Mortgages for doctors

Getting a mortgage as a doctor can come with improved terms, but the process can be tricky. Here’s everything you need about getting a mortgage as a doctor.

What are mortgages for doctors?

They refer to any mortgage deal offered to doctors with improved or specialist terms. The terms are often more attractive than standard mortgage deals as some lenders consider doctors to be low-risk customers.

Doctors and other medical professionals can also have specific needs or irregular working patterns. This can put off some lenders, which is why it’s worth speaking to a mortgage broker, especially one that specialises in medical professionals.

Is it harder to get a mortgage as a doctor?

Although many lenders actively want to encourage applications from doctors, the complex nature of your employment means others might be put off. Some reasons it can be harder to find a mortgage include:

As a medical student, you will have probably built up a large student debt. Although lenders don’t include this when calculating your debt, it will affect your affordability and how much you can repay each month.

If, like many doctors, you work several short-term NHS contracts, you will find some lenders unwilling to consider you. This is because your employment will be seen as unstable; however, specialist lenders will see past this.

If you work as a locum or in a partnership, your income can be harder to prove. Many GPs, for example, receive dividends rather than a salary, and it’s not uncommon for doctors to receive their income from three or more different streams.

Many doctors, especially in the first few years, will need to move around to work in different hospitals. This makes settling down and buying in one location hard, and several address changes can affect your credit score.

What incentives do mortgages for doctors offer?

Like other professional mortgages, you may be able to get more favourable terms and benefits as a doctor, including:

  • Borrowing more: As a doctor, you could get a bigger loan amount based on 5 or more times your salary. Most standard mortgages only offer 4 or 4.5 times your annual income.

  • Smaller deposit: Some Lenders may accept a deposit of 5% if you’re a doctor, even if their normal maximum loan-to-value (LTV) is 90% or lower.

  • Lower interest rates: You might be eligible for exclusive rates as a doctor that are lower than the lender’s standard products.

  • Easier acceptance: Your profession as a doctor might mean some lenders will be more lenient with their lending criteria because you are viewed as an attractive applicant and a low-risk.

Whether or not you’re eligible and what incentives you could access will depend on where you are in your career and your specific role.

Are all doctors eligible?

Most lenders will insist that you’re a member of a relevant professional body to be eligible for professional mortgage terms. This will usually be the General Medical Council or British Medical Association for doctors. As long as you’re a member, you could be eligible even if you’re a:

  • Junior doctor

  • Locum doctor

  • Self-employed doctor

If you’re in one of these roles, it can sometimes be harder to get a mortgage. This is because it’s more challenging to prove you have a steady, reliable income. However, by using a mortgage broker for doctors, you should be able to find lenders willing to offer you a deal.

It’s important to remember that, no matter what stage of your career you are at, you will still need to meet all of the lender’s requirements to be eligible. This will include passing affordability and credit report checks.

How to get a mortgage for doctors

To find the right mortgage deal for you as a doctor, follow these steps:

Use a mortgage calculator to determine the mortgage loan size you need. Also, consider carefully how much you can afford to repay each month.

You may have more documents to submit as a doctor, including proof of your professional body membership. If you receive your income from different sources, e.g. private practice, NHS, lecturing, etc., you must provide proof of your income from each.

All lenders will perform a search on your credit report, and if it doesn’t meet their criteria, your application won’t be accepted. That’s why it’s worth checking your credit report first to make sure it’s in good shape and taking steps to improve it if necessary.

Your situation will be unique, so not all high street lenders will offer products that work for you as a doctor. That’s why it’s worth speaking to an expert broker who can discuss your needs and help you find a mortgage deal that works for you.

Our expert says...

“As a doctor, you’ll have worked hard to gain your qualifications and to build a good career - many lenders recognise this and will reward you with enhanced mortgage terms.

However, the complexities of your role can make finding the right mortgage deal tricky. Speak to one of our expert advisors, who can talk through your situation and search the whole market to find the right product and lender for you.”

Jon Bone \ CeMAP-qualified

Mortgages for doctors FAQs

It can be harder to receive the benefits associated with a mortgage for doctors if you’ve only just qualified, but it’s not impossible. 

Some specialist lenders offer professional mortgages to applicants who are in training or have just qualified, but they may not receive all the benefits. 

Other lenders are more strict and will only offer extra incentives to doctors who have been practising for at least 10 years.

Most high street lenders do not offer extra benefits if you’re a doctor. In fact, some may find it difficult to provide you with a mortgage because of the complexities of your role and the potential irregularity of your income. 

However, some lenders specialise in mortgage products for medical professionals. To help you find the right deal, use a broker who can search the market and find the lenders most suitable to you and your occupation.

You might be able to access a larger loan from some lenders. One of the benefits offered by professional mortgages is that they use a higher income multiplier to work out how much you can borrow.

For example, most standard lenders offer a maximum loan amount of 4 or 4.5 times your salary. However, you could borrow 5, 5.5 or even 6 times your annual income as a doctor.

So if your salary as a doctor is £70,000, you could potentially borrow up to £420,000. However, you could only borrow between £280,000 and £315,000 with a standard mortgage. 

It’s important to remember that your affordability and credit score can also influence how much you can borrow.

You can still get the benefits of a mortgage for doctors if only one of the applicants is a doctor.

However, some lenders may only offer the benefits to one of the applicants; for example, they may multiply your income by 6 as a doctor but multiply your partner’s by 4.5.

So, if you earn £60,000 as a doctor, you could borrow £360,000 (6 x £60,000). If your partner earns £30,000, they could borrow £135,000 (4.5 x £30,000), which means you could borrow £495,000 together for a joint mortgage.

As a locum that temporarily covers other doctors or roles, your employment can be more unpredictable, which can make getting a mortgage more difficult.

However, as a fully qualified doctor, you should still be eligible for the benefits of a professional mortgage. You will still need to prove your income and that you can afford to cover your mortgage repayments.

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