If you’re a military service member looking for a mortgage, you’ll be pleased to discover that there are mortgage lenders willing to consider your application.
However, you might need to turn to a specialist lender, as some high street mortgage lenders may rule you out if your job requires frequent relocation or if your credit rating is poor due to irregular bill payments.
A varied address history and low credit score might disqualify you from most mainstream lenders’ eligibility criteria, but specialist military mortgage lenders have a better understanding of your situation, making it possible to obtain a mortgage when looking to buy a home.
In this guide, we’ll delve deeper into military mortgages and provide advice on financial schemes that could support your application.
Continue reading to learn more, and feel free to contact us for a broader discussion on military mortgages and the mortgage application process.
Are there mortgages specifically for military personnel?
A ‘military mortgage’ isn’t a particular mortgage type, but rather a term used to identify lenders more likely to offer a standard residential mortgage to military personnel.
As a service member, you have access to the same range of mortgage options as civilians, but you may need to approach a specialist military mortgage lender with lending criteria tailored to accommodate people working for the military.
Specialist lenders cater to:
- British Army mortgages
- Air Force mortgages
- Navy mortgages
- Mortgages for service personnel stationed overseas
- Mortgages for civilian support staff
These are just a few examples, as there are specialist lenders who will consider other active-duty members of the armed forces.
You may not find these lenders on the high street or online. However, you can still access their mortgage deals through a mortgage broker knowledgeable about lenders offering mortgages to those involved in military life.
YesCanDo Money maintains connections with lenders who will consider you for a military mortgage. Speak to our team for more information.
Is the Forces Help To Buy Scheme still available?
Launched in April 2014, the Forces Help To Buy (FHTB) scheme aimed to assist military personnel in raising funds to purchase their own property. Applicants could apply for the loan through their Joint Personnel Administration system (JPA) to borrow up to 50% of their salary interest-free, with a maximum lending amount of £25,000 of their gross pay.
Service members could use this interest-free loan to cover costs such as a deposit, solicitors fees, and estate agent fees.
Unfortunately, the Forces Help To Buy Scheme ended on 31st December 2022.
The Help To Buy Equity loan scheme, another popular option for home buyers, has also concluded.
However, other schemes are available for serving personnel, including:
First Homes Scheme
The First Homes Scheme enables military personnel, key workers, and first-time buyers to purchase a home for 30% to 50% less than its market value. To qualify for the scheme, applicants must be at least 18 years old, first-time buyers, and have an income of £80,000 (£90,000 in London) or less.
To use the scheme, look for a property advertised as part of the scheme and apply through the property’s developer (if it is a new build) or the relevant estate agents.
When selling the property, you must apply the same discount used when purchasing your home.
Shared Ownership Scheme
The Shared Ownership Scheme allows you to buy a share in a property with the option of purchasing more in the future. The initial share can be as low as 10% of the property’s full market value, but you can pay more if possible. You then pay rent to the landlord for the share you don’t own. You will also be liable for two other costs – ground rent and service charges.
You can take out a mortgage to pay for the share or use your savings.
How to secure the best mortgage for military personnel
To enhance your chances of obtaining a mortgage and gaining access to the best available options, consider taking the following steps before approaching a mortgage lender:
1) Gather your paperwork
Mortgage lenders require proof of your earnings, so be prepared with your payslips, bank statements, and evidence of additional income sources before applying. If you’re using a scheme to assist with your mortgage deposit, provide documentation for that as well.
Having your paperwork ready will help prevent delays in your mortgage application and impress your mortgage lender.
2) Obtain your credit reports
Many lenders may reject applications from customers with poor credit. However, as mentioned earlier, this isn’t the case for all mortgage providers. Some specialist lenders and a few mainstream lenders may accept your application despite poor credit, understanding that your career may have affected your score rather than financial mismanagement.
Before lenders review your credit file, download your credit reports in advance to assess your situation. If your score is low, improving it may boost your chances of obtaining a more affordable mortgage.
3) Consult a specialist military mortgage broker
A specialist mortgage broker can not only help you secure a mortgage but also ensure you gain access to the best deal with the lowest mortgage rates from the most suitable mortgage provider.
A specialist mortgage advisor will also complete your mortgage application on your behalf, which can save you time if your work with the forces keeps you busy.
YesCanDo Money is a specialist broker. Whether you’re looking to enter the property market or move to a new house closer to your station, reach out to our team, and we’ll help you get your mortgage approved.
Best military mortgage lenders
The ‘best’ lenders offering military mortgages
- Are more likely to accept applications from forces personnel
- Offer the best mortgage deals at the lowest interest rates for Army, air force, and Navy members
In some cases, you may need to approach a lender specializing in armed forces mortgages. However, a few mainstream banks, such as Barclays, HSBC, and Nationwide, may consider applications from the military if their eligibility criteria are met.
When you seek advice from our team of mortgage advisers, we’ll inform you about the most suitable lenders for your specific situation. We’ll also ensure you have access to a military mortgage deal with affordable mortgage rates to minimise the cost of your monthly mortgage payments.
To obtain mortgage approval, you must meet the eligibility criteria set by most lenders. These requirements typically depend on the following:
Lenders assess your affordability based on your annual salary and income sources. Unfortunately, not all lenders accept every type of income source, which may exclude you from some deals. However, some lenders are more flexible and will consider other income sources, such as operation allowance (combat pay) and living overseas allowance (LOA) if you have spent time abroad.
The minimum age for a mortgage is 18, but some lenders require applicants to be 21. Many lenders set an age cap of 70 (the age you need to be at the end of the mortgage term), but some may accept older applicants if their affordability is sufficient.
The best rates are often offered to those with the cleanest credit histories. If your credit rating is poor due to your job with the armed forces, don’t despair – it’s still possible to find a good deal with a flexible lender who understands your circumstances.
Poor Credit Rating Concerns?
Worried about a poor credit rating due to your military career? Don’t fret – some flexible lenders understand the forces personnel’s unique situations. Although top rates often go to those with excellent credit, you can still find a good deal. Working with a mortgage broker that has experience in adverse credit (such as Fluent) can help you navigate the most suitable options for your circumstances.
The smallest deposit for a standard residential mortgage is 5%, but some lenders require more. If you can make a larger deposit, you’ll be eligible for a wider range of lenders and mortgage products, so it’s advantageous to save for a bigger down payment if possible.
How much you could borrow on a mortgage for armed forces personnel
Many lenders use an income multiple of 4 -4.5x your annual income to calculate the amount their customers can borrow. However, some lenders may use different income multiples, with a few going up to a maximum of 6x annual income for eligible customers.
If your income comfortably allows you to meet the lender’s affordability calculations, your chances of mortgage approval will be higher.
To get a rough idea of how much you may be allowed to borrow, use the mortgage affordability calculator below. Keep in mind that the actual amount will be based on several factors, including your income. Consult a member of our team for a more accurate figure.
Mortgage Affordability Calculator
As military personnel, managing your monthly mortgage payments is crucial to maintaining a stable financial situation. When considering a mortgage, ensure the monthly repayments are within your budget, taking into account any unique expenses related to your military life. Prioritise creating a realistic budget that includes your mortgage payments, bills, and any additional living costs. By focusing on affordability and responsible budgeting, you can confidently navigate your mortgage journey, secure in the knowledge that your military career won’t negatively impact your ability to make timely payments.
Mortgage Repayment Calculator
Speak to an expert military mortgage broker
It can be challenging for members of the armed forces to obtain a mortgage, especially if they frequently move. However, an expert mortgage broker can simplify the process by:
- Having experience working with members of the forces
- Understanding the complications faced by people working for the military
- Taking the time to search for the most appropriate mortgage providers
- Having access to the best deals on the mortgage market
Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking to enter the property market, a home mover searching for a new house, or interested in a buy-to-let property or remortgage, YesCanDo mortgage brokers are here to provide the assistance you need.
If you’d like to know more, contact us today. After evaluating your financial situation, we’ll advise you on the best lender for your circumstances and provide guidance on improving your mortgage chances. We’ll also ensure you gain access to a competitive deal with the lowest possible interest rates for someone in your situation.
Whether you are in the military, police, a fire fighter, or in the NHS, we have years of experience getting the best mortgage for keyworkers.
Contact us via WhatsApp or call us at 033 0088 4407. Alternatively, fill out our callback form, and one of our mortgage advisers will be in touch to arrange an appointment with you.
Can I get Insurance to cover my Armed Forces mortgage?
Due to the high-risk nature of some military jobs, it can be hard to get life insurance or critical illness cover. It’s not impossible, however, as with the help of a military mortgage expert, such as ourselves, it is possible to find an insurance provider who will be understanding of your needs.
Is it possible to switch from a standard mortgage to a buy-to-let mortgage?
If you would like to let out your property while you’re on active duty, it can be possible to apply for consent to lease from your mortgage lender. This can be really useful if you are posted overseas for a couple of years. That being said, you might not need to as your lender might give you permission to let out your property. Not all lenders will do this but you should still talk to your current lender about the possibility before you consider switching.
Can you get a mortgage in the army?
Yes, you can get a mortgage while serving in the army. Though some mainstream lenders may have stricter eligibility criteria, there are specialist military mortgage providers who understand the unique circumstances of military personnel. These lenders offer various mortgage options tailored to the needs of those in the Army, air force, and Navy.
What is the Army Help to Buy scheme?
The Army Help to Buy scheme, also known as the Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) scheme, was designed to assist military personnel in purchasing a home. It allowed service members to borrow up to 50% of their salary interest-free, with a maximum loan amount of £25,000, to cover costs like deposits and fees. However, this scheme ended on December 31, 2022.