I know it's a well covered topic here and elsewhere but having found this site very useful when researching mortgages and houses etc. I thought i'd post my success story here. I am currently on a departmental bursary of ~£13k whilst doing my PhD and my girlfriend who has a real job earns £15k per year (after tax its about £12k) and we had a 10k deposit, we have just had the confirmation after the survey that Nawest will lend us £98K mortgage to buy our house.
We had alot of difficulty in getting lenders to accept my bursary as an income which was the main problem, Santander refused to let us even meet with the mortgage advisor. We also dealt with an independent mortgage advisor from countrywide who seemed willing to let it slide at first but we soon ran into difficulties. The problem with the bursary is people don't understand it and not all the lenders are willing to sit and listen to you explaining what it is and how it works. Natwest were very good at this because I already have an account with them and it was an Undergraduate/Graduate account, we also had a joint account with them so they were happy to talk.
What we needed in the end was a letter from the University (I used my supervisor) clearly stating I was in receipt of a PhD bursary from the University (for £13k) which was solely intended for my living expenses for uses such as mortgages. It was a guaranteed income and no tuition or course fees come out of it as these are paid for separately by the University. He also wrote a personal reference but as I understand this wasn't necessary.
We had alot of rejections and refusals with many being interested at first but then refusing in the end. The key is the letter, if you have this in place before you start your enquiries you shouldn't have too much trouble, just be persistent and don't worry about being refused - just go to the next place until you find a mortgage advisor willing to accept it
This news gives me some hope in society....what with the recession and election stuff I was starting to despair.
Matt and Clare, your posts have given me hope that 'doing a PhD' is actually worthwhile work in the eyes of bankers and bureaucrats and people outside academia.
Thank you for sharing your happy news, and best of luck with the house-ownership.
Interesting to hear but not surprising - I remember when I moved in with my partner and we were only renting and that was hard enough! They didn't seem to have a clue. And it really stumped them when I said I didn't pay tax on it either. But perseverance is the key so well done :)
Hi, this is very interesting. I was just wondering if you could tell me what stage you are in the PhD (Matt and Clare). I'm half way through my 2nd year so I wondered if that would prohibit things as that's only 1.5 years more of income! We were assuming that we would be relying solely on my fiance's income which is do-able but not ideal.
I'm quite far into my PhD my letter from my supervisor didn't mention my end date. We found Nationwide wouldn't even let us get a quote as I'd be going onto a research post which again is fixed term. Natwest seemed accommodating and spoke to their underwriters especially for us. Obviously it is a gamble with a close end date but myself and my partner reasoned I could work at a supermarket and it would pay my half of the mortgage if we had a worse case scenario (fingers crossed we don't!).
I also work in a restaurant part time and earn an extra 5.5k a year which is taxable and has wage slips - so this really helped. We also have a 25% deposit so Natwest didn't want to turn that away.
If you do any teaching on the side - this is good to mention as will be taxable.
Im going to see a mortgage broker on Saturday and really hoping that they understand the nature of the bursary. Im hoping to buy a house with my boyfriend. He already owns a house, so is planning on renting that out. Therefore it is really important that a bank will take my bursary into account to give us any chance in sercuring a mortgage. Ive got a letter from our graduate studies board and am hoping that they will also write me a letter describing what the bursary is intended for (ie not tuition fees!). Ive also done some teaching, although only earned £500 so have pay slips and a P60 for that.
It's good to see that some banks are willing to take the bursary into account, I rang 5 banks, and only 2 (HSBC and Natwest) would even consider the bursary.
This is such a nightmare. We have a mortgage and HSBC won't let us port it to a new house! We don't want to borrow more and we would have a greater amount of equity in the new place. I also have a permanent part-time contract as a lecturer. We have been paying our existing mortgage without default for 7 years! I approached Santander and Halifax neither of whom accept the bursary. I am pinning my hopes on Natwest thanks to the advice in this forum- have had a web chat with them and they agree to 'consider' the bursary so they are ringing me later for a chat. Really hope they will take us on!
When we applied with HSBC they had a letter from my supervisor and the payment slips.... how times have changed- my husband was in receipt of a bursary when we first got our mortgage (in 2004) for a Masters and they welcomed us with open arms and I now earn more part-time than I did full-time... BONKERS!! Good luck to anyone else who is trying but stay clear of HSBC, Santander and Halifax they gave me a clear 'NO'.
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