Getting a mortgage


I really want to buy the house that we're currently renting but have discovered that most lenders don't view a PhD stipend as income as it's non-taxable. The lenders would accept a temporary employment contract but won't accept I have over 12 months of my ESRC stipend left. I don't understand it. In addition, we can just about get the house if my husband is the only named person on the mortgage and it is based on his income. But I am being classed as a financial dependant which means we can borrow much less even though i have my own proof of income. :(

Has anyone else been in this situation or does anyone have any advice?


Hi Bella, if you search the forum there has been quite a lot of discussion of this over the years. I've been on the forum since 2007 when I had a nightmare of a time trying to get a mortgage. We did eventually as Coventry took into account my stipend, but I had three years of funding in front of me and also had a part-time job. I think the financial situation generally has got much worse, and even people with 'proper' jobs are finding it hard to get mortgages. Maybe there is someone who has more up-to-date information can help as well.
Is the house you rent on the market now or is there a chance you could wait until you have got a job?
It may be doable but I would be prepared for a lot of setbacks. I'd suggest seeing an independent financial advisor to get some idea.
Sorry not to be positive but I think it will be difficult for you. Good luck though.


Thank you PamW - the house isn't on the market yet but the landlord has said he would like to sell. He is lovely though and wouldn't kick us out. The thing is I am currently expecting my first baby (still early days so I haven't told my supervisors yet) and my husband wants to go self-employed. So I really want to get the house to feel settled and if we don't buy now we will have to wait until my husband has 2 years of accounts to back up his new self-employed status. I think we are going to have problems though. I had a financial advisor over last night and he wasn't very positive about our situation. Very frustrating! Has anyone recently managed to get a mortgage?


Hi Bella,

That is frustrating. I managed to get a mortgage when I started my PhD, in fairness just before the crash which was lucky because I'm sure even a few weeks later I don't think it would have been approved. My financial adviser was dubious about the stipend. It reduced the potential lenders a great deal and the only reason I was able to proceed was because my mum acted as guarantor for the mortgage. The flat is in my name but she's the one who shares the financial responsibility if mortgage not paid. Perhaps this could be an option? Good luck. It is tricky. I'd like to change my mortgage so full responsibility is mine but until I secure a 'proper' job I'm looking at continuing on my present 'bad' deal. The guarantor arrangement often makes interest payments higher.


We didn't buy in the end, but we did get an offer of a mortgage after explaining our situation to a broker who found the loan for us. This was after the crash had happened, but like Blackbyrd we had a guarantor who could show on paper that he could take on the debt if we failed to pay. So if you are keen then I second Blackbyrd as this being an option to explore.