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How can we help?

A list of some of the most commonly asked questions on mortgage, savings and later life planning.

If your question is not answered here, please call our New Business Team on 03330 140144 who will be happy to help.

 

General

You can tell us about a change of address by sending us a secure message if you have online access to your account(s). Or you can tell us over the phone, after security tests have been passed, or you can fill in and post back our Change of Address form

PLEASE NOTE If you are moving overseas, please contact us as we may need to close your account(s). If your occupation means that you are still a UK resident for tax purposes (for example if you are in the armed forces or you are a crown employee), we need to be aware of this. You can use the contact methods shown above to let us know. 

Cheques should be made payable to 'Family Building Society' followed by your account number.

If they held any accounts with us, we’re here to help you understand what you need to do next and make the process as easy as possible for you. 

Please visit our Bereavement help and support page for more information.

A certified document is a copy of the original signed by a "Professional Person" i.e. someone in a position of responsibility. We accept copies certified by:

  • a solicitor
  • an accountant
  • a bank or building society official
  • an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA)
  • a mortgage broker
  • a doctor
  • a Justice of the Peace.

As part of the account opening process, we will run an electronic identity check. However, if you fail this check we will write to you to notify you, and we will then need request certain documents to prove your identity (listed below). Please do not send us anything until we ask you to. 

To confirm your nominated bank account you will need to provide us with a bank or building society statement for that account dated within the last three months which shows your full name and address.

To confirm your identity, we require one of the following Government issued documents:

  • Valid, signed and in date passport*
  • Valid, in date UK photo card or old style paper driving licence*
  • Recent evidence of entitlement to a state or local authority benefit (e.g. state pension, tax credit or housing benefit)
  • Firearms certificate or shotgun licence*
  • HMRC tax notification (excluding self-assessment documents)

If your bank or building society statement does not show your address, please also send us one of the following:

  • Utility bill (dated within the last three months)
  • Local authority tax bill
  • Formal court document (e.g. Judgement or Order, Grant of Probate)
  • Letter confirming your residency at a nursing home on their headed paper

*For your own protection you are advised not to send original passports, driving licences or firearms certificates or licences through the post. Copies can be accepted but must be certified as a true copy by a solicitor, an accountant, a bank or building society official, an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), a mortgage broker, a doctor or a Justice of the Peace.


Mortgages

It’s possible yes and would depend on your income affordability, outgoings and the term you want to repay the mortgage over. You'll need a deposit of at least 5% of the property value and you’d need to go through a mortgage advice process to establish what type of products are available, the monthly mortgage payments and costs including valuation, legal fees and stamp duty.

Products are available specifically for first time buyers with small deposits and these sometimes include help with some of the costs involved and low fees. The interest rate on loans with smaller deposits will be higher than for other loans.

One way to reduce the cost is through mortgages (such as our Family Mortgage) that allow other family members to provide extra security, either through a charge over their own property or their savings. This can reduce the interest rate and offsetting savings family members can also help reduce the monthly payment.

Yes you can. Perhaps even longer if you want. See our range of later life mortgages.

There has been a lot of comment in the press recently about 50 something’s finding it challenging to get a mortgage that extends into what used to be considered to be “normal retirement age”.

We’re living longer and therefore working longer, it’s as simple as that, so more and more people don’t fit into that “normal” group.

Many high street lenders will restrict the maximum age at which they allow the mortgage term to run to, typically to between 70 and 75.

However, some lenders, such as us, will take a more common sense approach.

Earned income can in some cases be accepted up until age 70, alongside income from pensions; investment property and savings which can all be taken into consideration. Providing you meet the lenders criteria there is no reason why you cannot obtain a mortgage until or even beyond the age of your retirement.

What is most important is to check that the mortgage remains affordable after you retire and draw your pension income.

You may wish to consider an offset mortgage. Offset mortgages allow you to keep a pot of money alongside your mortgage account which you can withdraw from when you need to pay your tax bill.

The advantage over a normal savings account is that you won’t be charged interest on the part of your mortgage equivalent of the amount you have in your savings pot. You won’t receive any interest on the money in the savings pot but you’re saving interest at the rate on the mortgage, which is usually higher than you’d earn on a savings account.

The other advantage of having an offset account is that you do not pay tax on the interest saved by the offset funds.

Offset funds can normally be used to either reduce your mortgage term overall or reduce your monthly mortgage payment. It really depends on the lender and the choices they offer.

The short answer to that is maybe.

It would depend on several factors. The lender may have relied on both your incomes in giving you the mortgage. The lender would need to establish your income, outgoings and the term you want to repay the mortgage over.

Providing you can afford the mortgage on your own and meet the lenders underwriting criteria then there is no reason why you would not be considered.

Another thing lenders would also take into consideration is your credit history. If you have missed any payments, made late payments or taken payday loans this may restrict your choice of lenders; or may mean you cannot obtain a mortgage.

If you are splitting the equity (the difference between the property value and the mortgage amount) and one person is buying the other out, then because you have less equity than before you may fund that the interest rate on the new loan is higher than before.

It always pays to look around. A new product may even have a period where the interest rate charged is lower for a few years.

This can keep payments low while you get back on your feet and might help with something like you having somewhere to sit in your home!

We pride ourselves on our flexibility and individual approach to our underwriting. However, there are a few occasions when it’s not possible to consider an applicant:

  • Repayment of tax or gambling debts
  • Borrowers who have impaired credit
  • Borrowers who have utilised ‘payday’ lenders
  • Borrowers seeking to consolidate over five credit cards
  • Borrowers seeking to consolidate debts accumulated with sub-prime or non-mainstream mortgage lenders or non-mainstream credit card providers
  • Borrowers seeking to raise capital for debt consolidation for more than 20% of the property value, or where the main purpose of the loan is debt consolidation i.e. where more than 49% of the monies being raised are to consolidate existing debts.


Savings

Your surviving spouse or civil partner is under no obligation to use all or any of the APS allowance, but they must make an APS application to their chosen ISA manager during the ‘permitted period’ otherwise the allowance will be lost.

No. HMRC has expressly stated that the new rules apply only to the formalised relationships of marriage or civil partnership.

When you die your spouse or civil partner can inherit your ISA savings and keep them with a tax-free status.

The value of your ISA(s) will be calculated from the day you die. Your spouse or civil partner can apply to inherit your savings in the form of an allowance, which is also called an ‘additional permitted subscription’ or APS allowance. Your spouse or civil partner’s own individual ISA allowance (£20,000 for 2020/21 tax year) will be unaffected.

For deaths on or before 5 April 2018, the APS is limited to the value of their deceased partner’s ISA at their date of death. For deaths on or after 6 April 2018, it can be the total value of the ISA up to closure.

You don’t have to leave your spouse or civil partner your money in your will for them to benefit from the APS allowance. Instead, you could leave the savings you’ve built up to someone else in your Will, for example, one of your children, and your spouse or civil partner will still be able to apply for APS allowance. Their APS allowance would be up to the value of your ISA, although your spouse or civil partner would need to use their own money to save into it.

If you have inherited your spouse or civil partner’s ISA(s), the APS allowance is only allowed if they died on or after 3 December 2014.

The APS allowance is available for three years after the date of death, or for up to 180 days after administration of the estate is complete, whichever is the latter. This is known as the ‘permitted period’.

If your spouse or civil partner died between 3 December 2014 and 5 April 2015, the three years is counted from 6 April 2015.

A request can be made directly to the other provider.

We will need signed instructions from the Executors or the surviving spouse or civil partner, together with the funds, the Grant of Probate (if available) and a letter from the provider stating the ISA balance at the date of death. We will then transfer the APS allowance to an existing or new account with us.

Alternatively, a Deceased Transfer Authority Form can be requested from us and completed by the surviving spouse or civil partner in order for us to request the transfer of the funds from the other provider.

We require a Grant of Probate if the total amount in the ISA is £15,000 or more. An appropriate Statutory Declaration can be drawn up if the total amount in the ISA is less than £15,000 in order to release the funds for the transfer to take place.

Yes. We would require the Grant of Probate or the witnessed Statutory Declaration together with identification from the Executors if they are not already known to us.

If the surviving spouse or civil partner is an existing customer, we can accept a written and signed declaration covering the following points:

  • A formal request to transfer the funds to their ISA with the Society.
  • A declaration that they are the surviving spouse or civil partner.
  • Confirmation of the date of marriage or civil partnership.
  • Confirmation that they resided at the same address as the deceased upon the death of their spouse or civil partner.
  • Confirmation that they were not separated.

Alternatively, a Deceased Transfer Authority form can be requested and completed by the surviving spouse or civil partner together with identification and Probate documents.

If a new ISA is required to transfer the APS allowance, an application form will need to be completed by the surviving spouse or civil partner and sent to us with the requested Probate documents and identification.

If you have any questions please contact our friendly service team on 03330 140144

A transfer authority form is required from the other provider completed by the surviving spouse or civil partner together with the Grant of Probate (if available) and identification.

Alternatively, on receipt of the Probate documents and closure/transfer form from the Executors, the full balance of the ISA(s) can be sent to the surviving spouse or civil partner who can then apply to place their APS allowance with the other provider.    

We will require proof of the new account in the form of an original statement which is less than three months old, an original paying in slip or an original cheque which is crossed through as cancelled. In addition, if the savings account with us is an online account please also make an online request for the new bank details to be added to your log-in. Please note we can only make payments into an account in your own or a joint name.

If you wish to deposit into an existing Cash ISA and you have not deposited in the current or previous tax year, then you will need to complete a Cash ISA Renewal Form and return it to us. Please ensure that the existing ISA you wish to pay into is still accepting funds. For a copy of the Renewal Form, please contact our Family Service Team on 03330 140144 or alternatively, you can download it here.

You can put your account on notice by either writing to us at Family Building Society, Ebbisham House, 30 Church Street, Epsom, KT17 4NL, or by telephoning our service team on 03330 140144. Alternatively, if you have set up online access for your accounts, you will be able to send us a secure message via the Online Service. Please be aware once we have received your instruction, we will send you a counterpart Withdrawal Form. This must be signed and returned to us before your account reaches the end of its notice period so that we will be able to make the withdrawal for you.

If your account with us is not showing online, let us know by sending a secure message with your new account number. We will register your account online within 24 hours or contact you if we need any more information.

We can only approve bank details if we have seen evidence to confirm the sort code and account number is held in your name. If this was not included in your initial application, please send us one of the following:

  • A cheque crossed ‘cancelled’
  • A paying in slip
  • A recent original bank statement
  • A printed online bank statement

Alternatively, you can upload your online statement using our ‘Document Upload’ feature found by selecting ‘Savings’ on our homepage or by clicking here.

All withdrawal requests need to be made before 3pm to ensure they are processed the same day. Any requests after this time will be processed the next working day. Funds are guaranteed to be in your nominated bank account by the close of business the day after your request was processed.

No, transfers from Stocks & Shares ISAs are not permitted. 

You can only transfer a Cash ISA into one of our ISA products.


Later life planning

A Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you (‘the Donor’) to appoint one or more people (‘the Attorney’) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf.

To register you will need to complete a Power of Attorney form and return it to us with an original or certified copy of the POA documents and identification for each Attorney.

For full details and more information please visit our 'Help to manage your finances' page.

You will need to complete a Deputy details form and return it to us with an original copy of the Court of Protection Order and identification for each Deputy.

If you are a new member we will check your identity by making searches about you at a credit reference agency that will supply us with information. If we are unable to verify your identity by this method we will advise you of the additional documentation required to complete the account opening process.

If you already have a National Counties Building Society or Family Building Society savings or mortgage account, your signature matches our records and your name & address haven’t changed, you will not need to provide further evidence of your identity.

If you are a new customer or an existing customer opening a new account(s), the Deputy will also need to complete the relevant account application.

A Third Party Mandate is a document that tells us we can accept instructions regarding your account from a specific named person of your choosing (‘the Third Party’).

In order to set up your Third Party Mandate you will need to complete the Third Party Mandate Form and return it to us along with identification for the Third Parties and the completed product application form for the product you require.

For full details and more information please visit our 'Help to manage your finances' page.

To open an account you will need to complete, sign and return the relevant account application form. For accounts that cannot be opened online, you can download the application form from the product page and for those accounts that are opened solely online you will need to contact our New Business Team on 03330 140141.

Attorneys, Third Parties and Deputies are unable to open accounts online with us, but may be able to view the account online.

Once you have obtained the correct application form you will also need to fill in a Third Party Request Form or a Power of Attorney Form and return this and your application form to our New Savings Account Enquiry Team.

For more information please visit our 'help to manage your finances' page here.

A-Z Jargon-buster

Not sure what a certain word of phrase means in finances or mortgages? Use our glossary to understand any terms you're not familiar with.