Mortgages for lawyers, barristers and solicitors

“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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Mortgages for lawyers, barristers and solicitors

Mike Haupt explains how the mortgage process works for lawyers, barristers and solicitors.

Are there specific mortgages for legal professionals such as solicitors, lawyers and barristers?

Yes. As a legal professional you would qualify for the professional mortgage range that’s offered by some lenders. We’ve done a previous podcast on professional mortgages, so it may well be worth having a listen to that. But in short, what you’ll find is that professional mortgages have enhanced criteria.

There’s a better understanding of individual circumstances, so you might potentially get lower deposits and higher income multipliers. The most important thing about those professional mortgages is that they tend to be underwritten by a specialist team, with deeper knowledge of more complex scenarios. That’s where it can be a real benefit to you as a legal professional.

What type of mortgage deals are available for legal professionals? Are there exclusive deals for law firm partners?

There are no specific mortgages for legal professionals, but that professional mortgage range will have your full suite of fixed rates and tracker rates etc. – so that is definitely a possibility.

You’ve also still got the core lender range as well, covering all the fixed and tracker rates they offer. So it’s very much a case of assessing what’s going to be the right thing for you – which criteria is going to fit you better and which mortgage is going to give you the cheapest deal overall.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a mortgage designed for legal professionals?

To qualify for any professional mortgage range you need to have a professional qualification. As long as we can get evidence of that qualification, you would qualify.

Can I get a mortgage if I’m a trainee solicitor, lawyer or barrister? Can I get a mortgage if I’m newly qualified?

Yes, you can. If you’re newly qualified or you’re a trainee we would start with a conversation to understand your scenario: Are you fully qualified? Have you got your university degree and are you in your first professional role? Or are you training on the job?

Onc we know your situation we can see whether the professional mortgage range is right for you or if the core lender range is more suitable. We’d look at all the different routes – it’s about finding you the cheapest overall mortgage deal. You will have options, whether you’re newly qualified or a trainee.

What are the main issues affecting solicitors, lawyers and barristers in obtaining a mortgage?

It’s very much about the complexity of income. It may not be as straightforward as having a payslip stating a set salary each month. As lenders have got more and more automated, they’ve become less able to think outside of the box. They often don’t look at individual circumstances.

That’s where someone like myself comes in. With an understanding of professional mortgages and complex income, I go away and talk to the lender to make sure we ultimately get you the yes that you want today, so you can buy that house or remortgage your home.

We make sure that if we apply for something, you will get it – that’s the most important thing.

What eligibility criteria do I need to meet as a solicitor, lawyer or barrister?

It’s very similar to any other mortgage we look at. It’s very much around affordability, deposit and credit scoring. With the professional range it’s about making sure you have the right qualifications to apply for that mortgage and get accepted.

How is mortgage affordability assessed for barristers, solicitors and lawyers?

It would be based upon your income. But as I mentioned, that could be quite complex in some cases. The first thing I would want to do with anybody who falls into this category is to sit down to get a really good understanding of how your income is made up.

Are you a full-time employee with a set monthly salary? Or are you a partner in the law firm who takes a share of net profits at the end of the year? By understanding how that income is made up, when we present the case to the lender we have your affordability sorted out and we know how much you can borrow.

What is my borrowing potential as a lawyer for my mortgage? Can lawyers borrow up to six times their annual income on a mortgage?

Whether you’re a solicitor or a barrister or a lawyer, again it’s about understanding how your income is made up. On some professional mortgage ranges you can borrow up to six times your income – that’s one of the beauties of those ranges.

Sometimes, because you are in a qualified, professional role with greater security, you can borrow an even higher multiple of your income.

What about seven times income?

You’re probably pushing it a bit to reach seven times income. I’ve seen six times income quite often. I’m not saying seven times can’t happen, it’s just not readily available on a day-to-day basis.

What if I’m a self-employed solicitor, lawyer or barrister? Is a barrister a sole trader?

Whether you are a sole trader will depend on how you’ve set your business up. You might be a sole trader, you might be a limited company, you might be a partnership. I will have that conversation with you.

With anyone who is self-employed, we go through your two years’ accounts etc. But as I mentioned, sometimes a self-employed legal professional can have a complex income structure. We will really want to go through that and understand that setup.

With the professional mortgage range there can be slightly different criteria. Where most applicants would need two year’s accounts, you might get away with just one year’s worth. It would really depend upon your individual circumstances and what you’re looking to do.

So while the normal self-employed criteria would apply, it’s very much tailored towards your individual circumstances in terms of what we can and can’t do.

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.

Do barristers pay income tax?

Yes, they do but I am not qualified to answer tax questions – all I can say is talk to your accountant and they will be able to help you.

Can you get a better mortgage as a solicitor, lawyer or barrister?

Potentially, yes. It’s all about weighing up what’s the right thing for you. We look at your circumstances and apply for that mortgage accordingly. Potentially there are some better deals out there for you. More importantly, there could be enhanced criteria that will make it easy for you to get the mortgage you need or want.

Will my student loan for my law degree affect my mortgage application?

If you are making your student loan payments, we have to declare that to the lender as a monthly commitment. In some cases that will impact what you can borrow, because you’re making that regular payment towards your student loan.

Can I get a Buy to Let mortgage as a lawyer, barrister or solicitor?

Yes, certainly. We would be looking at the typical Buy to Let criteria – so a 25% deposit etc. There’s no real difference for a lawyer, barrister or solicitor.

What if I have bad credit as a solicitor, barrister or lawyer?

It would be very much dependent on your individual circumstances. What is that debt? Is it a bankruptcy, IVA, CCJs, defaults, missed payments or late payments?

Once we understand what that is, we would look at applying for a mortgage. I’m in a very fortunate situation, working with over 90 different lenders who look at every different circumstance. So we should be able to find something for you.

Can I get a mortgage in the UK if I’m a solicitor earning in a foreign currency? Would this be the same for a barrister and a lawyer?

Yes, but there are a few caveats to that. If you are a UK resident living in the UK, being paid in non-sterling income such as euros or dollars, there are options for you to get a mortgage.

However, if you are living overseas, you would need to look at more specialist expat mortgages with international banks.

What are the benefits of applying for a mortgage with a specialist lender as a solicitor lawyer or barrister?

Working with a specialist lender generally means they have greater knowledge around your income and the complexities that you may face. If you’re a partner in the practice or you’ve got a mix of both self-employed and employed income, those specialist lenders will look at your case on its own merits.

They have a greater understanding of how that income is made up, which will give you a much better opportunity to go ahead with a suitable mortgage.

How much stamp duty will I have to pay as a solicitor, lawyer or barrister?

It’s just normal rates, but probably as a solicitor, lawyer or barrister you may be better placed to tell me than the other way round! As far I’m aware, it’s all standard.

How do I apply for a mortgage as a lawyer, solicitor or barrister? How can a mortgage broker help me get a mortgage as a legal professional?

Working with a broker makes it simple. It’s all about that initial research to understand what you can do. We have conversations about your income to identify the most appropriate lender, how much you can borrow and what that process looks like.

Once you have found a house, the actual application process should be very straightforward. We just go to the lender with the required details and paperwork. It’s very much about research and preparation, so let’s talk early on. That way, you absolutely know you can get the mortgage you want and there are no surprises coming your way. That’s where I can really make the difference for you.

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

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