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NHS Mortgages

Last updated on 12th October 2023 by Martin Alexander

If you work for the NHS, getting a mortgage can be straightforward, and you may even be able to borrow more than usual. This is because some mortgage lenders offer discounts to key workers, such as those employed by the NHS.

The UK’s biggest employer is the NHS, with over one million employees, and as you can imagine, each mortgage application will vary. It’s also important to note that lenders don’t offer a specific NHS mortgage product, and not all lenders offer discounts.

What is an NHS mortgage?

NHS mortgages, also known as Blue Light or Key Worker mortgages, cater to medical professionals such as doctors and nurses. Lenders will consider your employment with the NHS to lend you more than they usually would. You may even qualify for incentives, such as discounted rates and fees.

Due to the perceived job security within the NHS, lenders view key workers as less risky. While lenders generally lend between 3 and 5 times an applicant’s income, you may be able to borrow 6.5 times your income working for the NHS. You may also qualify for discounts, such as lower rates and fees.

Lenders used to offer employee discounts, called ‘NHS mortgage schemes, but they’re no longer available. Instead, lenders apply discounts and incentives to their usual product range.

Am I eligible for an NHS mortgage discount?

Most lenders that offer mortgage discounts require applicants to be clinical workers. Those working for the NHS in roles such as housekeeping and administration may not qualify for a discount. However, this does depend on the lender you’ve applied with.

NHS clinical staff roles include those working in the following departments:

  • GP surgeries
  • Dental practices with NHS status
  • Ambulance Trust
  • NHS clinicians
  • Primary Care Trusts
  • Mental Healthcare and Social Care trusts
  • NHS Direct
  • National Blood Transfusion Service
  • Health Protection Agency
  • Other trusts with NHS status

What mortgage discounts do NHS workers get?

Some lenders offer mortgage discounts to NHS employees, such as lower rates and discounted fees. You may even qualify with a lower deposit than what’s typically accepted.

Mortgage discounts for NHS workers aren’t widely advertised. As a result, speaking with an advisor beforehand is recommended. If a lender offers a discount, it doesn’t mean to say you’ll qualify for it.

How much can I borrow if I work for the NHS?

A key takeaway from this guide is that being employed by the NHS could allow you to borrow more than usual. With the right lender, you could borrow up to 6.5 times your salary, which is a huge incentive. The industry standard is between 3 and 5 times an applicant’s salary, which is considerably less.

Regardless of your NHS pay band, you’ll still undergo an affordability assessment. Lenders will check whether you can repay the mortgage by assessing your outgoings and income.

Some lenders will include bonuses and overtime towards your income assessment, whereas others won’t. This is crucial if you’re hoping to borrow more than your annual salary allows. Your credit score can also affect the amount you can borrow.

Which mortgage lenders offer incentives to NHS staff?

Some of the lenders that offer incentives to NHS employees include:

  • Foundation lends up to 5.5 times an applicant’s income if employed by the NHS.
  • Vida may lend up to 6 times an applicant’s income up to 90% LTV and does offer discounted rates.
  • Clydesdale will only consider qualified medical doctors, pharmacists and dentists with an income of £40k to qualify for incentives.
  • The Principality offers incentives to NHS employees but on a case-by-case basis.
  • Barclays doesn’t offer any mortgage incentives.

We work with over 100 lenders and haven’t listed each lender’s criteria, but this gives you an idea of how important it is to approach the right lender. Only apply for a mortgage after speaking to an advisor first, as lenders will assess more than your employment details.

Can I get a mortgage if I’ve just started working for the NHS?

Yes, you can get a mortgage even if you’ve just started working for the NHS. Most lenders require an employment contract or proof of employment, such as payslips. If you’ve not yet started work but have a formal job offer, your lender may base their assessment on your employment contract.

If you’re in this situation, speak to a mortgage advisor to check what’s possible. Having your documents ready, such as your letter of employment and start date, will help.

Read more: How to get a mortgage with a new job

About the author

Martin Alexander
Senior Mortgage Advisor

Martin is a senior mortgage advisor who has held a CeMAP qualification for over 15 years while completing an MBA in Global Banking and Finance.

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