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NHS Mortgages

Getting a mortgage as an NHS worker can be a straightforward process. This guide highlights the eligibility criteria, discounts, and everything related to mortgages for NHS workers.
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The NHS, or National Health Service, employs more than 1.5 million people in the UK, which includes radiographers, paediatric nurses, and surgeons. 

While it’s a respected profession, many wonder about the eligibility and application process of availing a mortgage as an NHS worker. After all, there are factors like shifts, short-term contracts, and salary band restrictions to consider.

Read on to learn all about NHS mortgages and the benefits of availing a mortgage as an NHS professional.

What Are NHS Mortgages?

While there is no specific NHS mortgage per se, certain lenders actually cater to those in the medical profession, offering them mortgage plans at lower interest rates. 

They are more flexible and willing to consider applications of those working for the NHS because of the perceived job security.

Lenders consider these applicants less risky and may lend up to five times their income in some cases.

Lenders can often describe these as professional or  key worker mortgage products. 

Benefits of Availing Mortgages As An NHS Worker

1. Borrow A Higher Amount Even With A Low Income

Standard mortgages allow a regular person to avail an amount of three to four times their income usually which is lender dependent. 

But NHS workers may be able to borrow more even with a low income. This is because lenders consider job security and future pay increases.

2. Climb The Property Ladder With A 5% Deposit

First-time buyers can get on the property ladder without family support or a co-applicant, even with a small deposit. 

Those purchasing a pre-owned property can make use of government schemes beneficial for NHS workers and put down a deposit of 5%.

3. No Need For A Guarantor

NHS workers who qualify for a mortgage don’t need friends or family to act as guarantors while applying for it.

Who Is Eligible For An NHS Mortgage?

As mentioned earlier, there isn’t any specific NHS mortgage at present, but clinical workers working for the National Health Service (NHS) qualify for mortgages at lower rates potentially as discussed.

Nonetheless, you have to meet the eligibility criteria of the specific lender and that includes having a sufficient credit score/record and employment proof.

NHS workers include individuals who work in the following departments:

Make sure you connect with a mortgage expert or advisor who has experience helping NHS staff find out the mortgage options open to them.

Are There Any NHS Help-To-Buy Schemes?

There are no such help-to-buy schemes for NHS workers, but alternative government schemes exist. 

NHS workers can take advantage of these schemes while availing mortgage deals. Keep in mind that none of them are specifically tailored for NHS workers.

1. Shared Ownership Scheme

what is shared ownership

A shared ownership mortgage scheme helps people struggling to climb the property ladder with lower levels of deposit. It enables you to buy a part of the house and pay rent on the remaining portion. As you cross over the NHS salary bands, you can increase the ownership share with time known as a process called staircasing.

2. The First Home Scheme

The scheme was designed to help key workers and young individuals earning less than 80,000 pounds (90,000 pounds in London). 

To avail of the benefits of the first home schemes, you have to be a first-time buyer and qualify for stamp duty relief. 

You’ll also require a mortgage plan that’s around 50% of the property purchase price. In other words, you can’t make a huge deposit and have smaller mortgages.

3. Right To Buy Scheme

What Is Right To Buy Mortgage

Right-to-buy schemes help people living in a council-owned property buy the same property at a discounted price. This makes it affordable for NHS workers who might be drawing lower wages and the discount can act as a deposit.

How Much Can You Borrow As An NHS Worker?

As an individual employed by the NHS, you get the benefit of borrowing more than a regular employee with certain lenders. 

With the right mortgage lender, you can even borrow up to 6 times your salary, which is huge compared to industry standards. You may have to meet other lending criteria to be eligible for this level of affordability. 

You will have to undergo an affordability test where lenders assess your income and expenditure to ensure repayment capability. 

While some lenders may consider bonuses and overtime pay while assessing your income, others won’t. So, you should consider this factor if you wish to borrow more than your annual income and this is where an experienced broker will be beneficial. 

Your credit score will further affect the total amount you can borrow.

Types of NHS Mortgages You Can Consider

Types Of Buy-To-Let Mortgages

1. Fixed Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages are common among first-time buyers. The mortgage has a fixed term of around 2 to 5 years with a fixed interest rate, irrespective of market fluctuations.

Once the term ends, the mortgage will revert to the standard variable rates (SVR) of the lender.

2. Variable Rate Mortgage

Unlike fixed-rate mortgages, the interest rate of a variable-rate mortgage isn’t fixed during the term. It will vary depending on the risk factor and market conditions relevant to the loan.

If the interest rate increases, monthly payments will increase in line to repay the higher interest owed. 

On the contrary, if the interest rates decrease, the monthly payment will be lower also. 

3. Tracker Rate Mortgage

A tracker rate mortgage comes with a term like fixed-rate mortgages. It is a type of variable rate mortgage which usually tracks the base rates of the Bank of England. This means your interest and mortgage payments may change every month accordingly.

Which Mortgage Lenders Offer The Best Mortgages for NHS Workers?

Many mortgage providers, including specialist lenders, are open to applications from NHS workers and offer flexible terms and reduced rates. 

Nationwide, Coventry Building Society and HSBC consider NHS applicants on zero-hour contracts subject to meeting their lending criteria. However, they may not be willing to consider these contracts in other fields of work.

Here is a list of lenders that offer mortgage incentives to NHS workers:

  • Vida: Lends up to 6 times the applicant’s income (up to 90% loan to value) at discounted rates.
  • Foundation: Lends 5.5 times the NHS applicant’s income.
  • The Principality: Provides mortgage incentives to NHS workers on a case-by-case basis.
  • Clydesdale: Provides incentives to qualified dentists, pharmacists, doctors, and medical professionals with an income of more than 40,000 pounds.

All of the above products can of course be subject to change. 

How Can Mortgage Brokers Help NHS Professionals Find The Best Mortgage Deals?

As an NHS worker, you might not have the time to sit and find the best mortgage deal owing to your hectic schedules. So, you should consult a mortgage broker to help out.

As mortgage advisors, they can help you:

  • Assess your financial condition and give accurate figures for an expected mortgage size
  • Find and share ways by which you can receive extra benefits and discounts while applying for a mortgage
  • Recommend a lender who will favour an NHS worker’s mortgage application to make the process smoother

If that sounds interesting, feel free to connect with one of our mortgage advisors.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do NHS workers get mortgage discounts?

Yes, NHS workers can avail of mortgages at discounted rates. However, the applicant must be a permanent contract worker and a clinical member of the NHS staff.

Under the first home scheme, NHS workers receive a 30% to 50% discount on their first home purchase. 

Of course this is only with certain lenders and can be changed in line with market conditions and product changes. 

2. Can someone who’s just started working for the NHS get a mortgage?

Yes, you can avail a mortgage even if you’ve just started working for the NHS.

Lenders usually require some employment proof, like payslips or employment contracts, to check your eligibility. So, you can get a mortgage even if you have a job offer but haven’t officially begun working. 

In such situations, the lender will consider the details mentioned in your employment contract, including the wages and employment start date. This particular piece of lending criteria is very lender dependent. 

3. What are key worker mortgages?

This is an old government scheme that NHS staff and key workers qualified for in the past, but it’s no longer active. It was discontinued in 2019. Certain mortgage products offered by individual lenders are termed key worker products.

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.

CeMAP & CERER Qualified Mortgage Adviser

I am CeMAP & CERER qualified mortgage adviser and have helped a number of clients realise their dreams when they thought it would not be possible. I’m skilled at getting mortgages sorted for people with a history of missed payments, CCJs, defaults, debt management programmes, IVAs and bankruptcies.

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