mortgage lender is an important decision and there are differences in the costs and flexibility offered by all leading mortgage lenders in the UK. Your circumstances and needs will be unique to you and finding the perfect fit when it comes to borrowing money is important if all of your needs are to be met. It is a good idea to enlist the help of a mortgage specialist who can act in your best interests and has an in-depth knowledge of the mortgage market. If you do not have access to one, you can contact the online mortgage broker, Habito*. Habito offers specialist mortgage broking services and has access to over 20,000 mortgage deals - some of these may not be available directly to borrowers.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - Habito