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LIFT Scheme

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 13, 2023

LIFT Scheme – Low-cost initiative for first-time buyers

The government’s LIFT Scheme may be the right option for you if you are looking to get on the property ladder in Scotland.

While the initiative has been a great success, it is still advisable to seek professional advice before you begin. Our whole-of-market broker network can help you with your LIFT application. This could save you money and time on your mortgage.

What is the Scottish Government LIFT Mortgage Scheme?

LIFT (also called Low-cost Initiative For First-Time Buyers in Scottish Open Market Shared Equity Scheme) helps people with low to moderate income purchase a home.

The LIFT program provides funding for eligible applicants of up to 40% towards purchasing a property.

What is LIFT & how does it work?

The scheme requires you to own between 60% and 90% of the property. The Scottish Ministers provide funding for the remainder.

If the property is valued at £100,000.000, and you want to own 70% of its equity, you will need to contribute £70,000.

The Scottish Government would fund the additional £30,000 (30%). The government would then own the additional shares, and you would retain full ownership of the 70%.

Can I purchase any property in Scotland using the LIFT scheme

When buying a home under the LIFT scheme, there are certain property sizes and price limits that you should consider. The Scottish government’s limits will limit buyers. They can only purchase homes that meet their requirements.

A single applicant and one child may be eligible to buy up to two bedrooms in a property.

What are the price limits for properties purchased through the LIFT program?

LIFT has different limits on the property price that you can purchase. Each local authority determines them.

Am I eligible for the Scottish government’s LIFT program?

You must be at least:

  • First-time buyer (although exceptions can be made)
  • Aged 18 and over
  • A UK citizen
  • Are you looking to buy a property in Scotland?

Is there a priority given to certain buyers for the LIFT Mortgage Scheme?

The scheme is available to all first-time buyers. However, priority group applicants are also eligible.

  • Seniors over 60
  • Renters who are social renters (people who rent from a council or housing association)
  • People with disabilities
  • Members of the Armed Forces
  • Veterans who have resigned from the armed forces in the last two years
  • Widowers or other spouses of service personnel can live with their partner for up to 2 years after the death.

Is there a deposit required for the LIFT program?

A lender might ask you to make a small deposit to obtain a government-backed LIFT mortgage.

The risk you are taking to the lender will determine how much deposit you need. While most residential lenders require a deposit of between 10-15% and 5%, some lenders only require a 5% deposit.

Talk to your mortgage broker before you apply to determine how much deposit you will need. Every lender has a different appetite for lending to people with similar circumstances.

What equity can I afford for a purchase?

Many factors affect the amount of money you can borrow.

  • Your income
  • Your employment type
  • Your credit history
  • The lender
  • Your age
  • Your outgoings

Is there a mortgage calculator available for the LIFT program?

After using the LIFT scheme mortgage calculator, many people are confused. Online tools can help you determine how much you can borrow.

These calculators are often vague and may not consider important factors affecting the final figure.

A mortgage broker can give you a more accurate estimate of how much you can borrow. He will examine your personal and financial circumstances to help you decide.

Alternativ, visit our affordability section.

A LIFT mortgage advisor should be consulted

You should choose a broker with a track record in negotiating mortgages, especially LIFT mortgages.

Mainstream lenders often lack the specialist knowledge required to evaluate your application, which can lead to many people being rejected for mortgages.

We only hire qualified advisors to avoid this.

  • Brokers of all market segments
  • OMA Accredited
  • LIBF Training course qualified
  • Experts in LIFT mortgages are best placed to provide bespoke advice about the scheme

Talk to a LIFT mortgage expert

Talk to an expert if you have questions about the LIFT program or how to obtain a mortgage. Contact our mortgage brokers today to discuss your options.

We work with brokers who are all-market and arrange mortgages for LIFT applicants every day. We will introduce you to the brokers free of cost. Their advice could save you time and money while you search for the perfect home.

Low Cost Initiative for First Time Buyers FAQ’S

What are my options to increase my share in the future?

Potentially yes. In most cases, you can increase your share by as much as 100%.

What are my options for selling my house in the future?

Yes, but you will need to repay the funds to Scottish Ministers if your house is sold.

Can I purchase the property I am currently renting?

No. You may still be eligible to purchase a property on the open market.

Exist LIFT mortgage lenders?

Participating providers have extensive experience with LIFT mortgages. This can help make the application process for a mortgage through this scheme much easier.

Finding the right lender to get a LIFT mortgage can be difficult.

We work with brokers across Scotland that have access to hundreds of lenders. Our team carefully vets each broker to make sure they are competent and have the knowledge to help you find the right mortgage.

If I have poor credit, can I still apply for the LIFT program?

Bad credit does not automatically mean that your LIFT application is rejected. While this will not render you ineligible for the government scheme, it can mean you must apply for a mortgage with a specialist lender. A bad credit broker can help you find the right lender.

This guide to poor credit mortgages, loans with a debt management program, defaults and CCJs may provide more information.

Where can I find the application form for the LIFT scheme?

The Scottish Government’s website has information about the LIFT program. However, it is recommended that you seek specialist advice from a whole-of-market broker before applying. We can help you prepare for the application process and guide you through each step.

Online application for the LIFT program.

Yes. You can apply via the government’s website by clicking the link above. However, it is important to get specialist advice before you press ahead.

Is the LIFT scheme similar to Help to Buy?

Both are equity-based schemes. Our standalone guide contains more information about Help To Buy Mortgages in Scotland.

If you are looking to get on the property ladder contact us today.