What mortgage can a nurse afford? | WIS Mortgages
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10th March 2023

What mortgage can a nurse afford?

Nurses are some of the most dedicated, compassionate and hardworking professionals in the UK. They spend their days caring for patients and making sure that they're receiving the best possible care. But there’s been a lot of discussion about their wages recently, so understandably, many people are probably wondering how easy it is for nurses to get on the property ladder.

In this blog, we answer the common question ‘what mortgage can a nurse afford?’ and look more closely at whether there is such a thing as an NHS mortgage.

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What is an NHS mortgage?

Despite common belief, there’s no such thing as an NHS mortgage. NHS nurses are entitled to the same mortgages as everyone else, and they must follow the same criteria in regard to income and affordability. However, some lenders may offer incentives for NHS workers, like cashback.

Housing costs and interest rates are facing a lot of uncertainty in the UK at the moment, so whether you’re a nurse or another professional, it’s important to make sure you know what kind of mortgage loan you can afford before applying for one.

What mortgage can a nurse afford?

Fortunately, nurses who are employed by the NHS are usually considered fairly low-risk due to their stable positions, so most lenders will offer them the standard lending limit of 4x their salary, if not more than this.
Of course, like anyone applying for a mortgage, lenders do have to take into account certain variables when determining a nurse’s affordability, including:

There are also some government-led schemes in the UK that can help nurses get onto the property ladder. The First Home Scheme, for example, offers buyers discounts of 30% to 50% on some new-build properties. The exact amount depends on income and the location of the property.

Shared Ownership is another possible scheme that allows buyers to purchase part of a property and then pay rent on the remaining share at a reduced rate. Many lenders tend to offer some flexibility when considering nurses for these schemes, but not all do.

Can bank nurses get a mortgage?

Nurses who do bank work and don’t have full-time positions may find their options are more limited when it comes to available lenders. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t suitable lenders out there. In most cases, they’ll just require more detailed proof of income.

In terms of proof of income, the amount of documentation a nurse needs will depend on how they are paid. Self-employed nurses will typically require 2-3 years' worth of statements, while PAYE bank workers will usually require proof of 12 months or more of continued work.

How much can a nurse borrow?

The amount a nurse can afford to borrow will depend on their monthly income, as well as any other financial commitments they have. Most lenders will look at an applicant’s annual earnings and multiply that figure by 4 or 4.5 to get a rough idea of how much they can afford to pay back.

However, as a rough guide, the average nursing salary in the UK as of 2023 is £33,384, which would equate to a mortgage of £133,536 (when multiplied 4 times). However, nurses working for the NHS fall into bands, which come with different salary ranges.

Here is the median salary of each band (based on starting salaries) and the mortgage size this would equate to when multiplied by 4.

Band | Salary | Mortgage affordability (x4)

Band 5 | £27,055 | £108,220
Band 6 | £33,706 | £134,824
Band 7 | £41,659 | £166,636
Band 8 | £48,526 | £194,104
Band 9 | £95,135 | £380,540

[Figures from: https://www.nurses.co.uk/blog/a-nurses-guide-to-nhs-pay-bands/]

How a mortgage broker can help a nurse

If you're a nurse looking for a mortgage, a broker can help you get the most suitable deal. They will look over your finances and provide a realistic estimate of what kind of mortgage you can afford. As well as your basic monthly salary, they’ll also take into account any overtime pay and bank work you do – anything that makes you a more reliable borrower.

What to do if you have bad credit

If you have bad credit and are looking to buy a home, you may be wondering what mortgage options are available to you. It’s not an ideal situation to be in, but there are ways around it, including improving your credit history before you apply for a mortgage.

Some lenders also specialise in bad credit mortgages, which could be a good alternative, but it’s worth seeking advice from a professional before applying.

How we can help

At WIS Mortgages, we work with our clients to find out what they can afford before searching for mortgages that suit their needs. We have access to a variety of lenders and we cover the whole of the UK, so we can find you the most suitable deal on your mortgage. If you have more questions like ‘what mortgage can a nurse afford?’, we’re happy to answer them.

We can also help you with any accountancy worries or wealth and pension queries you have (accountancy is not regulated by the FCA). So for more information, get in touch for free initial advice or use our mortgage calculators to see what type of mortgage you can afford.

As a mortgage is secured against your home/property, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with the mortgage repayments.

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