1st Charge 

A first charge is a legally binding contract that allows the owner of the first charge the right to decide what to do with a property that has been secured against the loan if you, the borrower, fail to keep up with the loan repayments. 

It means that whoever has the first charge has the right to claim back the percentage borrowed through the sale of the assets before any other lender - even if they are not the only contributor to the loan. 

Mortgages are usually the first charge loans on a property. However, if you want to buy an investment property and have no mortgage, a bridging loan lender can be classed as the first charge. 

Related topics 

What is a second charge?
What is a third charge?

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