Mortgages for vets
Vets are generally very busy, leaving them little time to research mortgage rates and lenders. Many vets also don’t realise they could possibly get better mortgage rates based on their occupation.
It isn’t always easy to know which mortgage is right for you, especially with how interest rates and house prices have been unpredictable over the last year. No one wants to pay more than they should for their mortgage, and timing plus finding the right rates can be key to long term savings.
In this guide, we have put together some of the key facts that might help a vet work out which lender and type of mortgage will work best for them.
Can vets get a mortgage?
Most vets shouldn’t struggle too much to find a mortgage that suits their budget and the property they want to buy. This is provided that their credit is generally good and the mortgage is for a standard property. Things that could complicate your application include:
- Bad credit history
- Unusually low credit score
- Debts (paid off or ongoing)
- No/or limited accounts (if you have a new business for example)
- More complicated or unpredictable income
- Buying a non-standard property
Being a vet can be very time consuming, so you may not have much spare time to spend combing through lots of mortgage deals and various websites. When searching for a mortgage you can:
- Use a price comparison website (can be helpful to see a side-by-side comparison)
- Check mortgage lender websites individually (can allow you to look at the mortgages on offer in more depth)
- Consult a mortgage broker for advice (can be useful if you’re not sure what type of mortgage you are looking for or if you need extra support with your application e.g. due to poor credit or debts).
A lot of mortgage lenders prefer to lend to people like vets who have a medical job role. This is because generally this occupation has good job stability and steady reliable income.
How does income work with mortgages for vets?
If you are a vet looking for a mortgage, you could be wondering how exactly lenders will assess your suitability for this type of loan. Self-employed vets in particular might be concerned that this form of income will cause problems with the application.
Lending criteria is how mortgage providers assess your affordability and whether they are willing to lend to you. Every mortgage provider will have slightly different rules and processes, but in most cases they will look at:
- How much you earn vs your monthly expenses (outgoings)
- Do you have a history of debt or poor credit?
- If you have debts, how much is this compared to your usual income? (debt to income ratio)
- How much deposit you have vs how much you want to borrow (referred to as loan to value or LTV)
- What type of mortgage you want (there will be different lending rules for interest only mortgages compared to repayment mortgages for example)
- The type of property you want to buy (some lenders will be hesitant to provide mortgages for properties that are ‘non-standard’ e.g. self build properties or listed buildings)
Can you get mortgages for self-employed vets?
Many UK vets are self-employed, with their own veterinary practice to run. There are a lot of extra things to consider when you are self-employed and trying to get a mortgage. You will have to think about all the standard lending rules, but lenders will also want to see:
- 3 months’ worth of bank statements
- A self-assessment tax return (SA302)
- 2 to 3 years’ worth of accounts* (ideally you will also provide a reference from your accountant)
- Paperwork or other evidence of your profits/dividends
- An estimation of your profits/income over the next year
Is it harder to get mortgages for new vets?
If you have only recently qualified as a veterinarian or veterinary surgeon, you likely won’t have much income history for mortgage lenders to assess. This can make it trickier to qualify for a mortgage with a lot of the high street lenders.
Getting a mortgage as a newly qualified vet will still be possible but certain types of mortgage may be more suitable for you, and far easier to get. You might want to consider:
|A shared ownership mortgage
|Shared ownership mortgages allow you to buy a percentage of a property and pay rent on the rest.
This can be a more affordable way to get onto the property ladder and helpful if your budget is more limited (e.g. when you have recently left university)
|A guarantor mortgage
|If you are struggling to get a mortgage application approved, you could choose to use a guarantor.
The guarantor will use their own resources (e.g. property, savings etc.) as collateral for your mortgage and usually will agree to take on responsibility for the mortgage if you can’t repay.
|A joint mortgage
|You could also choose to apply with another person and share responsibility for the mortgage (joint mortgage).
The mortgage can be based off both incomes or only the other person’s (if it is your income/credit score causing issues with the application).
|Using a buyer support scheme
|Buyer support schemes can also be useful when you are recently qualified, allowing you to save significantly on your mortgage. Schemes include:
First time buyer mortgages (often allow you to buy with a deposit of only 5% of the property value)
Lifetime ISAs can help you to save the money needed for your deposit, you deposit money and the government will boost your savings by 25%
Homebuy scheme can supply an equity loan to help you buy a home (available in certain areas of Wales)
Right to Buy can help you to buy a council house you currently live in (in England and Northern Ireland)
Which are the best mortgage lenders for vets?
Mortgages for veterinary surgeons and veterinarians should be available with a range of mainstream mortgage lenders. This includes many of the UK’s most well-known mortgage providers like:
Which lender is the best choice will often be based less on your occupation and more on the type of mortgage you need, your income and your background (e.g. credit history).
Some lenders are simply better than others when it comes to certain mortgage types. For example, if you are a vet with a history of bad credit you may want to look at lenders who specialise in this type of mortgage such as:
- Accord Mortgages
How to find the best mortgages for vets
Our main tips for finding the best mortgage as a vet are:
- Think about the main things you need from your mortgage e.g. interest rate, repayment type, how much you want to borrow
- Do you want a new mortgage or remortgage (to release home equity for example) – some lenders may be better for remortgages, or you may find preferential rates with your current lender
- Do some research – it is best to assess all your loan options before deciding on where to choose for such a big financial commitment
- Get some advice from your current lender (if it is a remortgage you are looking for)
- Check if your bank or building society can offer better or discounted interest rates for existing customers
- Speak to a specialist mortgage broker for vets if you think your occupation or type of income may impact your application
Note: Always consider your choices carefully when it comes to loaning large amounts of money. It is wise to consider if you will be able to afford the repayments you are agreeing to long term, so there is less risk of defaulting on your mortgage (being unable to pay).