Who are the Big Players?

When it comes to the UK mortgage market, certain names are bound to come up more frequently than others. These are the “Big Six” lenders:

RankLenderLending (£bn) (2021)Market Share (2021)
1Lloyds Banking Group55.918.1%
2Natwest Group36.111.7%
3Nationwide Building Society35.411.5%
4Santander UK33.210.8%
6HSBC Bank27.38.9%
The Big Six Lenders. Based on gross value of lending. Source: UKFinance

While these big names dominate the market, don’t overlook the value that smaller lenders can offer. Many smaller building societies and specialised lenders may provide more flexibility and personalized service, potentially suiting your specific needs better. 

Examples include providers like Leeds Building Society and Legal & General Home Finance, both of which have positive reputations in the retirement mortgage market.

Choosing the right lender isn’t just about picking the biggest name. It’s about aligning your specific circumstances with a lender that understands those needs. So, remember to keep your options open, and consider all the choices available to you.

Top Retirement Mortgage Providers in the UK

It’s time to talk specifics. Let’s now look at some of the most reliable retirement mortgage providers in the UK. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive. The most comprehensive overview comes from a whole-of-market mortgage broker.

Many brokers have exclusive agreements with certain lenders, providing access to deals you wouldn’t find independently. So it’s certainly worth talking to an expert.


In a landmark partnership, Santander has collaborated with Legal & General Home Finance to provide its customers with tailored later life mortgage options.

Moreover, Santander offers both retirement and lifetime mortgages. The age limit for repaying mortgages is 75 or when you retire, whichever is earlier. Their loans are primarily income-based, taking into account pension and other retirement income.

Legal and General

They offer a lifetime mortgage, which is a type of equity release. A specialist broker can give you a full overview of these mortgages and how they compare to other providers.


In 2016, Halifax increased its mortgage age borrowing limit to 85, making it possible for a 55-year-old to take out a 25-year loan. This flexibility puts Halifax a step ahead of many other lenders with lower age limits.


Barclays stipulates that the maximum age for the end of the mortgage term should be 70, or your retirement age, whichever is earlier. But, they do consider applications from those who are retired or past this limit, provided you can prove your ability to repay.


HSBC doesn’t set a fixed age limit for repayment of mortgage loans. Instead, loans for potential customers over the age of 75 are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Yorkshire Bank and Building Society

These institutions have their unique age limits, but they do consider individual cases for those with mortgage needs beyond these ages.


Offers a retirement mortgage, a hybrid lifetime mortgage for borrowers aged between 55 to 85.

Clydesdale Bank and Leeds Building Society

Both have specified age limits, but they are willing to consider individual cases for retirement mortgages.

Metro Bank

Metro Bank retirement mortgages are quite flexible, with no maximum age as long as you meet their affordability requirements.

These providers stand out for their dedication to retirement-specific lending, with products designed to give you the financial flexibility you need in your retirement years. 

But, as with everything in finance, one size doesn’t fit all. Each lender has its unique advantages, and the best lender for you would be the one that fits your specific circumstances and goals. 

Remember, a mortgage is a significant financial commitment. Do your research, ask questions, and most importantly, seek advice from a qualified mortgage advisor or broker.

Your journey to securing a comfortable financial future in your retirement can be a smooth one, with the right support and the right choices.

To get started, simply reach out to us. We’ll pair you with a top mortgage advisor who specialises in pensioners mortgages.

10 Smart Moves to Choosing Your Mortgage Lender

After walking you through the world of retirement mortgage options and introducing the big players, let’s bring it back to you. Because ultimately, it’s your choice that matters. 

The lender you choose should be like a trusted ally, understanding your unique circumstances and offering solutions that fit.

Here are 10 smart moves to help you navigate this choice, ensuring you make a decision that’s in tune with your needs.

  1. Identify Your Mortgage Needs

Figure out what type of mortgage best fits your situation. For pensioners, consider retirement interest-only mortgages or lifetime mortgages.

  1. Research Your Options

There’s a vast pool of mortgage lenders in the UK, each with different offerings. Understand your potential choices and make a shortlist.

  1. Understand Your Borrowing Limit

As a pensioner, your retirement income will dictate how much you can borrow. Be sure you understand your financial limit before approaching lenders.

  1. Use a Mortgage Broker

Brokers can provide access to a range of products across the market, including deals you can’t find on your own. A whole-of-market broker is particularly useful.

Think of a whole-of-market broker as your key to options. They know every deal on the market, even ones you can’t find yourself. They give you more choices.

  1. Check Lender Credentials

Ensure that the lenders you consider are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

  1. Compare Rates and Terms

Don’t just look at the interest rates. Consider the entire package – fees, penalties, term lengths, and flexibility in repayment options.

  1. Consider the Impact of Credit Searches

Remember, too many hard searches can harm your credit score. Use soft searches or broker services to avoid this.

  1. Ask Questions

When engaging with lenders, don’t hold back. Ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions before agreeing to anything.

  1. Seek Independent Advice

Consult with a financial advisor or a solicitor before signing any mortgage agreement. They can help clarify any confusion and provide unbiased advice

  1. Take Your Time

Don’t rush your decision. The mortgage market can be complicated, and it’s crucial to make an informed decision that suits your individual needs and circumstances.

Exploring Your Mortgage Options in Retirement

Ordinary Mortgages vs Lifetime Mortgages: A Comparison

An infographic comparing ordinary mortgages and lifetime mortgages that explains the section below

Traditionally, mortgages have been designed with the working population in mind, making it a bit tricky if you’re retired. The repayment schedules of traditional mortgages assume a regular income from employment, which may not be applicable if you’re retired.

Here’s where lifetime mortgages come into play. These are a form of equity release specifically designed for older homeowners. 

They let you unlock the value tied up in your property while you continue to live there. The loan and the accrued interest are then paid off when the house is sold, usually when you decide to move into long-term care or after you’ve passed away.

Other Key Considerations When Choosing a Mortgage in Retirement

Choosing a mortgage in retirement is a task that requires careful thought and planning. Let’s break down some key points you should consider:

1) Proof of Stable Income

Lenders want to know that you’re capable of meeting the monthly mortgage payments. If you’re retired, this proof can come in various forms, such as pension income, income from investments, or rent from other properties. Remember, each lender will have its own criteria for what they consider as ‘acceptable income‘.

2) The Maximum Borrowing Limit

How much you can borrow will depend on your income and expenditure, as well as how the lender assesses your ability to repay the mortgage. For retirees, this assessment often includes a close look at your pension income and any other assets.

3) Deposit Requirements

Just like with conventional mortgages, those tailored for retirement also often require a down payment. The exact amount will depend on the type of mortgage and the specific requirements of the lender.

4) The Age Limit for Borrowing

Some lenders set an upper age limit. This could be either the age at which you take out the mortgage or the age at which the mortgage term ends. But, some lenders, particularly those that specialise in retirement mortgages, can be more flexible with regard to age.

Key Takeaways

  • There are around 340 registered mortgage lenders in the UK, each with diverse offerings. Lloyds, Natwest, Nationwide, Santander, Barclays, and HSBC are among the major players.
  • Smaller lenders, like Leeds Building Society and Legal & General Home Finance, are renowned in the retirement mortgage market and may offer more flexibility.
  • Brokers have exclusive agreements with lenders and can provide access to deals you might not find independently. Therefore, consulting a broker is a beneficial step.
  • The right lender should understand your unique circumstances and provide suitable solutions. Identifying your mortgage needs, understanding your borrowing limit, checking lender credentials, comparing rates and terms, and seeking independent advice are some of the critical steps in choosing your mortgage lender.

The Bottom Line

Pursuing a mortgage as a retiree can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and guidance, it’s entirely possible to secure a deal that suits your circumstances.

Remember, securing a mortgage is not a decision to take lightly. A tailored mortgage can ensure your retirement is comfortable and stress-free. 

Speak to a mortgage advisor who can provide advice specific to your circumstances, and guide you in your decision-making process. Simply fill out this quick form and we will connect you with a knowledgeable and reliable broker today.