“We tailor our advice to you and manage everything with the lender from that initial application all the way through to your mortgage offer. Then we work with your solicitors right through to completion.”
Mike Haupt – Mortgage Adviser
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Mortgage for Doctors
Mike Haupt talks us through the challenges for doctors in finding the right mortgage deal.
How do mortgages work for doctors?
There are no specific mortgage for doctors as such, but a number of key things need to be considered. One of the things I’d want to do as a mortgage broker is get a really good understanding of the income for a doctor.
Doctors’ income can be very complex, depending on how it is set up – especially if they’ve got a combination of employed and self-employed work. I would work to understand that income from the very beginning so that if there are any nuances we can plan to do things differently.
That way, I can recommend the best lender for that applicant. It may include looking at professional mortgages, which we’ll come onto shortly. It’s really about getting a good understanding of what the right thing is for that applicant and finding a lender to get that mortgage approved.
Why can it be difficult for doctors to get a mortgage?
If you just went to your local bank and stated your income you may get a variety of different answers back. Because the income for doctors can be complex, it can be misunderstood at times.
Experience tells me that understanding the doctor’s income in detail means we can position it with the most appropriate lender – as they will all look at income slightly differently.
How does high levels of student debt affect a doctor’s ability to get a mortgage?
One of the downsides of being a doctor is that it takes a long time to study, and that comes at a cost. Student debts are definitely a factor. They are seen as a commitment by the lender, especially if you’re paying money back on a monthly basis.
If you’ve got a student loan payment of £200 a month, for example, that has to go down as a commitment and affects the overall affordability and how much you can borrow.
It’s just one of those things that we plan for. Preparation is key – if you’re going out to buy your first home, understanding how your income and student debt will impact what you can borrow is a really important first step. It means you actually know what you can afford to buy.
What impact do short-term contracts have on a mortgage application for a doctor?
Lenders like consistency and security. That’s what they base their lending on. If you work on short-term contracts, they will want to understand what your plans are, your history of short-term and your future plans.
If it’s a one-off, they will want to know why and what’s next. Short-term contracts can have an impact, but by exploring why we can find the right lenders to go to. This is where professional mortgages can really kick in, as we’ll talk about in a moment. Those lenders might have slightly different criteria around short-term contracts.
How does complex income affect a doctor’s chances of securing a mortgage?
The short answer is that it really shouldn’t – but a lot of lenders won’t necessarily take the time to really understand the income and how it’s made up.
That’s why it’s really important to work with a broker. As I’ve done with multiple clients, I will explore that complex income from the outset. I’ll get the paperwork to show the history and position it in the best way possible to a lender.
Complexity shouldn’t be something to be scared of and it shouldn’t restrict you. It’s just about having a really good understanding of it and positioning it in the best way possible.
Why might a history of moving affect a doctor’s mortgage application?
As you go through training and different jobs you might move around quite a lot. The reason that can have an impact is down to credit history.
The key question is whether you have moved your credit history with you. Have you been on the electoral roll in each place? These things can have an impact. Again, it’s just understanding what that is and positioning it with the lender.
If you are moving around a lot as a doctor, make sure you keep your credit history updated and get on the electoral roll. Keeping your payments up to date. Make sure you’re not missing anything – that will have as little impact as possible when you come to apply for a mortgage.
How do professional mortgages help doctors in the mortgage application process?
We do have a whole episode around professional mortgages in general. But in short, professional mortgages tend to have slightly different criteria to standard mortgages.
For professionals like doctors, nurses, architects, accountants and many more, lenders know that income will be slightly different to standard applicants. They have special criteria around it.
They might also have more flexibility around short-term contracts and complex income. The lender will take the time to understand that income as within those professional roles, that’s the norm.
What are the benefits of using a specialist broker for a doctor’s mortgage application?
I hope I’ve already shown the knowledge we have here. The really key bit is taking the time to really understand your income, how it’s set up and what the future looks like.
The other benefit is the knowledge we have of the lenders to work with. Every lender will have different criteria around what’s acceptable income, how they treat that income and how much of it they will use. So it’s important to work with somebody who knows the lenders and their criteria and who to approach on your behalf.
Then there’s the support process. Our job here is not just to send you off to a lender. It’s about working with you from the very beginning, all the way through to that moment of completion and you picking up the keys…and beyond. That’s where a specialist broker can really make the difference.
Does It Cost For An Initial Chat?
Please don’t be afraid to pick up the telephone. Contact us with any questions or any conversations you want to have. There’s no commitment, there’s no silly questions. I’m here to try and help put your mind at ease, so let’s have a conversation and answer your questions.
What are the credit score considerations that a doctor should keep in mind when applying for a mortgage?
This is the same for any applicant – the better the credit history and score, the better your chances are.
Things happen and you may move around a little bit. Not being on the electoral roll can have an impact, but ultimately the better you are with your money, the better your opportunities are.
Whatever the circumstances, come and talk to us. We’ll work through it and if it’s not a case of getting a mortgage now, we can put a plan in place for six, 12 or 18 months’ time. Just having that conversation will really help you understand where you are from the outset.
Why is being on the electoral roll important when applying for a mortgage as a doctor? Why is it important for a doctor to ensure their address history is correct and up to date?
The electoral roll is really important – lenders like to see you on it to know that’s where you’re living. It just provides more security for them. If you are moving around, make sure you’re updating the electoral roll every time – it’s a five minute job online.
Address history is also important. As you move, you need to update all your bills, banking, licences and utilities – it shows lenders you’re keeping on top of things, and also it gives an accurate history of where you’ve been. When a lender looks at your details, they know they’re looking at you, and not potentially somebody else who might have been living at that property.
Keeping these things up to date helps massively with the mortgage application.
How can a credit profile linked to others affect a doctor’s mortgage application?
If you’re linked to another person, whether you’re a doctor or anybody else, you’re not in control of that person’s credit history or behaviour. If they decide to start missing payments, that can adversely affect you too.
If you’re looking at a mortgage application in joint names with somebody else, or you have been linked to somebody else historically, we need to know they’re on top of things.
Credit History is a huge thing with mortgages. Lenders like security and consistency. They like to know who they’re lending to and credit history forms a massive part of that.
What are the visa requirements a doctor needs to consider when applying for a mortgage?
Visa requirements are changing regularly at the moment. We’re now in December 2023 and the government just announced visa reviews.
Some doctors will be on a skilled worker visa and that provides lots of opportunities. But whatever position you’re in, come and talk to us. We will go through the visa details and understand what’s right for your individual circumstances.
How can a doctor prove their financial health when applying for a mortgage?
Payslips will evidence your income and bank statements show how you are conducting yourself month by month in terms of spending.
If you’re saving regularly, that helps. Having a really good understanding of your credit file is key – check whether there is anything untoward on there. Those are the things you’re going to show to a lender to encourage them to lend to you.
What options do doctors have when they’re looking to apply for a mortgage?
There’s no real difference in terms of the application process. There are lots of options, but it’s that person’s individual circumstances that are key – their Income, debts, credit history and property criteria. We’ll look at that and see whether a standard mortgage is right for you or if a professional mortgage might work better.
As a doctor you’ve got a really good income. Understanding it will provide some really great mortgages for you.
Can I get a Buy to Let mortgage as a doctor?
Yes. The standard Buy to Let criteria will apply. There might be some nuances for doctors if they are in tied accommodation at a hospital and looking to buy somewheres in the country.
It’s just about knowing your options. A good broker will have the knowledge of that to support you.
What if I have bad credit?
It’s about understanding that background. Is it a couple of missed payments, a default, CCJs, IVAs or bankruptcy? Whatever it might be – let’s talk about it and make a plan for it.
If you’ve got bad credit, let’s talk about it early on. Don’t wait until you’ve found that dream home – with time, we will have a better chance of finding you the mortgage that you need.
What advice and guidance do you have for doctors who are saving for a house and looking to buy their first home? How can a mortgage broker help?
Preparation is key. We need to understand your income and any complexity around it. What do your future plans look like? That’s the first real big step.
Make that the first thing you do when you’re looking to buy a house. That way you know what your budget is, you know what you’re looking for and you’ve got a good chance of getting that mortgage.
Get a Decision in Principle from a lender – your budget is going to be the key thing. The last thing I ever want to do is say that you can’t buy a house when you’ve found it – so come and talk to us early on so you know what you can and can’t do.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with your mortgage repayments.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most Buy to Let Mortgages.