Accumulating debt is unavoidable sometimes, whether that be because of unforeseen circumstances, a job loss or a sudden and unexpected expense. 


A good mortgage broker knows this and will make you feel comfortable, not judged. After all, they’ve helped hundreds of people get mortgages with bad credit, whether they’re porters, cleaners, dentists, clinical or medical staff.


This bad credit guide for NHS workers includes everything you need if you’re considering applying for a mortgage but feel free to call us on 023 8098 0304 if you have any questions. 

NHS employees and debt

Debt doesn’t discriminate and many NHS employees and self-employed medical staff in the UK find themselves in debt. 


  • According to data from The Money Charity, the average credit card debt per UK household in October 2020 was £2177. 

  • That same charity also reported that one person every 4 minutes and 34 seconds, was declared bankrupt in England or Wales from September to November 2020.

  • Research from a 2018 survey found that NHS workers applied for more payday loans than any other workers in Cardiff, Bristol and London.

  • 78% of respondents in that same survey said they had no more than £3,000 across their current and savings account at one time.


The good news is that there may be lenders who are more open to approving mortgages for people with a history of debt and speaking to a specialist broker can kickstart this process.

Do I need a good credit score to get approved for an NHS mortgage?

Typically, lenders prefer applicants with a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ credit score as this usually indicates a history of good money management and trustworthy borrowing. 


If your credit rating falls below this, it can be a relief to know that you may meet the eligibility criteria of other lenders that specialise in niche areas like NHS mortgages with bad credit. 


Therefore, having bad credit won’t necessarily stop you from getting an NHS mortgage, though you may find that your choice of lenders is lower. 


Some lenders also charge higher levels of interest on the loans they provide to people with bad credit, though there are many other factors that can affect the amount of interest you pay for a mortgage. 

Can a good NHS salary help me get a mortgage with debt?

Some lenders will also take other factors into consideration when it comes to bad credit such as your NHS income which may be deemed substantial enough to cover your mortgage payments and your current financial commitments. 


Lenders sometimes use what’s referred to as the DTI ( the debt-to-income ratio) to understand more about how much a borrower can realistically afford to borrow.


The calculation essentially determines how much debt you have against your income; an important factor for lenders who won’t want to lend to someone with too much risk. 

What is a good DTI ratio for an NHS employee?

  • 100% or higher DTI - these prospective borrowers represent a huge risk and do not show an ability to make regular mortgage payments. 

  • 75% to 99% DTI - borrowers who are very high risk. A select few specialist lenders will be willing to look at the application and make a positive decision.

  • 50% to 74% DTI - high-risk borrowers. Some specialist lenders are willing to accept applications at this level, but terms are less favourable and larger deposits are required.

  • 40% to 49% DTI - moderate risk borrowers. Specialist lenders will want to see good credit history and may ask for larger deposits.

  • 30% to 39% DTI - acceptable risk. Most specialist lenders will offer a mortgage at this level at standard terms.

  • 20% to 29% DTI - good borrower. Almost all lenders are happy to approve mortgage applications at this level.

  • 0% to 19% DTI - very low-risk borrower. All lenders will consider an application.

How is DTI calculated for NHS mortgages?

DTI is calculated by:


  • (total monthly debt payments) / (total gross monthly income)

  • Multiply this amount by 100 to convert it to a recognisable percentage.


For example, if an NHS worker wanted to borrow a mortgage with repayments of £800 a month on top of their current debts including car finance and a credit card, their total debt could total to £1,400 a month. 


As a band 6 worker on an annual salary of £31,365, this worker’s DTI would be calculated at 53.5%, making them a high-risk borrower.


Total monthly debt (£1,400) / total gross monthly income (£2,613.75 ) x 100 = 53.5%


If you’d like one of our brokers to quickly calculate your debt-to-income, they’d be happy to do so. Use our online chat to get started or make an enquiry for a member of the team to get back to you when you’re free.

Getting an NHS mortgage with debt that’s been settled

Settled debts, that’s those that have been cleared and will soon be off your credit report, can indicate that you’re a trustworthy borrower. 


If the length of time between when the debt was taken out and has since been cleared is substantial i.e. 6+ years, this can also improve your chances of acceptance with some lenders. 

Getting an NHS mortgage with no credit history

If you’ve never borrowed money or signed a financial agreement, you may have a low credit score, simply for the fact that lenders have little to no data to make their decision about you.


This can often be a problem for younger buyers though we’ve also helped a range of people find mortgages with this issue. 


There are some things you can do to build your credit history like signing up to the electoral roll, managing your overdraft wisely and if affordable, taking out a low-interest credit card which is repaid in full and on time each month.

How can I improve my credit score for an NHS mortgage?

  • According to data from Experian, one late payment on a credit card or loan can dent your score by as much as 130 points, so always repay any loans or debt repayments on time and in full.

  • Keep application details for credit the same between all accounts to improve your stability in a lender’s eyes. That means the same address, phone number and bank details for all of your financial accounts.

  • Consider signing up to Experian Boost. This free service allows you to link your bank account to your Experian credit report, meaning that regular payments to online services like Netflix and Spotify can be included when your credit score is calculated.  

  • Avoid applying for multiple streams of credit or for credit which is unaffordable.

  • Stay clear of payday loans which can negatively impact your credit score, especially if applied to during periods of financial hardship as this indicates reckless borrowing.

Brokers for Bad credit NHS mortgages

Applying for a mortgage with bad credit doesn’t automatically result in a mortgage rejection and so often, NHS employees can find an alternative route for lending elsewhere. 


Always seek professional mortgage advice to avoid wasting money or signing an agreement that isn’t quite right for your financial situation. Our brokers can talk you through the process and explain the pros and cons of the various lenders they’ll present to you. 


Use our contact form to ask us about getting a key worker mortgage with a poor credit history or call 023 8098 0304. 


Because we play by the book we want to tell you that...

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

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1.5%, but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

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