PhD Studentships & Mortgages - ARGH!!


Hello, sorry if this has been posted before.

My partner and I are currently trying to get a mortgage, however we are having increasing difficulty as every bank and mortgage advisor we've been to so far have said no-one will take my PhD Studentship maintenance grant as a source of income. Has anyone else had this problem and if so can they offer any advice? alternatively does anyone know anywhere that accepts it as a source of income? Thanks in advance :-)

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======= Date Modified 23 Aug 2010 15:26:25 =======
There are a few threads on this, from way back when - but you should be able to search them.

I think the overall advice has been...

- get a really good broker who understands what your stipend is
- go to banks that are more understanding of stipends - I *think* nat west has been given as an example of one of these but the older threads will have a list of them I'm sure
- get a guarantor - that's how me and hubs got ours. Although the guarantor has to be someone who could afford to pay your mortgage AND theirs, should you default on payment
- have a MASSIVE deposit.


I don't have any advice; just wanted to wish you luck. My husband and I bought our house as undergraduates and we didn't even tell our mortgage broker that we were students (fearing it would count against us), but we both had part-time jobs. I think the difficulty you have is that it isn't permanent income - kinda like having a temporary job.

Have you been to many mortgage brokers? My experience of them is that they are very helpful and prepared to look far and wide if that's what it takes to get your business. Finding people mortgages is how they make a living after all.

Good luck with your search.


I'll have a search through previous posts :-)

Also thanks for the good luck wishes, we have been to 1 mortgage advisor who said noone accepts it as they consider it a fixed term contract and they dont accept them for mortgages. I intend to ring every single bank until I've exhausted all my options! Felt so pleased getting a studentship and finding it a hindrance when trying to get on the property ladder makes me feel very deflated! We will persevere though and if I find anywhere that will accept it I will make sure I post it on here for others who might need it in the future :-)


Hi Victoria,

Definitely have a search through older posts as I know there's been some really good advice given on this subject.  The only problem is whether it's still relevant advice as so much has changed in the past year or so with all the banks making it much harder for everyone who wants a mortgage and much larger deposits are definitely a must now.

I got a mortgage on my stipend combined with my other half's full time salary. We originally got our mortgage with Northern Rock (before the crash), then remortgaged with Nationwide, both were fine with the stipend.  I think the most important thing is that you are not the main applicant, but the main salary is from a "proper" full time job. This was my situation and if I had been the main applicant then I don't think we would have got the mortgage.

Even those on fixed term contracts can get mortgages (or at least they used to- not sure if that's changed), it's just the length of the contract that's important, I think they want over 2 years remaining on the contract, so a stipend fulfills this requirement. Also I was questioned about the likelihood of another position afterwards- they seemed to think someone with a PhD would be highly employable (we all know that isn't strictly the case in the current market, but I wasn't about to correct them! ;-) )

It's important to go into lots of detail about what the stipend is, such as it being tax free and only for living costs and not for any tuition fees etc.  It also really helps to get the graduate administrator (or equivalent) to write on uni headed paper an explanation of what the stipend is and how long it lasts, this really helped me. You'd be surprised at how many automatically said no, without even really understanding what the stipend was.

As you say, the best thing is just to try as many as possible, but to be armed with lots of info about the stipend can only help.

Good luck