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Today, Second Charges are well-known for offering competitive rates at a small premium to First Charges. With an average loan-to-value (LTV) of 59%, lending is prudent and based on full affordability and income checks. The time from application to completion is often just weeks or even days. And they’re fully transparent and regulated by the Mortgage Conduct of Business (MCOB), with clear terms that treat customers fairly.

It’s very important to bear in mind that Second Charge mortgages are subject to the same MCOB rules and regulations that apply to First Charge mortgages. So even if you don’t have Second Charge permissions, you must still tell your clients these loans exist and that they could be an ideal solution for them.

What is the product criteria for Second Charge Mortgages?

  • Competitive rates 
  • Fixed rates available with no extended tie ins
  • £10,000 to £1 million lending criteria
  • Up to 100% loan-to-value (LTV)
  • Buy-to-let (BTL) Second Charge mortgages up to 80% LTV
  • Impaired credit loans
  • Five to 30-year terms available
  • Quick completition average, but can be done in a matter of days
  • Interest-only and repayment options may be available
  • Equitable Charges available when your First Charge lender does not consent to the Second Charge
  • Most legal purposes considered, including repayment of personal and business-related tax bills

When might you recommend a Second Charge mortgage?

In this section you'll find three recent case studies from Aria Finance. These illustrate some typical lending scenarios we see for Second Charge mortgage applications: namely home improvements, debt consolidation and additional property purchases.

Home Improvements Example:

£35,000 to fund home improvements

Mr. B wanted to transform his property from a 2-bed to a 3-bed house. He also needed to replace the roof, rebuild the staircase and convert the loft into a bedroom with an en suite bathroom.

Here’s an overview of the financial products available to fund his project:


Further Advance

  • Can take up to 6 weeks just for the initial appointment with an advisor
  • Their lender may not allow further advances
  • They will be subjected to the same restrictions as the primary mortgage. Typically, the maximum mortgage loan for most borrowers is 4.5 times their income, with many forms of income not acceptable (benefits, tax credits, etc).
  • Their broker will not receive commission as a further advance requires an advised sale



  • In this case, their existing mortgage will incur an Early Repayment Charge (ERC)

Second Charge mortgage

  • Doesn’t affect the existing first charge mortgage, avoiding any changes to the mortgage and its interest rate
  • Avoids ERCs


We helped Mr. B fund his home improvement project with a £35,000 Second Charge mortgage, completed within just 7 days of us receiving the application.


Debt Consolidation Example:

Consolidating credit card debt of £47,885

With average monthly repayments of £1,120, Mr and Mrs P’s accumulated debt was taking up all of their disposable income. The high interest rates on their credit cards meant they could only afford the minimum payments and were not reducing the debt balance.

Here’s an overview of the financial products available to consolidate the debt:

Further Advance

  • Their lender won’t lend additional funds solely for debt consolidation


  • Their existing mortgage will incur an ERC of £6,792

Second Charge mortgage

  • Doesn’t affect the existing first charge mortgage, avoiding any changes to the mortgage and its interest rates
  • Avoids ERCs
  • Their broker will receive commission of 1% to 5% of net loan amount, depending on product provider


We recommended a 5-year fixed rate Second Charge mortgage at 5.05%, with repayments of £389.36 per month. There were no ERCs on the Second Charge, so the couple would have the option of overpayments. Mr. and Mrs. P completed the application forms that very same day. The case was then completed in just 4 days, lifting the pressure almost immediately. We helped Mr. and Mrs. P consolidate their credit card debt of £47,885 saving them nearly £1,000 a month.

Additional property purchases example:

£32,000 for a deposit on a BTL property

Mr L already had a BTL property and wanted to use that property as security to take out further finance. As the purchase was a time-sensitive opportunity, Mr. L needed to act fast to secure the property, as well as keeping his costs as low as possible.

Here’s an overview of the financial products available to fund his project:

Further Advance

  • Can take up to 6 weeks for an initial appointment with an advisor, which would cost the client the opportunity
  • Their lender may not allow further advances for this loan purpose


  • A remortgage may incur an ERC
  • The legal process once mortgage offer has been issued would take too much time

Second Charge mortgage

  • Average completion time of 2 to 4 weeks with Aria Finance, but often done in just days
  • Doesn’t affect the existing first charge mortgage, avoiding any changes to the mortgage and its interest rates
  • Avoids ERCs
  • Their broker will receive commission of 1% to 5% of net loan amount, depending on product provider


Mr. L received a £32,000 Second Charge BTL mortgage in just 12 days. Not only was the client able to secure the property, but the monthly repayments of £230.28 made the mortgage a cost-effective solution compared to alternatives.

Why are Second Charge mortgage interest rates higher than traditional (First Charge) mortgages?


If your client defaults on their mortgage, the First Charge takes precedence over the Second Charge, which means that the Second Charge lender may not be left with enough residual equity from the repossession to repay their loan. As a result of this increased risk, they recover the loan through higher monthly interest rates.

How can I explain the costs of a Second Charge mortgage?

The flexible nature of Second Charge mortgages presents a higher risk to the lender, which is reflected in the interest rates. Also, the case has to be transacted by a specialist broker who will incur processing costs. However, with our expert service, we will be able to ensure the product is the best available for your client.

How can you spot opportunities for Second Charge mortgages?

Second Charge mortgages can be used for almost any legal purpose, making them a versatile capital-raising option. But one of the biggest challenges our intermediaries face is identifying when a Second Charge could be the best solution for their clients. This is a particularly common problem for those of you who don’t have much experience with specialist finance.

  • Needs to raise capital quickly
  • Has a bad credit rating
  • Wants to avoid paying an ERC on an existing mortgage
  • Has a very low interest rate on an existing mortgage and doesn’t want to lose it by remortgaging
  • Is self-employed
  • Needs to borrow more than the maximum limit of an unsecured loan
  • Has had an unsecured loan application declined
  • Cannot get a further advance from their existing mortgage lender
  • Wants the money for something traditional lenders won’t allow for, like debt consolidation, business funding, tax bills, school fees or raising a deposit for an investment property
  • Wants to carry out home improvements.

Are Second Charge mortgages regulated?

Yes, Second Charge mortgages are regulated by the FCA and practices adhere to the same rules as the First Charge market. They are no different from a First Charge mortgage except they rank second on the title deed of the property.

How flexible are Second Charges mortgages?

Second Charge mortgages are extremely flexible in their range of criteria, speed and uses, which has proven appeal to a wide range of borrowers. As an ideal way to raise funds from existing equity without disturbing their First Charge mortgage, Second Charges can be accessed by both individuals and landlords, are available without ERCs and offer loan sizes with no maximum loan to income multiple. They are used for a variety of reasons such as debt consolidation, home improvements, tax debt clearance, property deposits, school fee payments and business asset purchase – in fact, any legal purpose. 

By securing against a property, the borrower will gain the ability to consider longer-term borrowing that is not available through unsecured lending (which is typically restricted to a maximum of 7 years on a repayment basis). An unsecured loan is typically capped at £25,000 – with a Second Charge mortgage, borrowers will have the ability to borrow more than this, typically up to £2 million (subject to the equity in their property).

Knowing the key steps to placing a Second Charge mortgage should make it much easier for you to approach placing your first one.

How do you place a Second Charge mortgage?

The first step is to listen to your client’s needs and review their First and Second Charge options. If you feel a Second Charge would be most suitable, inform the client you’re referring them to a specialist finance distributor, but that you’ll still be in touch throughout the process. Then make the referral to Aria Finance.

At this point we’ll typically work directly with your client to take them through the advice process. We’ll identify the best Second Charge product for them, before carrying out initial suitability assessments and explaining the indicative terms to the client. We’ll keep you in the loop as much as you want.

Next, we’ll conduct a fact-find with the client. We’ll ask them to supply the specific information required for a Second Charge and reassess their case based on this. Then we’ll source and confirm the product that’s the best fit and explain its terms.

We’ll start the packaging process by sending the paperwork to the client, including the European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS) and checklist of supporting documents. Once we’ve reviewed the returned paperwork, we’ll instruct a valuation and request consent from the First Charge lender.

Now we’re ready to package the case and submit it to the lender. They’ll review and underwrite it, requesting any additional information or actions required. They’ll also conduct a security call with the client and confirm their details.

We’ll prepare the binding offer and get this signed by the client before sending it to the lender. Once completion is confirmed, your client will get the funds. We’ll then pay you (and your network, if appropriate) an introducer fee within 48 hours.


*Credit checks for Second Charges are different than for First Charges. We’ll only conduct a soft search during the initial stages, with the hard search carried out by the lender at full application stage. The soft search won’t leave a footprint, but the hard search will regardless of whether the loan completes or not

Are Second Charge mortgages only for adverse credit borrowers?

This is a common misconception. The majority of people that apply for Second Charges are prime credit with high equity in their property. It is either not possible for them to obtain lending through traditional finance due to their circumstances or using a Second Charge could help them avoid disturbing low-interest rates on their existing mortgage and/or avoid ERCs.

Why and how can a specialist finance distributor help?

With Second Charge permissions

With Second Charge permissions, you must assess a Second Charge as an option and document evidence of why it is or isn’t the best solution. If you feel it’s the right option for your client, you can choose to use a specialist finance distributor to package the deal.

Without Second Charge permissions,

Without Second Charge permissions, you must still tell clients that the Second Charge option exists and that it may be the best solution for them. You can then choose to refer them to a specialist finance distributor, who can advise the client on Second Charges and take them through the process all the way to completion.

Most crucially

Most crucially, working with a specialist finance distributor like Aria Finance can give you access to a full range of specialist Second Charge lenders, many of whom work exclusively with specialist distributors. And because specialist distributors complete countless Second Charges every year, you can rely on them to expertly navigate the nuances, complexities and regulations of the Second Charge world. Aria Finance does not charge any upfront Second Charge broker fees – so if the case doesn’t proceed, your client pays nothing.

Can I trust Second Charge mortgage lenders?

Lenders that operate in the Second Charge market answer to the same regulator as the High Street lenders, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and must abide by their rules and regulations. Currently, High Street lenders do not offer Second Charge products as they require a fully advised sales process, that they cannot currently accommodate or have little desire to do so.

Why choose a specialist finance distributor instead of going direct to the lender?

Using an established specialist finance distributor such as Aria Finance  has multiple benefits. We’re a one-stop-shop with nearly 20 years’ experience of specialist lending. Our large business volumes mean we are close to lenders, so we’re sometimes offered rates that other providers and intermediaries can’t access. We also make your life easier by taking your client’s application from the initial enquiry stage all the way through to completion. You can choose to be as hands-on or off in this process as you wish.


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