First-time buyers typically face two major issues when attempting to take their first step into home ownership. “High house prices means there’s a need not only to build a substantial deposit, but also to be able to meet the affordability requirements for a mortgage,” David Hollingworth at L&C Mortgages said.

Nationwide Building Society now hopes to boost the dream of first-time buyers not only by lending up to five and a half times the income of those with a 5% deposit, but with the Society’s new ‘Helping Hand,’ the Daily Record reported.

Helping Hand now gives first-time buyers the option of borrowing up to 95% loan-to-value (LTV) – instead of the original 90% – when taking out one of the Society’s five- or 10-year fixed rate mortgages.

This means that a first-time buyer couple with a joint income of £50,000 could borrow up to £275,000 rather than the £225,000 they could borrow with a conventional 95% mortgage, assuming no other cost impacting affordability, the Daily Record explained.

This would enable an uplift in affordability of up to 20%, allowing more people to buy their first property up to a maximum 95% LTV.

Helping Hand is part of Nationwide’s effort to offer focused support for first-time buyers on standard incomes rather than high earners and help turn Generation Rent into Generation Buy. First-time buyers using Helping Hand will have access to the standard product and benefit from £500 cashback on completion of their mortgage.

“As a mutual, [Nationwide was] founded to support people into their first home and that remains at the heart of what we do. We know that raising even a 10% deposit can be tough for some, which is why we are extending Helping Hand to our 95% Loan-to-Value range and, in doing so, helping more people get a home of their own,” Henry Jordan, director of mortgages at Nationwide, said in an interview with the Daily Record.

To ensure that Nationwide continues to lend responsibly, all Helping Hand applications will be subject to robust underwriting checks and full assessment of credit score and additional credit commitments.