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The Income Required for Mortgage Approval: A Comprehensive Guide

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In this guide:
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    A common question our customers ask is this: What does my household income need to be to qualify for a mortgage?

    If you are thinking about buying a home or remortgaging, this will likely be a question you are asking too.

    In this guide, we will consider what you may need to be earning to qualify for a range of different loan sizes. We will also give you advice on ways to improve your mortgage chances but if you would like any more information after reading this guide, please contact our friendly team for support.

    How much income do you need for a mortgage?

    Generally speaking, mortgage lenders will require you to earn at least £20k but this isn’t the case for all.

    Some lenders may require you to earn more while some will accept less.

    Some lenders will accept alternative forms of income if you want to top up the salary you have earned in your current job. They will compare your declared income with the information on your most recent bank statements, payslips, and tax return (if you’re self-employed) to confirm your affordability for a mortgage.

    Alternative income sources can include:

    • Money earned from investments
    • Pensions
    • Government benefits

    If the lender does accept additional forms of income, you stand a better chance of passing their affordability assessment* and you might even be offered a loan with lower interest rates.

    * An affordability assessment is the process lenders use to make sure you can afford to pay for your mortgage and any increase in costs if interest rates rise. They will consider how much you can afford after taking your income and spending (including your usual housing costs) into account.

    How do lenders work out how much you can borrow for a mortgage?

    Lenders use income multiples when working out how much to lend customers wanting to borrow for a mortgage. Most lenders use an income multiple of 4,5 but higher income earners and those able to put down a larger down payment may be offered higher income multiples if they can afford to make each monthly payment on their loans.

    While your income will be used to calculate how much you can borrow for a mortgage, there are other factors that lenders will take into account before agreeing to lend you money. These factors are based on their eligibility criteria which you will need to meet before you are granted loan approval.

    Learn more: Income Mortgage Multiples Explained

    See what mortgage you can get with your income

    Calculating Mortgage Affordability For Your Income

    To find out how much you may be able to borrow from a lender based on your income, use the table below as a guide. If you are applying for a joint mortgage, remember to factor in the other person’s earnings when working out your income bracket.

    Learn more about Mortgage Affordability

    Example income multiples calculations

    Income 4 x Income 4.5 x Income 5 x Income 5.5 x Income 6 x Income
    £20,000 £80,000 £90,000 £100,000 £110,000 £120,000
    £30,000 £120,000 £135,000 £150,000 £165,000 £180,000
    £40,000 £160,000 £180,000 £200,000 £220,000 £240,000
    £50,000 £200,000 £225,000 £250,000 £275,000 £300,000
    £60,000 £240,000 £270,000 £300,000 £330,000 £360,000
    £70,000 £280,000 £315,000 £350,000 £385,000 £420,000
    £80,000 £320,000 £360,000 £400,000 £440,000 £480,000
    £90,000 £360,000 £405,000 £450,000 £495,000 £540,000
    £100,000 £400,000 £450,000 £500,000 £550,000 £600,000

    More on How many times my salary can I borrow for a mortgage?

    Mortgage Affordability Calculator

    Our mortgage affordability calculator can tell you how much you may be able to borrow from a lender. Simply enter your gross annual income into the box below and let the calculator do the math for you.

    How a broker can help you get your mortgage approved

    Mortgage approval isn’t always guaranteed, even if you are earning enough to be considered for a home loan. This is where the help of an experienced mortgage broker can be invaluable.

    Should you choose to use our services, we will…

    • Advise you on the steps you need to take to meet the eligibility criteria used by most lenders (eg. checking your credit report and improving your credit score)
    • Find lenders who offer mortgages to people with your level of household income
    • Find lenders who will consider additional income to increase the maximum amount you may be eligible to borrow
    • Recommend ways of increasing your down payment to increase the amount you may be able to borrow (eg. gifted deposits, government schemes)
    • Recommend ways to maximise your borrowing (eg. through a Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor mortgage or a guarantor)
    • Find lenders who offer a higher level of borrowing if you qualify for a larger income multiple
    • Search for loan deals with the best interest rates to reduce your monthly repayments
    • Advise you on other ways to reduce your monthly repayments (eg. by extending your loan term)
    • Complete your mortgage application on your behalf.

    We can do all this and more for you FOR FREE so get in touch with us for our expert mortgage advice if you’re currently thinking about applying for a mortgage.

    See what mortgage you can get with your income

    Incomes needed vs mortgage amounts

    As we have mentioned, the mortgage amounts you qualify for will depend on your total income.

    We take a look at various mortgage amounts below and relate them to the income that is typically required for mortgages of these sizes.

    What income is needed for a 120k mortgage?

    For a loan of £120,000, your household income will need to be:

    • £26,666 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £24,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income

    150k mortgages

    To qualify for a £150,000 mortgage, your income will need to be:

    • £33,333 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £30,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income

    170k mortgages

    If you are looking to get a mortgage of £170,000, the income requirements are:

    • £37,777 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £34,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income

    250k mortgages

    For a mortgage of £250,000, you will need to earn:

    • £55,000 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £50,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income

    300k mortgages

    For a mortgage worth £300,000, your income should be:

    • £66,670 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £60,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income

    400k mortgages

    If you are able to afford mortgage payments on a mortgage worth £400,000, you will need to be earning…

    • £88,888 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £80,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income

    500k mortgages

    If you earn enough to afford a mortgage worth £500,000, you will usually be eligible for higher income multiples. For example:

    • £110,000 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £100,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income
    • £83,334 for an income multiple of 6 x your income

    600k mortgages

    If you’re able to afford a £600,000 mortgage as either a sole or joint applicant, your income should be:

    • £133,333 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £120,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income
    • 100,000 for an income multiple of 6 x your income

    800k mortgages

    Should the home price of your dream property require a whopping £800,000 mortgage, you will need to be a very high earner! Unfortunately, very few lenders on the high street offer mortgages of this size – most cap their borrowing at £750,000 – but there are specialist lenders who will be prepared to give you an £800k mortgage. You can access these with the help of one of our mortgage brokers.

    You will need to earn…

    • £177,777 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income.
    • £160,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income.
    • £133,333 for an income multiple of 6 x your income.

    £1 million mortgages

    Only a few lenders offer loans of this size and they are usually private banks and specialist lenders.

    If you are fortunate enough to have the income required to meet the monthly payment schedule on a £1 million mortgage we can put you in touch with the mortgage lender who will consider you for a loan.

    You will need to be earning…

    • £222,222 for an income multiple of 4.5 x your income
    • £200,000 for an income multiple of 5 x your income
    • £166,666 for an income multiple of 6 x your income
    See what mortgage you can get with your income

    How Offering a Higher Level of Security Can Affect Your Mortgage Approval

    The income multiple and mortgage interest rate you are offered will depend on your level of risk. The less risk you pose to the lender, the higher the income multiple and better the interest rates you are likely to receive. You will also benefit from lower monthly payments on your loan.

    A lender might consider you a high risk if you have car loans and other debts and a low credit score on your credit report.

    You can reduce your risk level by clearing your other debt and by improving your credit score after checking your credit reports.

    By providing a high level of security, you can also reduce your risk. You can do this by:

    Increasing your deposit amount

    It’s possible to get a mortgage with a 5% deposit but if you’re able to put down a larger deposit of 20% or more, you may be able to benefit from a higher multiple, a lower interest rate, and a loan with a reduced monthly mortgage payment. With a higher deposit, you can also avoid paying private mortgage insurance.

    Additional assets

    If you own other properties or any other assets of significant value, you can use these as security on your mortgage debt if the lender thinks they are acceptable. As your risk profile will be lowered, you may then be eligible for a higher income multiple, reduced interest rates, and lower mortgage payments.

    Assets can include:

    • Art collections
    • A luxury yacht
    • A luxury sports car
    • Gold

    How Our Mortgage Broker Can Help: Our advisors understand income for mortgages

    If you’re looking to get the best mortgage based on your income, contact our team today. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, home mover, or somebody looking to remortgage, we are here to help you find an affordable loan with the cheapest mortgage rates.

    We will let you know how much you can borrow after looking at your income and will advise you on the steps you can take if you would like to borrow more. We will also give you advice on ways to get a mortgage with a lower interest rate to help you make savings during the mortgage term.

    Get in touch if you would like more information and benefit from the mortgage support and advice that our experienced team can give to you.

    See what mortgage you can get with your income

    FAQs

    Some lenders set a minimum cap of £30,000 but there are lenders who will give you a mortgage if you are earning £20,000 a year. You may be able to borrow £90,000 with a salary of this size.

    Most mortgage providers will allow you to borrow up to 4.5 – 5 times your £30,000 salary so you may be able to get a mortgage worth up to £150,000.

    You may be able to borrow £112,5000 with a salary of this size provided you can find a suitable lender. We can help you so get in touch with our team.

    Yes! You can borrow £180,000 with a lender who offers 4.5 x your annual income and a maximum of £240,000 if you can find a mortgage lender willing to lend you 6 x your income for your dream home.

    Most lenders set a minimum cap of £30k but some lenders set no minimum cap at all.

    You may be able to get a home loan on a low income (below £20,000) provided you have enough money from other sources to pay for your mortgage repayments. These sources will need to be evidenced on your bank statements and other required documents.

    If your income is low, it might be wise to delay your application until your financial situation has improved. Although this is a difficult decision as interest rate rises while you delay may also make a mortgage even less affordable. Your lender will likely consider these costs before approving you for a mortgage when carrying out their income calculations but it’s still wise for you to do the maths too.

    Of course, if you are applying for a joint mortgage with two incomes, you might still be able to afford a mortgage (as well as stamp duty property taxs etc. ) even if your income is low.

    Contact our FEE-FREE Mortgage Advisers

    Put the odds of mortgage approval in your favour with the help of a qualified and experienced mortgage broker.
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    Steve Roberts
    Steve Roberts

    Stephen Roberts MAQ is the founder of YesCanDo Money, one of the UK's largest no-fee mortgage brokers. With over 30 years of mortgage experience, he has advised and helped thousands of first-time buyers buy their first home and home movers buy their dream home. Speak to a mortgage expert today by completing our contact form:

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