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PUBLISHED

09 APRIL 2024

READING TIME

9 minutes

Nationwide Mortgage Review: Pros, Cons & Features

Nationwide offers a range of mortgages for those remortgaging, moving home or buying for the first time. The building society offers the option to apply for a mortgage online or over the phone, and it performs well for customer service against the other lenders we’ve reviewed. Learn more in our Nationwide mortgage review.

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Nationwide mortgages: at a glance

Nationwide offers fixed-rate and tracker-rate mortgages to first-time buyers, home movers and homeowners looking to remortgage.

You can apply for a Nationwide mortgage online and over the phone, and the smallest mortgage amount new customers can borrow is £25,000.

It is possible to overpay some Nationwide mortgages, for example new fixed-rate mortgage deals allow overpayments of up to 10% of your original mortgage balance each year. 

Nationwide Mortgages

4 NerdWallet's ratings

2 to 40 years

£25,000

Capital & Interest; and Interest Only

Yes

Yes

This mortgage provider is available via our partner, London & Country Mortgages.

Think carefully before taking out any mortgage. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments.

This is our review of a lender and not the products, interest rates, fees or deal terms they offer. Many lenders also offer preferential products exclusively via brokers and intermediaries. This review does not constitute advice or recommendation.

Nationwide mortgage pros & cons

Pros

Cons

Nationwide mortgage overview

Nationwide is the largest building society in the UK, and provides mortgages to borrowers who are looking to buy their first property, move home or remortgage an existing deal. Landlords can also find buy-to-let mortgages through its specialist lending arm, The Mortgage Works.  

Nationwide mortgages are available over terms of between two and 40 years and start at £25,000 if you’re a new Nationwide mortgage borrower. Customer support is available online, over the phone or through the Nationwide mobile app. 

Product optionsCapital repayment 
Fixed-rate 
Tracker 
85% loan-to-value or higher
Green mortgages
Term length2 to 40 years
Minimum loan size£25,000 if a new Nationwide borrower
Allows overpaymentsYes
Mortgages are portableYes
Ways to applyOnline, over the phone, via a broker
Customer service contact optionsOnline, over the phone, mobile app
Fairer Finance customer experience rating73% (28 May 2024)

Where Nationwide mortgages stand out

High customer experience rating

Nationwide receives an overall customer experience rating of 73% from Fairer Finance in relation to mortgages, making it the top-rated lender of those assessed overall. 

Wide range of mortgage terms

Nationwide offers a wide range of mortgage terms from two years up to 40 years. A longer repayment term gives you the option to lower your monthly repayments but means you will pay more in interest over the entire length of your mortgage.

You can get a decision in principle online

Nationwide wants to make it easier for you to get a mortgage online, so you can get a Decision in Principle and track your application online. If you already have a Nationwide mortgage you can also apply to switch to a new mortgage using the Nationwide mobile app. 

Where Nationwide mortgages fall short

No in-branch applications or support 

Nationwide gives you the option of applying directly for a mortgage either online or over the phone, but applications cannot be made in branch. Similarly, if you need customer support in relation to mortgages, help is available online, by phone, and via the Nationwide mobile app, but not in person at a branch.  

Interest-only mortgages through brokers

If you want an interest-only mortgage, the only way to get one through Nationwide is by applying through a mortgage broker or intermediary, whereas many other lenders allow direct applications.  

High minimum mortgage amount for new borrowers 

If you’re a new Nationwide mortgage customer and want a smaller loan, there are lower minimum mortgage amounts than £25,000 available through some other lenders.

» MORE: Best mortgage lenders

What types of mortgages does Nationwide offer?

Nationwide first-time buyer mortgages

Nationwide first-time buyer mortgages are currently offered up to 95% loan-to-value (LTV). This means it may be possible to get a mortgage with only a 5% deposit. Fixed-rate and tracker options are both available, as are mortgages with no product fee. First-time buyers may also qualify for cashback once they complete on their mortgage. 

Nationwide remortgages

Nationwide offers fixed rate and tracker remortgage deals across a range of loan-to-values. Remortgage options are available with or without upfront fees. You may also qualify for either free standard legal fees or cashback.  

Nationwide buy-to-let mortgages

Nationwide offers buy-to-let mortgages through its specialist subsidiary The Mortgage Works. There is a range of buy-to-let product options available for both existing landlords and those who are buying a rental property for the first time.

Nationwide mortgage features

Repayment options

Nationwide offers mortgages on both a capital repayment and interest-only basis. However, the only way you can get an interest-only mortgage is by applying through a mortgage broker or intermediary, rather than by applying directly to Nationwide yourself. 

With a repayment mortgage, the regular payments you make pay off your interest and some of your original mortgage amount, or capital, each month. If you make every repayment in full and on time, everything should be paid off by the time your full mortgage term ends. 

By contrast, the repayments on an interest-only mortgage only cover the interest that is payable each month. This can help keep repayments low but means you must have a strategy in place for paying off the capital in full at the end of the mortgage term. To be eligible for a Nationwide interest-only mortgage, your repayment strategy has to be the sale of your main residence.

Interest-only mortgages tend to be more difficult to obtain than a capital repayment mortgage and often come with lower LTV limits. 

» MORE: Interest-only vs. repayment mortgages

Mortgage rates

Nationwide offers both fixed-rate and tracker-rate mortgages. With a fixed-rate mortgage the mortgage rate you pay stays the same for the period of time you’ve fixed. When this initial period ends, you may want to remortgage. If not, you will move onto either Nationwide’s Standard Mortgage Rate or Base Mortgage Rate – essentially standard variable rates (SVRs), which are likely to be higher than the rate you’ve just left and have the potential to rise or fall. 

The mortgage rate you pay, and therefore your monthly repayments, may also increase and decrease with a Nationwide tracker mortgage, depending on changes in the Bank of England base rate. Before choosing any variable-rate mortgage, you must work out whether your monthly repayments would still be affordable if interest rates were to rise. Tracker mortgages from Nationwide also have a minimum rate which they won’t drop below, no matter how low the base rate falls. 

» MORE: Check current mortgage rates

Loan-to-value ratios

Nationwide repayment mortgages are available to a maximum of 95% LTV. This means it’s possible to get a Nationwide mortgage with a 5% deposit. Nationwide interest-only mortgages are available to a maximum 60% LTV. 

» MORE: Why your LTV is important for a mortgage

Mortgage offers 

A mortgage offer from Nationwide is usually valid for up to six months. Throughout this period, the mortgage rate you’ve been offered will not change, regardless of what is happening to mortgage rates generally. 

Making overpayments

Most new Nationwide mortgages allow you to make overpayments. Overpaying on your mortgage may help you pay off your mortgage sooner and pay less in interest overall, but it’s important to check whether you have this feature on your mortgage first. 

The most you can overpay on a new Nationwide fixed-rate mortgage while avoiding an early repayment charge (ERC) is 10% of your original mortgage loan amount annually. There are no restrictions on how much you can overpay if you take out a new tracker mortgage. 

Overpayments can be made either by increasing your regular monthly repayments or paying a one-off lump sum. 

» MORE: Mortgage overpayment calculator

Paying off your mortgage early

Nationwide mortgages can be paid off early, but it’s important to be aware of any early repayment charges and other fees that you may be charged. To get an indication of everything that would need to be paid to pay off your mortgage early you must call Nationwide and request a mortgage redemption statement. 

Porting your mortgage

If you’re moving home but want to keep your existing Nationwide mortgage, it may be possible to port your mortgage to a new property, but it’s important to check with Nationwide whether you’re eligible first. 

Customer support

You can discuss your mortgage with Nationwide online, over the phone or by contacting customer service through its mobile banking app. When online, there is a chat option with a virtual assistant that will attempt to answer your questions. If it can’t, you may be given the option to live chat with a team member, assuming it is within Nationwide’s working hours. However, customer support for mortgage borrowers isn’t available at Nationwide branches. 

Mortgage calculators

Nationwide’s website hosts a range of mortgage calculators to give you an idea how much you may be able to borrow and what your mortgage rates and repayments could be. Others relate to overpayments, early repayment charges, interest rate changes and home valuations.

» MORE: Our mortgage calculators

Customer ratings

Nationwide receives a customer experience rating of 73% from Fairer Finance in relation to mortgages, which means that it ranks first out of the 22 lenders it has reviewed. The ratings reflect customers’ happiness with the lender, how trusting they are of the brand and the effectiveness of the lender when handling complaints. How well lenders explain their products and the simplicity and clarity of their documents is also evaluated and taken into account.

This information from Fairer Finance was correct as of 28 May 2024.

» MORE: Do I need mortgage advice?

Nationwide Mortgage FAQs

Is it hard to get a mortgage with Nationwide?

Nationwide says that having a higher credit score may make it easier to get a mortgage. There is a chance your application may still prove successful if your credit rating is less than perfect. However, it’s usually best to avoid applying for a loan you’re unlikely to get, as being rejected has the potential to negatively affect your credit score. 

How long does Nationwide take to approve a mortgage?

For straightforward mortgage applications submitted by a broker it was taking Nationwide on average 9 working days to make a mortgage offer, as of 8 April 2024. More complicated applications will usually take longer to assess. 

This is our review of a lender and not the products, interest rates, fees or deal terms they offer. Many lenders also offer preferential products exclusively via brokers and intermediaries. This review does not constitute advice or recommendation.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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