Mortgages and PhD


Hi everyone,

I know this topic has been covered a lot in the past, but I just wanted to know if anyone had any experience in the current economic climate, so bear with me!

Basically my partner and I are struggling to get a mortgage due to my status as a PhD student. He earns a 'normal' salary, and I have a fairly decent stipend. However, some mortgage companies have given us an outright 'no', and others say they will only take my stipend into account as a 'top-up' to my partner's wage, so will only lend us a small amount.

So was just wondering if anyone had managed to get a mortgage recently?

Thanks very much :)


Sorry, but no good news to report. I've got on the property ladder and am trying to upgrade slightly but have been told I've no mission because I'm a student, like yourself.


It gets even better.

Even though I am on 30kish, as I am on an ongoing series of post doc short term contracts most banks are not touching me with a barge pole (thanks for that credit crunch). So even despite earning over the median UK salary, academia still thwarts my efforts at joining normal society.

I really wish I could take the "get pregnant and let my partner sort it out" option, but as I am a man this is unlikely.

Avatar for Eska

sorry bhc, but what's 'normal'?


"I really wish I could take the "get pregnant and let my partner sort it out" option, but as I am a man this is unlikely." That smacks of sexism!!

Given the current economic climate, I believe it's quite right that banks don't lend to anyone who is not in a secure and permanent job - I wouldn't expect a stipend or postdoc salary to be considered good enough for a mortgage....certainly not now.


I told my mortgage advisor to use the title "PhD researcher", which confers student status to those who know academia and the inferral of a "recognized" job to the ignoramuses/ignoramus'/ignorami who seem to comprise the vast majority of estate agents and bankers.


Quote From missspacey:

"I really wish I could take the "get pregnant and let my partner sort it out" option, but as I am a man this is unlikely." That smacks of sexism!

Completely agree. Not that it is new, and I have seen similar comments in SO many cultures. My first reaction on reading this was to have my mouth fall open, for I thought men perhaps don't SAY things like this out loud, but I am guessing I was wrong..


I read that comment from bhc - and decided it would be better if I didn't reply. :-s


My partner has a good salary but it's unlikely we would be able to get a decent mortgage just because it's difficult for anyone to, regardless of the fact that my income wouldn't count. Because of the economic climate deposits required are so high that we wouldn't be able to raise that sort of money (up to 25%). On the up side, however, remember that house prices are still coming down and in due course lending patterns will get better again so if we can all hold out for a bit it may work out well for us. Not that I'm supporting this hold-back on lending money as it's crucial to the economy righting itself, it was banks lending to people who simply couldn't afford to repay the loan that started the culture that brought us here. At the end of the day although I get a decent allowance from my funding I also know it's short term and I may not be able to get a job at the end, so it is quite logical not to lend me a considerable sum of money that requires long term repayment, however infuriating!

Avatar for sneaks

my bf and I have a mortgage, we are both on rubbish PhD stipends and we bought the house when we were 19! - way to do it is get a guarantor - his mum just says she can cover our mortgage if we can't, but in 6 years, we haven't missed a payment, although have to say her hubby is super rich so they can afford their million pound house mortgage and our lil 3 bed one as well


"Smacks of sexism?". Well as sexism implies prejudice or discrimination, I struggle to see how my THOUGHTS (note, not my actual actions or any form of behaviour) actively promote either? But hell, I always thought academic life was about taking a position and then debating it, before thrashing out some kind of final thesis? Clearly not. Its about taking umbrage and getting pissy if somone disagrees with you.

If my idea is wrong (it being a desirable course of events if I was in a position to start a family while someone else financially covers my arse) please do state your counterpoint and back it up. If I am wrong I will concede and change. You know, kind of how academics are supposed to?

Which brings me back to the point about mortgages. Yeah. It probably is quite reasonable considering the banks position. I agree I probably should think differently about that.


That's a pathetic attempt to make your remark acceptable - and even more laughable - to somehow dress it up as the opening to an academic debate. Dream on.



First, isms are not always to be found in "actions" if actions are defined as something physically or materially being done. Prejudices are attitudes expressed verbally, subtly, epidermally. The politics of all isms reside usually beneath the skin of visible actions, discrimination, sadly, often being 'absent' on paper and in 'action' (though not always so) but omnipresent in peoples' standpoints, positions and thoughts. You expressed a thought that pregnancy was a way out of the pressures of having to provide for, and/or having the comfort of someone else support you. That IS an attitude which speaks of gender prejudice. It does not mean you are "doing" something that is against women, or even "feeling" that way, but this comment, as three women on this thread (and probably more) have agreed, without any mutual collaborations or exchanges, does indeed smack of a prejudiced attitude.

Pregnancy is a mutually arrived at decision between two people, not the free choice exercised by one person (although yes, that is sadly true of many countries where sexism is "visibly", "materially" physically inscribed in direct gender bias, gender torture and so forth). Getting pregnant is not an option selected by a woman that exists as one of the ways in which to get supported for by someone else. When two people decide it is time for a baby, they usually divide roles of duty amongst themselves, sharing out the burdens for something that will bring happiness to both. So, if one person must go through the difficulties of physical fatigue, labour and often a profession with it, the other partner walks hand in hand. Like all other mutual, collaborative decisions within a family, there is a division of labour, things being well. So, pregnancy is not an option/way out chosen/selected by a woman.

Finally, nobody got "pissy". If the comment was not problematic, three separate people, all presumably intelligent researchers, who deal with complex academic problems and other issues, would not have reacted in the ways in which they did.




BHC what a pile of rubbish and I agree with Smilodon a poor attempt to cover up a poorly judged and ill-considered remark. Falling pregnant means someone else can cover your arse? Oh grow up, I wont even begin to tell you how offensive that is as I think you know already. Masses of pregnant women work up until the last minute and continue as soon as they give birth, a prime example of which being a colleague of mine who whilst writing her PhD thesis was pregnant, continued writing all the way through her pregnancy and never took any time off because of it. If of course you were referring to being 'paid' for having kids, such as benefits and local authority housing then I suggest you try it and see how pretty it is.


Did I say everyone that gets pregnant somehow gets a free pass? No
Did I say anything derogatory about women? No
Did I state that all women do this? No

Did you infer any of the above? Possibly.

I just said I would like to take an option where I could be in a position where I could start a family AND have a partner that covers me financially. What part of that is upsetting? If I wished for a billion pounds would you still get upset?

What is wrong in stating that SOME people get pregnant AND have a partner that can support them. My mum and dad cant be the only ones. Males supporting females happens far more often than vice versa. Or am I completely wrong?

Yeah I have "prejudices" and "opinions". Everyone does.