While being on maternity leave may affect your chances of obtaining a mortgage, it is still possible to get approved for one. Lenders take various factors into account, such as your income, affordability, length of maternity leave, and your partner’s income if applicable.
Homeownership seems like a lofty goal in recent years, with the number of households renting more than doubling since 2001. Adding the reduction of income that comes from maternity leave onto that, the mortgage process may begin to feel stressful.
However, by understanding the considerations lenders make and exploring alternative options, you can increase your chances of acquiring a mortgage that suits your needs. This article aims to make the process clearer and give you some pointers.
Will Being On Maternity Leave Affect My Chances of Getting a Mortgage?
Unfortunately, yes, it can in some cases. This is because lenders typically assess your ability to make regular mortgage payments based on your income. Since your income may be reduced during maternity leave, it could impact the amount you can borrow.
How Do Lenders Assess My Income During Maternity Leave?
Lenders generally consider your average income over a specific period to determine your affordability. If you are on statutory maternity pay (SMP), most lenders will accept this as income, while others may also consider any additional contractual or occupational maternity pay.
Lenders typically apply a “stress test” to check if you can afford the mortgage repayments. They may consider your reduced income and adjust the loan amount accordingly.
Can I Include My Partner’s Income When Applying for a Mortgage?
Yes, you can include your partner’s income when applying for a mortgage, if you have one. Lenders usually consider joint applications, which may increase your borrowing capacity. Including your partner’s income can help offset any reduction in your own income during maternity leave.
How Does the Length of My Maternity Leave Impact My Mortgage Application?
The length of your maternity leave can affect your mortgage application. If you are planning to return to work soon after your maternity leave ends, lenders may be more willing to consider your application, so be sure to disclose that. However, if you plan to take an extended career break, it might have a more significant impact on your borrowing capacity.
What Documents Do I Need to Provide When Applying for a Mortgage on Maternity Leave?
When applying for a mortgage on maternity leave, you will typically need to provide documents such as:
- Bank statements
- Employment contracts
- Evidence of any maternity pay or benefits you receive
- Proof of your return-to-work date if applicable
Are There Any Government Schemes or Support for Getting a Mortgage While on Maternity Leave?
No, as of 2023 there are not any specific government schemes or grants for getting a mortgage while on maternity leave, although the government does offer maternity benefits.
Some lenders may have flexible lending criteria or mortgage products tailored to individuals on maternity leave. Speak to an advisor at Deedle for free and we can help match you with a suitable lender. We can assess your specific situation, provide expert advice, and help you navigate through the application process.
Are There Any Alternative Options if I Can’t Get a Mortgage on Maternity Leave?
If you are unable to secure a mortgage on maternity leave, you might consider alternative options such as:
- Delaying your home purchase until you return to work
- Exploring joint applications with a partner
- Exploring the possibility of a guarantor mortgage
How Can I Improve My Chances of Getting a Mortgage on Maternity Leave?
There are a few steps you can take to improve your chances of getting a mortgage on maternity leave, including:
- Maintain a good credit score by paying bills on time and managing existing debts.
- Save for a larger deposit to increase your borrowing options.
- Apply for a mortgage with a guarantor.
- Research different lenders and their mortgage products to find those more accommodating to individuals on maternity leave, or chat with a broker like Deedle who will do this on your behalf.
Will Taking Out a Mortgage on Maternity Leave Impact My Entitlement to Benefits?
No, taking out a mortgage while on maternity leave generally will not impact your entitlement to benefits such as statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance, or child benefit.
Will I Need to Provide Proof of My Return-To-Work Plans?
Sometimes. Some lenders may require proof of your return-to-work plans, such as a letter from your employer stating your intended date of return. This helps lenders assess your future income and affordability.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Broker When Applying for a Mortgage on Maternity Leave?
Access to a Wide Range of Lenders
Mortgage brokers have access to a wide network of lenders, including those who consider people on maternity leave for approval. Brokers can help you find lenders who are more likely to consider your circumstances and offer attractive terms.
Mortgage brokers understand the intricacies of the mortgage market and lending criteria. They can explain the different mortgage options available to you, including government schemes that can help you make the most of your money.
A mortgage broker will assess your specific situation, taking into account factors such as your income, length of maternity leave, and future return-to-work plans. They can provide personalised advice and recommend mortgage solutions that align with your unique financial goals.
Time-Saving and Stress Reduction
Navigating the mortgage application process can be time-consuming and overwhelming, especially when you are on maternity leave. By working with a mortgage broker, you can save time and effort as they handle the research, paperwork, and negotiations on your behalf, making the process smoother and less stressful for you.
Better Negotiation Power
Mortgage brokers have experience negotiating with lenders and can advocate for your needs and interests. They can help you secure lower interest rates, competitive terms, and potentially increase your chances of mortgage approval.
Up-to-Date Market Information
Mortgage regulations and market conditions can change over time. Professional advisors stay up to date with the latest developments in the mortgage industry. They can provide you with current information and guidance, ensuring you make informed decisions throughout the mortgage application process.