Getting started

Understanding mortgages

How much can I borrow?

Getting a Decision in Principle

What's in this section?

What's a Decision in Principle?

Why do you need one and what does it tell you?

How to apply

Details of how you get a Decision in Principle.

Key stages and timescales

The steps you'll need to follow and how long it takes.

What's a Decision in Principle?

Before applying for a mortgage, and often before making an offer on a property, you’ll need a Decision in Principle (DIP). This is also known as an Agreement in Principle (AIP) or a Lending Certificate. It confirms that we'd be prepared to lend to you. 

Getting a DIP involves a credit check, and getting numerous credit checks can adversely affect your credit score.  So if you'd like to know how much we could lend you before getting a DIP, you could use our Mortgage Affordability Calculator first.

The Decision in Principle takes into account:

  • Whether you can afford the amount you're looking to borrow, based on your income and outgoings as well as other factors
  • Your credit score, based on a credit check carried out during the DIP application
  • Our lending criteria so we remain responsible lenders

Applying for a Decision in Principle

You can apply for a DIP online, by phone or in branch. It’s free of charge and there’s no obligation to apply for one of our mortgages afterwards. 

If at any time you would like to speak to somebody about your DIP, pop into your local branch or call us on 0800 30 20 11. You'll need to let us know if you've already carried out a DIP so you don’t have to go through the process again and more importantly we don't credit score you again.

Here's a short video which explains the process of applying for a DIP.

Decision in Principle - How to apply

Play video - Decision in Principle - How to apply | step by step guide to a decision in principle

Key stages and timescales

What you'll need to apply for a DIP

  • Three years of address history
  • Proof of your income and outgoings

Upon completing your DIP application, we should be able to tell you immediately whether we can, in principle, lend you the amount you need. If you’re applying online, we may need to call you for some extra information.

How long will the Decision in Principle be valid for?

It's valid for 90 days.


Finding a property and making an offer

Applying for a mortgage

Completion and moving in