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NHS MortgageJoe Piveteau and Kirsty Hill from JXP talk about NHS mortgages.
Are there specific mortgages tailored to the NHS?
A lot of people believe there’s a particular mortgage just for NHS people, but that isn’t actually the case. There aren’t any particular lenders that specialise in mortgages for the NHS.
But some lenders out there take a more modern approach and offer professional mortgages that help doctors and pharmacists. There are also some lenders that offer non-UK national mortgages as well, which helps NHS employees that have moved to the UK to work.
Is it easier to get a mortgage if you work for the NHS?
Yes, because lenders see the fact that you work for the NHS as a positive. But you’re still going to be assessed with the same criteria as a non-NHS worker. You’ll still need a deposit, and 5% is the bare minimum at the moment. Your income will need to ensure that you can afford the mortgage.
And, like any other mortgage applicant you’ll still need a good credit rating, to be on the voters’ roll and have all your paperwork in hand.
We had a client recently that was relocating from one part of the UK to another. They were a pharmacist working in South Wales and moving to Sussex. They had a job role starting in September. We started the application for them in April and quickly got them a mortgage offer, just based on a letter from the hospital offering the new job role. So there is a bit of flexibility from some lenders when you do work for the NHS.
Are some lenders more welcoming to the NHS than others?
Yes – as Joel mentioned, there’s the professional side with doctors and pharmacists, but also some lenders are more understanding about nursing and other healthcare work. For example, many nurses have a basic salary but also do bank work.
Some lenders wouldn’t consider bank work as part of your income as officially, it’s a zero hours contract. But other lenders will assess that more favourably and they’ll also take into account your shift allowances and enhancements. They see your bank work as a continuation of your basic salary.
Again, how the lenders review that can vary. Some will take 50% of that income, some 75% and some even higher. So the loan amount you could achieve varies quite a lot. That’s why, if you are an NHS worker, it’s really important to get good advice.
How do I know if I qualify for an NHS mortgage?
Speak to an adviser – as Joel mentioned with his client example, we can help you with any situation. In terms of the process, it’s exactly the same. We need to obtain an Agreement in Principle as early on as possible, because that confirms how much you can borrow.
One of the things to look out for if you have shift enhancements and bank payslips is that while you get an Agreement and Principle upfront, your income is likely to fluctuate.
We keep an eye on that and make sure you keep all your paperwork to get you the most suitable product. The process might be slightly different because you have these shift enhancements. But in general, it’s still similar to any person who’s not an NHS worker.
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We’ve got customers all over the country, as we can deal with you over the phone, online on teams. So you don’t have to be based in the Sussex region to use us. We have access to the whole of the market and we’ll happily chat to you wherever you are.
Can I get a mortgage worth five times my salary?
Potentially. It’s exactly the same whether you work for the NHS or not. There are still lenders out there that will consider five times your salary, depending on your situation. Usually there’s a minimum income criteria to qualify for, which can range from £50,000 to £75,000 depending on the lender.
Other lenders not only need that minimum income, but they also expect you to have a minimum deposit, usually around 15%. So if you’ve got a high income and a 15% deposit that puts you in a really good position to achieve the higher income multiples.
How much can I borrow and what’s the minimum deposit?
Lenders will look at the income per application. If, for example, you earned £30,000 and your partner earns £50,000, they would take the total income of £80,000. As long as you’ve got no major commitments in the background, you could usually borrow between 4.5 and 5.5 times your combined salaries.
Again, this is massively dependent on the lender and whether you’ve got that higher deposit and a good income. If you’ve got a lower deposit of 5% or 10% you might be looking at 4.5 times your income.
At the moment [podcast recorded in April 2023], the minimum deposit is still 5% but because the lender sees you as a higher risk with a smaller deposit, they may charge you a slightly higher interest rate. As a general rule, for every additional 5% of deposit you will potentially unlock a better rate.
If somebody is working for the NHS and looking for a mortgage, how can a broker like JXP help?
The key thing is to come in and have a chat with us. We’ve got access to over a hundred lenders. They all have different criteria and those change all the time. Different lending amounts are offered, as well.
We will sit down with you and give you the best advice, running through all the different options. When you find something suitable and want to put an offer in on a property, we can take the application right through to the mortgage offer. You can concentrate on your important role within the NHS, with peace of mind that we’re going to help you purchase that property.
It’s never been more important to get advice because things change all the time. For example, there were some new build schemes specifically for key workers – but they weren’t widely advertised. Plus, how your income relates to a new build property might be different to a second hand property.
Do keep your paperwork, especially on bank shifts. Sometimes we need 12 months’ payslips for that side of things. Keep your contracts, too, and speak to an adviser as early on as possible. We’re here to help.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments.