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You could potentially borrow up to 6.5 x your annual salary with our help.

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What are key worker mortgages?

Key workers are classed as providing vital services that keep the country ticking over, but they are not always the best paid roles, meaning that it can be harder to get a mortgage, or at least a mortgage of the size that you ideally need. Thankfully mortgage schemes for key workers are available that could help you get your dream home.

Sometimes known as NHS mortgages or Blue Light mortgages, these are specialist mortgages for key workers — doctors, nurses, teachers, police, fire crews, prison and probation staff but can also extend to other public service workers and professional roles — that could allow those in those key roles to borrow more than a traditional mortgage.


How much can key workers expect to be able to borrow?

Key workers who meet the lender criteria regarding affordability and creditworthiness, could potentially be able to borrow a much higher income multiple than with a standard mortgage. For key workers this could mean their borrowing is able to be above the typical 4.5x income, sometimes up to 5 or even 6.5 times annual salary.

Each mortgage lender will have their own criteria that they apply to customers relating to key workers when considering them for a mortgage scheme. There isn’t one type of key worker mortgage product, with different lenders offering slightly different products or borrowing options.

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Check your credit file

In order for us to assess your credit history and suitability for different mortgage products, you will need to check your file.

Why are some mortgage lenders more willing to lend to key workers?

Most mortgage lenders are primarily concerned whether someone is going to be able to meet their mortgage payments. As key workers tend to follow careers with a structured career path, lenders tend to view them as a less risky proposition.

With the prospect of a secure long-term career and regular salary increases, workers in these types of roles are likely to be looked upon favourably. If you are able to prove that you have sufficient income to make your mortgage repayments, and have sufficient funds for a deposit, you could be on your way to securing a mortgage.

What lenders are willing to lend you will depend on a number of factors including your specific job role. In addition to potentially being able to borrow more than the standard salary multiple, your status as a key worker may result in more flexible application of eligibility criteria.

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What are the benefits of key worker mortgages?

Being classed as a key worker and therefore potentially able to access more preferential mortgages bring with it a number of benefits including:

  • A larger budget to spend than you otherwise would have been able to get, even with a low income.
  • Opens up more opportunities to larger properties and spending budgets.
  • Lenders may take into consideration future pay increases in your career enabling enhanced borrowing now.
  • Larger borrowing even with just a 5% deposit.
  • Able to get on the housing ladder as a first time buyer, even with a small deposit saved up.
  • Possibly no need for family support or guarantors to secure the mortgage amount you need.

Speak to a specialist key worker mortgage broker

Maximise your chances of securing a key worker mortgage deal with the help of specialist brokers. When the Banks Says No can help you understand the opportunities available to those classed as key workers and the greater potential for their spending budget .

Looking for property, especially as a first-time buyer, can be daunting. Finding the right deal for your circumstances is key. A mortgage advisor will provide impartial advice and remove the stress from the mortgage process.

One of our mortgage advisors will help you work out how much you could realistically borrow. If your circumstances are less than perfect, or you have issues with bad credit, we can direct you to specialist lenders who are likely to look on you more favourably because of your occupation. A broker will be able to access lenders that you wouldn’t be able to apply to directly yourself. Brokers will also offer you access to specialist lenders that you cannot apply to directly.


Key Worker Mortgages FAQs

Who is eligible for key worker mortgage schemes?

The term ‘key worker’ can be quite a wide one and may refer to a number of different roles. Some lenders may consider key workers to be those working in a clinical setting such as doctors, nurses, midwives etc. Other lenders may consider key workers in a wider sense to include a wider range of professions.

Key worker roles could potentially include any of the following, although this list is not exhaustive and will depend on the lenders own definitions:

  • NHS workers
  • Teachers
  • Armed forces personnel
  • Police officers
  • Prison officers and other Prison Service staff
  • Probation officers
  • Social workers
  • Some civilian Ministry of Defence (MoD) personnel
  • Highway Agency traffic officer staff
  • Environmental health officers/practitioners

A joint mortgage application when only one applicant is a key worker does not mean that you will be able to get a mortgage up to 6 times your joint salaries. What would typically happen is the lender would consider one salary at up to 6 x the annual salary while the other income would be assessed at 4-4.5 x the annual salary.

If you work in the NHS and earned £40,000, while the joint applicant who is not considered a key worker earned £30,000, and you both both assessed for a mortgage at the upper end of the scale, you potentially could be able to borrow around £375,000. This would however, depend on the lender’s own criteria.

Being a key worker does not make you immune to all the regular factors that lenders consider when assessing whether to lend to you. If you have a poor credit score, you may find that your options are somewhat limited — there may be fewer lenders willing to lend to you and the income multiple you are offered could be much lower.

There are specialist lenders who are often willing to be more flexible when it comes to their lending criteria. They will focus more on your income and affordability, rather than any previous bad credit to help you overcome any difficulties you may be facing securing a mortgage.

If you’re a key worker seeking a mortgage, there are several schemes and various government housing initiatives that could help you with housing affordability or getting a foot on the property ladder. These initiatives, which are not specifically or solely key worker schemes, include the First Homes Scheme, Right to Buy, and Shared Ownership.

Working with a mortgage advisor can help highlight the schemes you could be eligible for. It is worth noting some, all though not all, of these schemes require you to be a first time buyer.

First Homes Scheme

The First Homes scheme replaced the Key Worker Programme, which ended in 2019, and offers discounts of up to 30% on certain new-build properties for eligible first-time buyers with household income below specified thresholds. Local authorities may set additional eligibility criteria to prioritise key workers and ensure affordable housing for local residents.

Shared ownership

While not a key worker scheme exclusively, the shared ownership scheme allows individuals who cannot afford to purchase a home outright to buy a portion of it from a housing association and pay rent on the remaining portion. Over time, individuals can increase their ownership stake.

Social HomeBuy

Social HomeBuy allows tenants in England renting from housing associations or local authorities to purchase a share of their home, starting at at least 25% and increasing gradually to full ownership. Rent decreases as the tenant’s ownership stake in the property increases.

New-build Discounts

Private housing developers may offer discounts for key workers on new-build properties, such as a discount of £500 for every £25,000 of the purchase price. Inquire about discounts with the developers before discussing with a mortgage broker or applying for a loan.

Mortgage guarantee scheme

In response to the decrease in lenders offering 95% loans, the government introduced a new guarantee scheme to incentivise lenders to provide loans with a 5% deposit. The scheme is available for both first-time buyers and home movers and sees the government offering compensation to lenders for any losses incurred from offering these types of loans.

Key Worker Mortgages Made Easy

Key worker schemes for mortgages are a great way to use your future earning potential to the maximum to get a mortgage that truly suits your needs. Because your job role may enable you to be viewed more favourably by lenders, you could be on the way to turning your home owning dream into reality.

That said, mortgages for key workers are not always straightforward, especially if your credit history is less than perfect. We can help you take advantage of any available key worker schemes, such as an equity loan scheme or similar, and secure the funding you need. We will help you assess the market and determine the most appropriate option for you.

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