“Kredyt bez wkładu własnego” (no down payment mortgage) has been launched in Poland since May 2022, but quite a number of banks did not offer a corresponding offer at the start. Currently, the number of banks participating in the program is gradually increasing and since yesterday Poland’s largest bank PKO BP has also joined the program.

What is the program about?

The program is intended to support Poles who want to buy an apartment or house on credit.

Until now, a borrower wishing to take out a mortgage had to make an own contribution, which ranged from 10% to 20% of the value of the property being bought. This was to prevent banks from giving mortgages to customers who would not be able to repay them.

It was definitely more profitable to contribute 20% percent, which resulted in a better offer and a higher borrower’s capacity. However, the ever-increasing housing prices meant that many people could not afford to set aside such an amount and thus take out a loan. This led to a situation where many people were earning too much to get a social housing unit and at the same time too little to save for their own contribution.

Under the program, BGK (Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego) guarantees from 10% to 20% of the own contribution while covering no more than PLN 100,000. Thus, the amount of the mortgage can be up to several hundred thousand zlotys. The borrower still has to repay the amount of own contribution guaranteed by BGK, but without having to accumulate the required cash as initial capital.

In addition, if a second or more children are born in a family participating in the program, it is possible to take advantage of the so-called family repayment. BGK in such a situation will pay a one-time amount to settle the liability. Subsidies will be available in the amount of:

  • PLN 20,000 – if the family expands with a second child,
  • PLN 60,000 – if the family expands by the third and each subsequent child.

What conditions will have to be met to take advantage of the program?

Several conditions must be met to benefit from the program. Those who have the required creditworthiness and meet the following conditions can benefit:

  • The mortgage will be taken for a minimum of 15 years in Polish currency.
  • The borrower and the other members of the household do not own their own apartment or house. This applies not only to the application period, but also for a period of 5 years back. An exception is a family with at least two children. These families can own an apartment, but with an area of no more than 50 m2 for families with two children, 75 m2 with three children and 90 m2 for families with four children. The limits do not apply to families with more children.
  • The selected property is subject to a maximum price limit per sqm.

Limits will exclude a large proportion of properties

Although the terms of the program may indeed help many borrowers, given the set limits a large part of the property will be excluded from the program. First of all, if the maximum amount that the bank guarantees cannot exceed 100 thousand zlotys, then with a 20 percent down-payment, the value of the property will be able to reach a maximum of 500 thousand zlotys. With ever-increasing real estate prices in larger cities, this condition will exclude a large portion of them. In addition, the law sets specific price limits per square meter, depending on the city and region of Poland. In many cities, there are few real estate offers that meet these requirements. Mostly apartments away from city centers will be involved.

How and in which banks can you take advantage of the program?

To take advantage of the program, it is necessary to submit an application to a bank that has signed an agreement with BGK. The procedure itself does not differ significantly from the standard one for granting a mortgage with own contribution.

According to current information posted on BGK’s website, eight banks have joined the program: Santander Bank Polska, Alior Bank, Bank Ochrony Środowiska, Bank Pekao, PKO Bank Polski, Bank Spółdzielczy w Brodnicy, and Bank Spółdzielczy Rzemiosła w Krakowie.