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NHS Mortgages – What you need to know 

As of May 2020, the National Health Trust (NHS) employed almost 1.6 million people in the UK [source]. It is one of the largest employers in the UK. This covers people in all sorts of roles, from surgeons and doctors to nurses and midwives, to administrators and hospital porters. All of these people do an incredible job in keeping the health care system in Britain ticking over, and so may be eligible for a particular type of mortgage. 

If you are a doctor, nurse or dentist, understanding the choices you have when it comes to owning your own home as a national health care worker is extremely important, and while it can feel daunting, particularly if you are a first-time buyer, there is a lot of information available to help you make the right choice.

Here, we are going to cover this in a little more detail, so if you are an NHS worker looking to take out a new mortgage, read on to find out more about the options available to you.

What is an NHS mortgage?

While we are using the term NHS mortgages, there is not a specific mortgage for NHS workers. However, there are many different schemes and discounts that NHS workers can take advantage of. Previously, they were known as Government Key Workers schemes, but these no longer are available. Instead, a NHS worker can apply for help to buy, shared ownership, right to buy, and NewBuild schemes. To be able to get discounts or be eligible for lower deposits, you must be able to show proof that you work for the NHS.

Who is eligible for an NHS mortgage?

To be eligible for an NHS mortgage, you need to be employed by the NHS or an NHS trust in a clinical role

You can work for any of the following:

  • GP surgery run by the NHS
  • NHS Direct
  • Ambulance Trust
  • National Blood Transfusion Service
  • Primary Care Trusts
  • NHS Dentist
  • Mental health and social care trusts

You also need to be permanently employed by the NHS to be eligible for an NHS mortgage. 

Mortgages for doctors, nurses and other NHS clinical workers

With changing shift hours and overtime pay, your take-home salary can vary by a significant amount, which may prevent you from obtaining a mortgage with a conventional mortgage lender. Student debt can also mean that you find it hard to get on the property ladder.

However, if you are a permanent, clinical worker for the NHS,  you are deemed to be in a stable and secure job, with a defined career direction. This opens the door to a range of specialised mortgages, aimed at NHS workers. 

After a call to clarify your situation, your dedicated mortgage broker will look into the most suitable mortgage for your situation, taking into account your fluctuating hours and income. 

Because you can not get a specific mortgage as an NHS worker, you need to spend some time exploring lenders and brokers who can help you to find the very best mortgage for you.

Although you can still apply for a variety of different mortgages, it is crucial that you do as much homework as you can to ensure that you choose the best mortgage for you. It does not matter whether it is a buy-to-let mortgage, a joint mortgage or a help to buy scheme, the more you know about each type, the better. 

Are there any restrictions or limitations on an NHS mortgage?

The great news is that now, NHS staff have access to a massive range of mortgage products and services. As well as their previous credit history, they are assessed for a mortgage based on their income – which fluctuations and overtime is taken into account – as well as their expenditure.

Previously, on the old key worker schemes, there were multiple restrictions and limitations on NHS mortgages. These took into account your position or job within the health service. With those schemes, all clinical staff were eligible to apply for a discounted NHS mortgage scheme, but medical staff, such as dentists and doctors, could not apply for the discount, This also applied for anyone who worked in a domestic or administration capacity within the NHS.

What are the different types of NHS mortgages?

Help to buy

This incredibly successful scheme was launched in 2013 and has helped thousands of people get onto the property ladder. Anyone who does not own any other property is eligible for the scheme. While it has focused mostly on first-time buyers, it actually does not matter if you have previously owned a property, as long as it has been sold before you complete on your help to buy.  However, from March 2021 it will only be open for first-time buyers, so if you do own a property or have previously, you need to get a move on! 

The scheme is available to those with a deposit of at least 5%, who are buying a home for a maximum of £600,000. It is only available on new build properties, and these properties must be registered to sell as Help to Buy.  The government can help buyers with an equity loan of up to 20% of the purchase price, and with Help to Buy London this increases to 40%

Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership schemes are the crossroads of buying and renting. They are typically targeted at first-time buyers. A borrower uses the Shared Ownership system to purchase a percentage of the property they are planning to move in to. You own some of the property, and you rent the rest of it. 

You can increase the share of the property that you own over time via a process known as staircasing.

For these schemes, NHS workers are often offered lower interest rates and smaller deposits.

For more information about NHS mortgages, and to find out whether you are eligible for the discounts and the benefits, give Limetree Financial Services a call today.