Last reviewed on 21st October 2023 by Martin Alexander (Mortgage Advisor)
Many lenders offer bespoke mortgages for doctors, which include great perks. In fact, as a doctor, you can borrow more than the average applicant and may receive incentives, which we’ll explore in this guide.
Is it difficult for doctors to get a mortgage?
Although lenders offer incentives to applicants in the medical profession, your employment structure can cause difficulties during an assessment, such as:
- Short-term working contracts – Working across several short-term contracts for the NHS can give you flexibility, but it can prove problematic for a mortgage. Lenders prefer job security and stability. Working on short-term contracts can suggest the opposite. However, a suitable lender will see past this, providing you meet the rest of their criteria.
- Student debt – Becoming a qualified doctor takes years of studying, which can be expensive. Although lenders won’t count student debt against you, paying debt each month can. As a result, repaying your student debt can minimise your affordability.
- Complex income structures – Whether employed as a doctor or in a partnership, your income may be challenging to assess. For instance, if you’ve set up a partnership, your income will likely be in dividends rather than a monthly salary. Locum work can also result in varied hours and income earned.
- Job relocation – Medical work sometimes involves relocating, which can affect your mortgage application. A frequent change of address can cause issues with your credit score, and as we’ve mentioned, lenders love stability.
Which doctors can apply?
Where you are in your career as a doctor can affect your mortgage. Lenders will assess your application according to your role. Consultants and GPs should find mortgage approval easy, especially with lenders that offer incentives. You’ll also need to meet the rest of a lender’s criteria to be eligible.
Junior and trainee doctors can qualify for mortgages and are often credible applicants. However, issues can arise from being employed on a zero-hour contract or a low income. In contrast, some lenders consider potential salaries once you’ve progressed through the medical ranks.
Approaching the most suitable lenders is crucial, as you can borrow maximum mortgage amounts with little fuss. That said, you’ll still undergo checks on your credit history and any other financial commitments that you may have.
Your employment record will likely be scattered if you’re a locum doctor. Your hours may vary, and you may have had periods of unemployment or even other jobs. Present each income stream to your advisor if you’ve had other employment.
Lenders will assess your income over the past few months. This allows lenders to calculate your affordability and what you earn on average.
Avoid lenders that won’t consider income from locum work, as there are mortgage lenders for locum doctors who may even offer you incentives.
If you’re a self-employed doctor, getting a mortgage is possible but can be slightly more complicated.
You shouldn’t have any issues if you have at least three years of accounts.
If you have two years of accounts or less, you may need help securing a mortgage, although some lenders will consider you for a mortgage even with accounts for one year.
If you’re yet to file any accounts, you may still be able to get a mortgage with a specialist lender.
Medical professionals on temporary contracts
Applying for a mortgage while you’re on a temporary contract has a lot to do with the timing of your application. For instance, it helps if you have more than one month remaining on your contract. Lenders may deem you high risk if you have less than one month remaining.
Any future contracts you’ve secured can strengthen your application quite considerably. This is because lenders can see that you have future employment, which means little or no breaks in your income.
Lenders need to be confident that you’re able to repay a mortgage. Temporary contracts can sway some lenders into declining applicants due to a lack of work or significant gaps between contracts. That said, some lenders offer mortgages for doctors on temporary contracts.
What incentives do mortgage lenders offer doctors?
As a doctor, you could be eligible for the following mortgage incentives:
- Borrow more – Lenders usually lend between 3 and 5 times an applicant’s income. As a doctor, you could borrow up to 6.5 times your income.
- Discounted rates – Some lenders will offer discounted rates as part of a key worker range compared to their standard range of mortgages.
- Lower deposit – Lenders may allow you to apply with a 5% deposit if you’re a qualified doctor. However, you’ll get better rates with a higher deposit and can unlock more incentives.
- Faster process – Due to your profession, your application can be processed much quicker. Lenders won’t need to dive as deep into your employment as other applicants.
Only some lenders offer incentives for doctors, so check with an advisor before applying, as it can make your mortgage journey much more effortless.
Can newly qualified doctors get a mortgage?
You can get a mortgage if you are newly qualified, even without formally starting work. Some lenders understand you’re qualified in a reputable profession, and securing employment shouldn’t be an issue.
An offer letter or employment contract can be enough for lenders to assess your income. Only some lenders will do this, so speak to an advisor before applying.
Learn more: How to get a mortgage with a new job.
Specialists in mortgages for medical professionals
It’s essential to speak with advisors with mortgage experience for medical professionals. This can save you a lot of time explaining your employment and income as a doctor.
Often enough, the medical profession is far from straightforward. With so much flexibility surrounding how doctors work, it can be difficult to showcase your income to lenders.
Having an advisor who understands mortgages for doctors can showcase your income in the best way possible. This can significantly improve the quality of mortgage deals you’re offered.
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.