Hi - I'm a full time PhD student and I've been trying to find a mortgage with my partner (who is not a PhD student). Most banks don't seem to accept PhD as an occupation - does anyone have any advice about getting a mortgage while being a full time PhD student? Thanks :)
I applied for a mortgage successfully along with my partner in 2012 - albeit as a part-time PhD student.
The difficulty you'll have will be getting around lenders' hesitancy re. short-term contracts (this is how they'll probably view a funded studentship or other work such as casual teaching assistantships). If you can present income in the form of an ongoing contract you'll be in a much stronger position.
We succeeded in the end by going through a broker. They charged a small fee, but were more than worth it. My advice would be to try something similar - they'll be better placed to take stock of your situation and present it to banks. Ours didn't actually charge anything until they'd found us a mortgage.
Hope that helps a bit - it's not impossible, but it may be tricky.
We are on the same boat. While the banks appreciate 'prospects's of getting a job upon completion of your Ph.D. is high, they do not consider it when calculating your earnings. According to my bank. even if one was doing a funded Ph.D., it does not count as an actual earning/income.
I was very lucky in getting my mortgage last year, but they changed the rules just after that so a PhD stipend doesn't count as a wage. If your partner works then you may be able to get a mortgage together but you would count as a dependant and the amount you can borrow would be affected.
We actually had the experience that my PhD stipend for 3 years and my partner's basic retail wage were fine. As our mortgage adviser at our bank said, what does a permanent job mean these days anyway? She saw it as a guaranteed income for three years. We were at the entry level of the housing market, and were not borrowing a lot - certainly we were not over extending ourselves and had been paying rent at the same level our mortgage would be which I am sure helped! As well as it being before the global financial crisis. But the advice to go to a broker is good - they know what banks might be more open to possibilities. Good luck!
This was actually something that I was considering posting about as I wondered how others had done this. I am starting my funded PhD in September but I already have a mortgage. We're currently on a fixed term but were hoping to move banks and I'm unsure they will accept my stipend as income. Obviously, it's not too bad as we could always stay where we are.
However, when I did get my mortgage in the first place, my husband was working full time. I was working but one of my jobs was a temporary contract covering maternity leave and the other was a permanent contract but I had only been there a month. We managed to get a mortgage quite easily despite this because we also used a broker so I think it might be worth going down that route.
Hope you get sorted.
p.s I think it's ridiculous that banks don't accept stipends as it is just a salary that's not taxed in my view!
I still think it's the same risk as in any field with any job. Chances are any job you get once you finish your PhD is going to pay more - it's not hard to find a job paying £18k a year, which is the stipend equivalent considering tax. Furthermore, I can earn minimum wage and easily cover my mortgage so it's not something I'm concerned about. I believe I can get any old random job if needs be.
I'm afraid for all those who disagree with me then we'll have to agree to disagree.
I am currently on a permanent contract with an organisation who rely on one large commission with the health service every year. I might have a permanent contract but each year our customer might choose not to renew our contract and the whole place would close. My previous work have also all been on fixed term contracts. I work in the voluntary and community sector and I love it but unfortunately short/fixed term/temporary contracts are all most offer.
In September, I start my PhD for four years - it will be longest job security I've had in my working career.
My salary for my PhD will be just under £14k not taxed. Per month I will only lose £100-150 and my current wage is £21k taxed. With the saving I make for other reasons I will actually be better off and more secure during my PhD than I have at any other time.
I realise this might not be the same for everyone but it is possible. Mortgage lenders take individual circumstances into consideration and now look at things such as your monthly outgoings (not just for bills but for leisure too) so if you're careful with your money, you have a better chance. There are also schemes like help to buy which can help depending on your situation (it did for me and my husband). So yes, I think it's ridiculous that banks don't accept stipends as it is just a salary that's not taxed!
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