Police Mortgages Explained

Finding the time to research and get a mortgage when you are employed in a classic 9 to 5 type role can be hard enough, but with the pressures on active police officers, it can seem impossible. Add to that the standard worries that every potential mortgage applicant has, from fears over previous bad credit to the struggle to raise a deposit, and it’s easy to see why a helpful service to take the bulk of the work off your shoulders would be useful!

Thankfully, The Mortgage Hut is here to offer exactly that help!

What is a police mortgage?

In truth, mortgage loans for police officers are no different to a standard mortgage loan to anyone else. However, there’s a level of security and respect that comes from being a police officer that can mean mortgage lenders look at you confidently. So, while there may be no dedicated police mortgage, there are certainly products that are perfectly suited to match the specific demands of the emergency services.

How large a mortgage can I get as a police officer?

Mortgage lenders have a guideline that sets the upper threshold for most mortgages at four times the borrower’s salary. However, being a police officer is considered a low risk occupation in terms of mortgage borrowing, with most who join the force seeing it as a long-term career with strong promotion prospects. When compared to some of the more transient careers that lenders have to consider, a police force mortgage is a genuine pleasure!

This means that many mortgage providers are willing to stretch that upper threshold, offering 4.5x, 5x and even 6x mortgages to many police officers.

With the starting salary for a police officer sadly below the national average salary, this extra boost from mortgage lenders can help you afford a home in today’s market that you may have previously thought of as out of reach.

Working with The Mortgage Hut as your appointed representitive gives you access to a wide range of mortgage products from over ninety providers authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority. We work on your behalf to find the best police mortgage deals in the UK today - so if you need that extra boost to obtain your dream home, speak to us today!

Other income - will a mortgage lender take overtime or a second job into account?

Most specialist lenders will be willing to combine any other regular income with your PAYE salary to reach an overall picture of your true financial status. If you regularly boost your pay through overtime, then this can become part of your application.

Similarly, if you have a second job to increase your monthly take home pay, then the specialist mortgage providers who work with us will be happy to consider it.

The lender will need to see a consistent level of additional pay in order to factor it into their calculations. If you have only a month or two of overtime to show, or have only recently started your additional work, then you may need to wait a few months to have lenders consider it as stable. Typically a minimum of three months records are needed as a minimum, and six months or more is considerably better.

Maintenance payments, benefits and other income

Like second jobs and overtime, lenders are willing to combine other regular income when calculating your mortgage affordability. This does include any benefits you regularly receive or monthly maintenance payments that may come from an ex-spouse.

Provided these extra funds are regular and you have bank statements to prove their value, most lenders will be willing to consider them. 

Self-employed income

If you have an additional income stream that comes from a self-employed endeavour, then again, this can be factored by the lender. In many cases, however, you will need to show accounts that are more detailed and lengthy for your self-employed income to be considered. Twelve months are a minimum, and some lenders ask for at least three years of self-employed records and tax returns to be provided.

How long do I have to have worked for the police to apply for a mortgage?

A successful mortgage application is all about risk for the lender. The longer you have been in your career, the more stable you are and the more likely the lender is to consider you a good investment.

That shouldn’t feel like a barrier for officers new to their career, however. Specialist mortgage lenders are willing to consider applications from police officers who have just started their time with the force - even those still in their probationary period.

While getting a mortgage in your probationary period will be slightly more difficult than if you are a seasoned officer, with the right documentation it is definitely possible. You will need to provide your employment contract as part of your proof of income, but if you have recently moved to an area, or are considering a move as part of your career path, then there is no reason you shouldn’t own a home in the region.

Joint police mortgages

If you are married or in a civil partnership, then you will be looking to take out a joint mortgage. It makes no difference if your partner is also a police officer, their salary will be added to yours when making calculations such as the upper mortgage size, helping you significantly with overall buying power.

It is worth noting, however, that if your partner has a specialised issue (for example, a history of bad credit, or is self-employed) then this will affect your mortgage application. Please speak to us at The Mortgage Hut to see how we can help if this is the case.

Shared ownership

The shared ownership scheme is one where you purchase a property in conjunction with a housing association. You buy a share of the property (usually 25% or 50%) and the housing association purchases the remainder, renting it back to you while you live there and selling it to you over time as you are able to afford it.

Shared ownership is an excellent way for those on lower salary brackets in England or Wales to be able to afford homes, especially in traditionally expensive areas such as London or other major cities.

For more information on shared ownership, please look to our articles on the subject. Link needed

Saving a deposit as a police officer

One of the greatest difficulties facing a police officer looking to buy a home in the UK today is that of saving for a deposit. Thankfully, there is help available.

The size of a deposit

Assuming that you have a reasonable credit history, and that you are settled in your police career, it is likely that you only will be required to find a 5% deposit for your new home, rather than the 10% or 15% deposits other borrowers may be saving towards.

This low deposit level obviously helps considerably, but in truth may still take years to save.

Lifetime ISA

While the help-to-buy ISA was recently withdrawn, a similar tax-free and government-aided savings account, the Lifetime ISA (LISA) does still exist. Through this, the government will add 25% on top of your savings, with a maximum of £1,000 per year as a bonus (from £4,000 of savings).

This 25% boost can help considerably and is well worth considering an LISA for. Speak to your bank to open a lifetime ISA account.

Gifted deposits

Many first-time buyers turn to their parents or other family to help with a deposit. This ‘gifted deposit’ is so-called because it must be given as a present and not a loan - the providers will be expected to write a Gifted Deposit Letter assuring the mortgage lender that the money is given without any obligation to repay.

If you are in the lucky position where a gifted deposit is possible, then it can help considerably towards your first property purchase. For more details, why not read our article on gifted deposits? Link please!

Joint mortgages

If you are looking for a joint mortgage, you do of course have two people working towards the deposit (which remains at 5%, even though there are two of you involved). It’s also worth noting that you can each have a LISA and benefit from the £1,000 a year government bonus!

Shared ownership

Under a shared ownership scheme, you only have to find the deposit for your share of the property. Thus, if you are looking to purchase just 25% of the property in the first instance, your deposit would be 5% of that 25% - quite a saving.

Mortgage protection

It will be important for you to consider taking out mortgage protection or life insurance as part of your mortgage application process. As a police officer, your job may be a higher risk prospect than others and your mortgage lender will be keen to ensure there is a suitable level of protection in place if you were to be injured or worse while undertaking your duties.

Getting a police mortgage with bad credit

We are often asked how a history of poor credit can affect a mortgage application. It is highly recommended that you do what you can to repair your credit score prior to making a mortgage application, although we do understand this is not always possible.

The lender’s primary concern is that you can make the repayments on your mortgage every month; for this reason, they will make a thorough check on your credit history and look at your income and outgoings to ascertain affordability.

As your mortgage advisor, we recommend that you speak candidly with us from the outset regarding your credit status. We can work with you, finding lenders who specialise in this area of the mortgage market. They will be willing to discuss your credit status with you and offer mortgage deals that are suitable for your situation.

For more information regarding bad credit mortgages, we have a range of articles available on our website.

Police mortgages with The Mortgage Hut

At The Mortgage Hut, we offer no-obligation mortgage advice designed to help you get the best deal possible. We work with a huge range of specialist lenders registered in England and Wales, as well as providers based in Scotland and Northern Ireland, to bring the widest spread of mortgage products to our customers.

As your mortgage advisers, we work with you from start to finish, on hand throughout the process to make it as easy as possible for you to get a mortgage as a busy police officer - whatever your personal circumstances.

Fill in our simple contact form to have an advisor get back to you at a convenient time, or just pick up the phone and call today to get on the path to a new home!


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