House-hunting can be really stressful, and that’s before adding pregnancy and childcare to the mix! There’s a lot to think about, and you might be worried about getting accepted for a mortgage on a reduced income.
Maternity and parental leave can be a time of financial uncertainty, and you might’ve been told you can’t get a mortgage if you’re expecting - but that’s not true! You’ll just need a bit of help putting together your application and finding the right lender.
In this guide:
Yes, it’s totally possible to get a mortgage on maternity leave! But it can be trickier than if you were working full-time. As you’re likely to be earning less while on leave, most lenders will assess your affordability based on your lower income. Meaning you might not be able to borrow as much.
For example, if your normal annual salary is £30,000 but during the year when you take maternity leave this reduces to £20,000, most lenders will assess your application based on £20,000 being your income.
However, some lenders will consider your full salary - but you’ll need to provide certain details including confirmation of earnings from your employer.
Whether you’ll be accepted all depends on which lender you go to. Some high street lenders won’t consider you at all, and others might ask you to pay higher rates or put down a big deposit. That’s not ideal when you’ve got a new arrival on the way.
You’ll need to find a specialist mortgage lender who regularly deals with people on maternity leave, and will understand your unique circumstances. Most of the time, specialist mortgage lenders won’t come up in your online searches, and your bank won’t tell you about them. They’re often only available through specialist mortgage brokers who have pre-existing relationships with these lenders. So you’ll need to work with a specialist mortgage broker who can find you the right deal. That's where we come in!
Our Mortgage Experts only do the tricky stuff. They've got plenty of experience getting mortgages for people on maternity or parental leave. Make an enquiry to find out your options.
The main difficulty with getting a mortgage on maternity leave is that your income is generally lower. Most lenders will only consider your maternity leave earnings, rather than what you’d normally be bringing home.
There are some lenders who’ll consider your full salary, even if you’re on maternity leave at the time of your application. This is why finding the right lender to apply to is SO important. You’ll want to go to a lender who’ll consider your circumstances. And you won't want to risk damaging your credit score from being turned down by the wrong lender. It’s best to work with a mortgage broker (like us!) who knows which lenders are right for applicants on maternity leave, and can put together a strong application for you.
If you’re making a joint mortgage application and one of you is on maternity leave, some lenders will look at both of your earnings then calculate how much you can borrow based on that. You’ll need to show evidence of your income, and prove that you’ll be going back to work on the same salary.
How much deposit you’ll need for a mortgage on maternity leave will depend on your situation. As a minimum, you should aim to put down at least 10% of the property’s value. The government has introduced a new 5% deposit scheme, but criteria for these mortgages could be stricter as they’re still new.
As with most mortgages, the bigger your deposit, the more options you'll have. Your lender will also factor in other things about you such as your credit rating. For example, if you have a history of bad credit, you might be asked to put down a bigger deposit.
There’s no hiding the bump! You’ll need to tell your lender if you’re currently on or planning to take maternity leave. There’s a good chance it’ll come to light during their checks anyway, so it’s best to be upfront and include as many details as possible in your application.
A lender won’t directly ask you if you’re pregnant, but you’ll be asked to state any big ‘life changes’ that could affect repaying the loan. And pregnancy is a big one!
It’s really important to work with a mortgage broker who can put together a really great application for you. Our Mortgage Experts will know which lenders are most likely to accept you.
Yes, it’s definitely possible to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed and on maternity leave. However, it all depends on how your leave impacts your business. If you’re essential to the business - and therefore the business’s income - you might struggle to get a mortgage. But if you have other employees who can handle the business and keep income stable while you’re on leave then there’s plenty of lenders who’ll consider your application.
Read more in our Self-Employed Mortgages Guide.
Yes, it’s possible to get a mortgage with bad credit on maternity leave, but it’ll be trickier than if you had a perfect credit score. Whether you’ll be accepted will depend on how recent and severe your credit issues were. For example, a missed mobile phone payment a few years ago will carry less weight than a recent CCJ.
Even if you have a severe credit issue on your file (such as bankruptcy or IVA) it’s still possible to get a mortgage. You’ll just need to apply to a specialist mortgage lender who deals specifically with bad credit applicants.
Most specialist lenders don’t sell directly to you as a borrower, you can only find them by working with a mortgage broker. That’s where we come in! Our Mortgage Experts have great relationships with specialist lenders - the tricky stuff is all they do. Make an enquiry to find out your options.
Yes, you can remortgage while on maternity leave. Remortgaging works pretty much the same as if you were applying for the first time. You don’t have to stick with your current lender, so you’re free to find a maternity-friendly lender who’ll consider you while on leave.
Your mortgage broker can help you find a lender who’s willing to be flexible and let you borrow based on your full-time wage. Read more in our Guide to Remortgaging.
Being on maternity leave can make getting a mortgage tricky, but not impossible. There’s a few more hoops to jump through, but one of the best things you can do to maximise your chances of being accepted is to provide a letter from your employer.
Your employer will need to provide written confirmation that you’ll definitely be going back to work, and the date you’re expected to return. The letter should also confirm the terms of your employment (i.e. if your hours and salary will be the same).
If there’s no change to your earnings once you’re back at work, there’s nothing stopping some lenders from offering you a mortgage based on your full-time income.
If you’re going back to work part-time, then most lenders will only offer you a mortgage based on your new part-time salary. Read more in our Guide: Can I Get a Mortgage on Low Income?
Our Mortgage Experts are fully-qualified with experience in bad credit, self-employed and complex mortgages. They have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve been rejected elsewhere.
Our calculators give you an idea of what you might be able to borrow, what's affordable and a rough estimate of the kind of property prices you can start to look at.
Talk to our Mortgage Experts to find out your options