Your cookie preferences

We use cookies and similar technologies. You can use the settings below to accept all cookies (which we recommend to give you the best experience) or to enable specific categories of cookies as explained below. Find out more by reading our Cookie Policy.

Select cookie preferences

Skip to main content

Cashback mortgages

A cashback mortgage is where the lender gives you a cash lump sum, usually on completion of the mortgage application. It’s a nice incentive, especially for first time buyers, but is it too good to be true?

Share this guide
A young black male with a beard and a white knitted sweater holds up a fan of UK banknotes with a shocked and excited expression on his face

What are cashback mortgages?

A cashback mortgage is exactly as it sounds, you get cash back from your mortgage lender as an incentive to take your mortgage with them. They are mostly aimed at first-time buyers, but it’s possible to find home mover mortgages and remortgage products with cashback incentives.

As with all mortgage incentives though, the benefits of a cashback mortgage may be cancelled out by a higher interest rate than you would probably get on a mortgage without incentives.

£1,000 can be appealing when you’re in the midst of the home buying process with multiple expenses to cover, but paying a higher interest rate for the full duration of the mortgage is likely to result in paying more overall. 

The benefits of mortgage cashback are, therefore, generally short term, but can be very useful towards the long list of costs involved in buying a home.

Cashback mortgages usually don't offer the best rates on the market, so be sure to compare mortgage deals before making your final choice.

Which mortgage could you get?

Compare a huge range of mortgages of all types on our comparison tables.

How does a cashback mortgage work?

When you apply for a cashback mortgage, your lender will tell you how much cashback is available and this is usually a set lump sum, but can also be based on the cost of your mortgage. 

Once your application is approved, you'll usually receive the cashback to spend as you please. Some mortgage providers may not give it to you until you’ve made your first monthly mortgage repayment, but this should be made clear to you when you sign up.

Terms to be aware of

When you accept cashback as part of a mortgage deal you’re typically agreeing to additional terms. These can vary from lender to lender, but will generally include having to repay some or all of the cashback if you leave the mortgage before the deal ends. 

You may also have less flexibility to overpay your mortgage, particularly in the introductory period. Most mortgages allow for 10% overpayment of your mortgage per year, but this could be less with a cashback deal, so be aware of any limits imposed.

Early repayment charges (ERCs) can be as much as 3-5% of the amount you’ve overpaid by, so you could end up cancelling out any benefit gained through the cashback if you end up having to pay them.

Are interest rates higher for a cashback mortgage?

Interest rates vary from one mortgage to the next, and depending on your personal circumstances, but cashback mortgage rates are usually higher than standard fixed-rate or variable mortgage deals that offers no incentives.

Should you get a cashback mortgage?

The type of mortgage that's best suited to your needs depends on your personal circumstances and needs. It’s important to consider whether you'd prefer to have short or long term benefits, however.

A higher interest rate could mean that you're paying more over the full length of the mortgage term (an average of 25-30 years), so you’ll need to ask yourself whether £1000 now is worth higher repayments for such a long time, and of course, paying more interest overall.

If you find a cashback deal at a rate that matches the best deals available to you across the market, there are very few downsides to accepting a cash boost when buying a new home!

The best way to compare different types of mortgages is to use the annual percentage rate of charge (APRC). Every lender has a legal responsibility to show this, and it will tell you the total cost of your mortgage over the whole term, taking all incentives into account. 

How much mortgage cashback can you get?

This depends on the specific deal. Set lump sums tend to fall between £200-£1000 or you might be offered a set percentage of what you borrow back. Some lenders refund your first monthly repayment instead.

What other forms of cash back or incentive do lenders offer?

Some cashback mortgages offer other discounts or refunds on specific mortgage costs, rather than offering a cash lump sum. This could include:

  • Fee-free, reduced or refunded arrangement or booking fees

  • Fee-free, reduced or refunded survey costs 

  • Fee-free, reduced or refunded legal fees

  • Fee-free, reduced or refunded stamp duty

Some mortgage providers also offer a discount if you use their recommended insurance providers, surveyors and legal firms. However, it can be cheaper to source all of these services elsewhere, your lender won’t necessarily have the best deals on the market. 

How do you get the money?

Usually the money is passed via your solicitor when the mortgage application completes or once you’ve made your first mortgage repayment. 

Some lenders might let you choose to take the cashback off of your monthly repayments instead of as a lump sum. This option could potentially offer a much greater financial benefit than the lump sum, but you'll typically need to have a bank account with the lender in order to take advantage of this type of deal.

Pros and cons of cashback mortgages

  • Upfront cash of up to £1,000

  • Cashback as a percentage of your mortgage in some cases

  • Can be helpful to pay for the costs of moving home

  • You may also get extra benefits such as refunds on stamp duty, valuation or legal fees

  • Interest rates are typically higher than on non-cashback deals

  • Early repayment charges can be higher, so your benefits could be wiped out if you remortgage or overpay your mortgage during the term of the deal

Can you get cashback remortgages?

Some remortgage products have cashback available. But, again, the interest rate might be higher than for non-cashback remortgage deals, so always make sure you're looking at the APRC to make a final decision.

Compare mortgages with Uswitch

Find the mortgage that's right for you

Cashback mortgage FAQs

When do you get paid back on a cashback mortgage?

It depends on the individual deal terms, but usually on completion of the mortgage, or once you've made your first monthly mortgage repayment. Be sure that this is made clear to you in the terms.

Is it guaranteed you will get the cashback?

If you meet the criteria for the cashback, then you should be entitled to it when you take out a cashback mortgage. However, do be careful to read the terms and conditions as some may require you to bank with the lender, borrow a certain amount of money or be a first-time buyer in order to qualify.

What fees do you pay with a cashback mortgage?

There are no additional fees on a cashback mortgage compared to any other residential mortgage product. However, be aware that any mortgage with built-in incentives, such as cash back or free legal fees, typically have slightly high rates of interest. Be sure to consider which will benefit you most in the long term.