Updated: December 17, 2021

Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor Mortgages (JBSP)

What is a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage and which banks offer them? Find out if a JBSP mortgage is suitable for you, and how you can get one.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: December 17, 2021

Are you hoping to get on the property ladder but can’t afford to go it alone? A joint borrower, sole proprietor (JBSP) mortgage can be ideal if you’ve got friends or family members who are willing to share the financial burden, without giving them legal claim to your future home.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about JBSP mortgages, which lenders can provide them and, most importantly, how to get one.

What are joint borrower sole proprietor mortgages and how do they work?

A joint borrower sole proprietor (JBSP) mortgage allows as many as four people to be named on a mortgage, but only one will be on the title deeds of the property. As the proprietor, this means you’ll have legal ownership of your home, but will also have several supporting borrowers who can help you pay for it, both in terms of helping you pass initial affordability assessments and even helping you make the repayments.

This type of home loan allows you to pool your resources with other people, taking the income of all borrowers into account (including pension income) which can increase the amount you’re able to borrow and make it easier for you to afford the mortgage you need.

They’re suitable for anyone needing financial assistance to buy a home, such as:

JBSPs are not considered conventional mortgages, which can mean they’re not always available from mainstream lenders. An experienced broker would be able to help you identify specific providers, saving you a lot of time and unnecessary stress.

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What are the benefits and disadvantages?

JBSP mortgages can be a lifesaver for those who would otherwise be locked out of homeownership, but they’re not suitable for everyone and there are drawbacks to be aware of. Here are the main benefits and disadvantages.

Benefits:

  • They can be a great option for someone to get on the property ladder and have full legal ownership of their home, with financial support to help get them there
  • The credit-worthiness of the proprietor gets an uplift thanks to the financial stability of supporting borrowers
  • The proprietor can get help to make the repayments, with anyone on the mortgage able to contribute
  • It’s possible to switch to a standard mortgage at a later date, once the proprietor is in a financial position to borrow on their own

Disadvantages:

  • All borrowers are financially responsible for the mortgage, even though they don’t technically own the property – so if you miss a payment, the other borrowers are legally required to cover it for you
  • It’s a huge commitment, and supporting borrowers may find it difficult to get out of the agreement if they no longer want to contribute
  • Such arrangements can have long-term consequences on the credit scores of everyone involved, particularly if payments are missed
  • Most lenders will require you to seek independent legal advice before taking out this kind of mortgage, which can add to the costs involved

How to get a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage

Ready to apply? Then follow these steps to get your mortgage application off to the best possible start.

  1. Seek legal advice. Start by speaking with your supporting borrowers so they know what they’re getting into, and seek legal advice so there are no surprises later on (this is often a requirement of many JBSP mortgage lenders).
  2. Collect the paperwork you’ll need to support your application. This will include photo ID, proof of address and income, details of your outstanding credit commitments and relevant insurance policies. Remember, because you’re borrowing with other people, you’ll need to provide the necessary documents for all parties. Find out more in our guide to mortgage applications.
    You can also download your credit reports in advance, so you can review your scores and resolve any potential issues that may be recorded or affecting your credit score.
  3. Speak to a mortgage broker who specialises in JBSP mortgages. This is particularly important given the complexity of this type of borrowing – your broker will be able to guide you through the process and can manage your application from start to finish. They also have access to deals not available to the general public, boosting your chances of finding the mortgage you need.

Our broker-matching service can pair you with your ideal mortgage advisor – make an enquiry to get started.

What eligibility criteria do you need to meet?

Eligibility criteria can vary between lenders. Some insist that any joint borrower be a parent of the main applicant, and will expect the proprietor to be a first-time buyer. Yet others won’t specify the relationship or buying status, and some won’t even mind if it’s a buy-to-let arrangement.

However, certain things are common across the board, with age limitations being one of them. Most lenders will specify a maximum age limit, which means everyone involved will need to be below that age by the time the mortgage ends – typically around 70, though it can be higher.

How much can you borrow?

Affordability and income plays a key factor here. The majority of lenders will offer mortgages at 4.5 times your annual salary, but remember the bonus of JBSP mortgages is that all borrowers’ incomes will be factored into the calculation. However, some expect you to be able to afford the mortgage yourself within a certain timeframe, so bear that in mind when applying.

Deposit requirements

Deposit requirements will be broadly similar for sole proprietor joint mortgages as for standard deals, with some providers offering 95% loan-to-value (LTV) products and therefore requiring as little as 5% upfront, though most have lower LTV caps.

Regardless, as with any mortgage it’s generally the case that a bigger deposit will lead to a lower interest rate, so it’s wise to save up as much as you can – or see if your supporting borrowers can help bump it up a bit.

What will improve your chances of approval?

Simply having another financially stable borrower (or two) on your mortgage will immediately improve your chances, but there are other things you can do to make your application bulletproof.

Meeting the eligibility criteria of the lender you’re applying to is essential, but remember that even simple things can make a difference to your likelihood of being approved – such as having the right documents, seeking advice and making sure you’re on the electoral roll – so don’t overlook the basics.

How do you find the best mortgage lenders?

These are specialist mortgages and not every lender offers them. Those that do include Barclays, Clydesdale Bank, Bath Building Society and the Bank of Ireland, but the majority of joint borrower sole proprietor mortgages are offered by lenders you won’t find on the high street.

With this in mind, you may need to do a bit of digging – or leave it to the experts to do it for you. Specialist mortgage advisors will have access to the best JBSP mortgage lenders and deals on the market, many of which won’t be available directly.

Not only that, but they can actually boost your chances of being accepted – they’ll know the lenders who are most likely to approve your application based on your circumstances, avoiding the possibility of a rejection and a black mark on your credit score. Ultimately, if you don’t speak to a broker you could potentially miss out on the best deal or be declined completely, and could end up paying more as a result.

Stamp duty implications

When it comes to joint borrower sole proprietor mortgages and stamp duty, the rules seem pretty clear – only the proprietor is liable, as they’re the only one with legal rights to the property.

This means JBSP mortgages have an advantage over other forms of joint mortgage, particularly for supporting borrowers who already own a property, as they won’t be required to pay the 3% second home surcharge.

Plus, if the proprietor has never owned a house before, they won’t pay stamp duty either, as first-time buyers are already exempt (on homes up to £300,000). Find out more in our guide to stamp duty.

Get matched with a broker experienced in JBSP mortgages

JBSP mortgages are highly specialist products and as such need specialist advice, without which you could be left with a deal that’s entirely unsuitable. That’s where we come in.

Here at Online Money Advisor we’ll expertly match you with a broker that can meet your needs. We’ll scour our network of brokers to find the one we think could be the perfect fit. There’s no obligation, no fee, and you’ll have a broker who can find you the perfect mortgage deal to suit your needs. Make an enquiry or give us a call on 0808 189 0463 to get started.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

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FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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