Last reviewed on 5th October 2023 by Martin Alexander (Mortgage Advisor)
Trying to find a mortgage as a police officer can be difficult, simply due to the demand the role has. The good news is that your employment with the police can give lenders confidence in your mortgage application.
Being a police officer in the UK has strong career prospects with the possibility of promotion. As a result, you may find your mortgage assessment to be straightforward. That being said, approaching a lender at random is rarely advised. You’ll still want to shop around for the best mortgage deals to ensure you save money where possible. Our experts can help you compare mortgages across lenders.
- What is a police mortgage?
- How much can I borrow as a police officer?
- Will mortgage lenders consider overtime and bonuses?
- Can I get a mortgage if I’ve just joined the police force?
- How are police officers assessed for a mortgage?
- Are there any mortgage schemes for the police?
- Should I take mortgage protection because I work for the police?
- Can bad credit stop me from getting a mortgage?
- Will I still need mortgage advice before applying?
What is a police mortgage?
In all honesty, there are no dedicated mortgages for police officers. However, your profession as a police officer can improve your mortgage chances. Lenders understand that those in certain professions pose less risk and are more likely to repay a mortgage on time.
Those working in other areas of the emergency services may also find it easier to get a mortgage when compared to other professions. You also don’t have to be an active officer on the front line to qualify. As long as the police employ you, you’ll be viewed by lenders with the same confidence.
Employment within the police is often structured in a simple way for lenders to assess. This is especially true when compared to applicants with a variable income or income from self-employment.
How much can I borrow as a police officer?
Police officers can borrow between four and six times their annual income. As a career with the police can support your mortgage, your income is likely to be calculated using the upper threshold. In fact, some lenders will lend up to 6x to applicants working in the police force.
The starting salary of a UK police officer is £21,402, rising to £41,130 at top-level positions. Based on this income, applicants employed by the police may be able to borrow between £128,412 and £246,780 for a mortgage. Remember that these figures are based on a multiple of 6x your annual salary. While there are lenders that offer this, not every lender will.
Speak to an advisor if you feel your salary may fall short of the amount you wish to borrow. We’ll then assess your eligibility with lenders that use higher income multipliers for their assessments. By doing this, you can quickly boost your borrowing power, and you may also find better rates in the process.
Will mortgage lenders consider overtime and bonuses?
Yes, some lenders will include income from overtime and bonuses, whereas other lenders won’t. Applying with a well-suited lender can therefore have a positive effect on the amount you can borrow as a police officer.
If you want to use additional income in your mortgage assessment, then you’ll certainly need to speak to a mortgage advisor. We’ll then find lenders that will consider income, such as overtime and bonuses. What you shouldn’t do is apply with a random lender only to find that they’ve not included your additional income. This can have a huge impact on the amount you can borrow.
Can I get a mortgage if I’ve just joined the police force?
It’s possible to get a mortgage if you’ve just joined the police force. That said, you’ll need a mortgage deposit of at least 5% and a contract of employment. Some lenders will request at least three months’ payslips, whereas others will accept you with less. Believe it or not, a handful of lenders will accept applicants who are yet to start work but have a formal start date.
Mortgage lenders will still view you as low risk compared to other newly employed applicants. This is because the police force offers ample opportunity for career progression, and your salary will likely improve as a result. Nonetheless, the longer you’ve been in your career, the stronger your application becomes. Your career with the police also doesn’t guarantee you a mortgage so you’ll still need to apply with caution.
How are police officers assessed for a mortgage?
As a police officer, your mortgage will be assessed on the following:
- Your contractual income
- Bonuses and overtime (subject to your lender)
- The type of employment contract you have (full-time, part-time)
- How long you’ve been working in the police for
- Are your earnings continuous, or are there any gaps?
- Your regular spending habits – can you afford to repay a mortgage?
- Is your credit score good enough for a mortgage?
Depending on your circumstances, some lenders will be better suited than others.
Are there any mortgage schemes for the police?
Those working in the emergency services can use schemes available to eligible borrowers. That being said, there aren’t any particular schemes available solely for the police, but there are ways to improve your mortgage chances. This is especially true if you’re a first-time buyer.
Shared ownership is a scheme that police officers can use. With the scheme, you can buy a share of a home and pay rent on the remainder.
You can then buy more shares once you’re able to, eventually owning the house outright. There are terms and conditions that you’ll have to abide by that are set by your housing provider.
A joint mortgage has advantages, as you can double your borrowing power and save more for a deposit. This may allow you to borrow more as two incomes offer more security than a single income.
Applying with another person can also boost your application, especially if one applicant has credit issues. Repaying the mortgage is also easier as the responsibility is shared.
Should I take mortgage protection because I work for the police?
Being on the front line of the police force poses a risk, especially compared to other career choices. As a result, having a form of mortgage protection is often recommended for police officers.
If you work in an admin department and not necessarily on the front line, you may feel your role is low risk. That doesn’t mean to say you won’t need mortgage protection.
Various forms of protection offer different levels of cover. Your mortgage advisor will explain the insurance options available and assess your risk levels with your role with the police. This is because levels of cover will be unique to your circumstances.
Can bad credit stop me from getting a mortgage?
Although lenders tend to be more flexible when assessing police officers, you’ll still need a fairly good credit score. Your career may give lenders confidence, but your credit score can suggest otherwise. Lenders will assess the type of credit problems you’ve had and how recent they were.
If you joined the force after your credit problems occurred, the underwriter may see past your credit problems. That said, if you’ve had severe issues such as an IVA or bankruptcy, then you may be declined. This doesn’t mean to say that it isn’t possible to get a mortgage, you’ll need a suitable lender along with credible mortgage advice.
Will I still need mortgage advice before applying?
Your profession as a police officer can give you an advantage when applying for a mortgage, but it doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved. As a result, getting mortgage advice is still highly recommended. Not only will your mortgage chances improve, but you can save money on the rates that are offered.
The emergency services sector covers a wide variety of careers. Even within the police, not all roles are built the same. Furthermore, the mortgage world is full of different options and hundreds of lenders. You can make an enquiry to speak to our experts and start your mortgage today.
About the author
Martin is a senior mortgage advisor and has held a CeMAP qualification for over 15 years while also completing an MBA in Global Banking & Finance.