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Mortgages For Nurses

Wondering how nurses and other medical professionals apply for mortgages? Read on as we share the eligibility, deposit requirements, and more in this informative guide.
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From 2010 onward, the United Kingdom National Health Service has seen an increase of more than 34,170 doctors and over 44,820 additional nurses in its workforce.

But despite the respect they gain from the general population, the unconventional nature of their work, especially nurses, can cause complications when applying for a mortgage. 

This is largely due to the inability of most lenders and mortgage brokers to understand their short-term contracts, irregular shifts, and lower pay for certain workers.  

However, qualifying for mortgages for nurses is certainly not impossible. 

Now, at the time of writing, there is no specific type of nurses mortgages – instead, there are some schemes available to help such individuals afford home loans.

As such, we have curated this guide that outlines obstacles nurses may face in securing a mortgage, explores relevant schemes, and provides advice on navigating the process.

Why Do Nurses Struggle With Mortgage Approvals?

Nurses often face unique challenges in meeting traditional mortgage criteria due to their distinctive working arrangements. 

Common issues when applying for nurses mortgages are as follows-

1. Part-Time Employment

Some nurses work part-time, leading to lower overall income, potentially impacting the approved mortgage amount. 

So, contacting a mortgage broker who understands the unique circumstances of nursing professionals is crucial in finding a suitable lender.

2. Short-Term And Agency Contracts

Working on short-term or agency contracts offers flexibility but may pose challenges when applying for mortgages for professionals.

That’s because lenders prefer applicants with job security, but again, an experienced lender may overlook this if other criteria are met.

3. Shift Work And Overtime

Like most medical professionals, nurses have to deal with irregular working hours and may get additional income from overtime. These factors can make their earnings unpredictable.

As such, choosing either high street or specialist lenders familiar with nursing income can significantly enhance the likelihood of mortgage approval.

Are Nurses Eligible for More Affordable Mortgages?

While the profession alone doesn’t determine rates, nurses can save on mortgages. But meeting a lender’s criteria is key, with interest rates depending on how reliable the applicant seems. 

Although the “Key Worker Living Programme” ceased in 2019, various alternative affordable housing initiatives cater to nurses and key workers today. 

For your reference, here’s a rundown of some mortgage schemes tailored for nurses-

1. Rent To Buy

Facilitating the shift from renting to home ownership, Rent to Buy, offered by local authorities, provides subsidised rent. 

Agreed sale prices and reduced rental rates make this scheme advantageous, regardless of any property value increases during the reduced rent period.

This may be open to nurses and other individuals. 

2. Shared Ownership

Supporting those with lower incomes and smaller deposits, this government-backed initiative allows buyers to purchase a share (25-75%) and pay rent on the remaining portion. Future options to buy additional shares make it an affordable choice.

Again, this may be open to nurses and other individuals. 

3. First Homes

Launched in June 2021, First Homes assists first-time buyers, including NHS staff, by offering properties at a minimum 30% discount from market prices. 

This scheme specifically targets those struggling with local market prices if their income is below £80,000 (£90,000 in London)

Are There Any Lenders Providing Mortgages For Nurses?

While there are no exclusive lenders for nurses, you can choose one based on your unique requirements. Some lenders, such as Kensington Mortgages, Saffron Building Society, Halifax, Furness Building Society, and Scottish Widows Bank, are renowned for being nurse-friendly. 

Basically, these lenders understand the unique income structures and professional challenges faced by nurses. 

As such, the best lender varies based on a nurse’s financial situation, employment status, and mortgage needs. 

Again, collaborating with a mortgage advisor specialising in healthcare professionals will help identify the most suitable lender and mortgage product.

How Much Can You Borrow When Applying For Nurses Mortgages?

Lenders usually calculate a rough estimate by multiplying the annual earnings of the applicant by 4 or 4.5. In special cases, a lender may consider a higher multiplier.

Overall, they assess your regular expenditures and examine any outstanding debts or financial commitments to arrive at a final affordability figure.

As of April 2023, the typical nursing salary falls within £34,000. When multiplied by 4, this equates to a potential mortgage of £136,000. 

But NHS nursing roles encompass bands 5 to 8, each with distinct salary brackets. So, the following table outlines the median salary for each band and the respective mortgage sizes-

Band Median SalaryMultiplied By 6Multiplied By 5.5Multiplied By 5Multiplied By 4.5Multiplied By 4
5£29,994£179,964£164,967£149,970£134,973£119,976
6£54,000£324,000£297,000£270,000£243,000£216,000
7£65,495£392,970£360,223£327,475£294,728£261,980
8£70,156£420,936£385,858£350,780£315,702£280,624

How Lenders Determine Affordability For Mortgages For Nurses

Lenders consider various factors when determining affordability-

  • Outgoings, including outstanding debts
  • Age
  • Credit history
  • Annual income (averaged over the previous two years if fluctuating)
  • Property type
  • Income regularity and predictability

Generally, higher outgoings relative to income reduce borrowing capacity. Mortgage providers assess affordability using the debt-to-income ratio (DTI), calculated by dividing total monthly outgoings by monthly income, then multiplied by 100 for a percentage. 

A DTI of 36% or below is “excellent,” 43% or below is “good,” 45% is “acceptable,” and 50% is the maximum for a lot of typical lenders. These figures are illustrative and will vary depending on the lender. 

For instance, with an average monthly income of £2,200 and outgoings of £920, yielding a 42% DTI, you would be well-placed with many lenders.

How Can A Mortgage Advisor Help Nurses Get The Best Deal

Whether you’re a midwife, matron, newly qualified nurse, or ward manager, navigating lenders for optimal mortgage deals can get complicated. 

As such, a mortgage advisor can help by:

  • Leveraging their expertise and database to recommend lenders with flexibility for nurses, offering the best rates and terms for your specific situation
  • Analysing overtime pay and bank work, addressing anomalies like short contracts to enhance your reliability as a borrower 
  • Assessing your finances for a realistic mortgage estimate, considering potential benefits tied to your nursing profession

Please connect with our mortgage advisors for further details.

FAQs

1. Can Nurses With Bad Credit Get Mortgages? 

Seeking a home loan with bad credit is challenging but not impossible. With assistance, you can enhance your credit history before applying or locate lenders specialising in bad credit mortgages for nurses.

Interestingly, a large deposit may counteract concerns about reliability and affordability, but professional advice is advisable in such situations.

2. Can Student Nurses And Newly Qualified Nurses Also Get Mortgages?

Bursary funds, along with any supplementary employment income, contribute to the overall income of student nurses, however, using this as acceptable income for a lender may be challenging.

Additionally, for newly qualified nurses, it might be slightly challenging due to the shorter working history typically required. As always, consulting with a specialist broker can offer guidance on navigating this situation as a newly qualified nurse.

3. Are Mortgage Rates More Affordable For The NHS Staff?

While their profession doesn’t inherently secure better rates, lenders often appreciate the unique circumstances of NHS staff or nurses, potentially leading to more favourable terms. Certain lenders have key worker products for example. 

To Sum Up

Applying for a mortgage as a nurse may pose several challenges, demanding careful consideration. From varying income structures to specific government schemes, understanding your options is key.

While researching yourself is also necessary, contacting a knowledgeable mortgage broker can streamline the process, ensuring you uncover the most favourable deals. 

With the right approach, nurses can confidently pursue home ownership, unlocking the doors to their dream homes while overcoming financial intricacies. 

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

All content is written by qualified mortgage advisors to provide current, reliable and accurate mortgage information. The information on this website is not specific for each individual reader and therefore does not constitute financial advice.

Our goal is simple - to provide most up-to-date and accurate mortgage information to make your mortgage journey as stress-free as possible. Have a question? Fill up the quick form and one of our mortgage advisor will connect with you.

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