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Mortgages: How Much Can You Borrow?

Use our calculator below to see how much you could borrow for a mortgage and how to secure the best deal

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 21, 2022

Mortgage lenders each have their own method of calculating your affordability, with many applying a multiple of your income to determine the maximum amount you can borrow.

But which numbers can you times your wage by, does bad credit affect your chances of getting a higher income multiple, and what can you declare as income?

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Enter your salary below, (combined salaries for a joint application) to see how much you could potentially borrow. This would usually be based on 4-4.5 times your annual income, but some mortgage lenders stretch to 5 times salary, and some even higher than that.

calculator icon

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Our affordability calculator can tell you how much you can potentially borrow from a mortgage lender. Simply enter your total household income below and our calculator will do the rest.

Input full salaries for all applicants
£

You could borrow up to 

Most lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 4.5 times your household income, the standard calculation used by the majority of mortgage providers. To borrow more than this, you will need to use a mortgage broker to access specialist lenders.

Some lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 5 times your household income, a salary multiple you might struggle to qualify for without the help of a broker. This income multiple is not widely available to customers who are applying directly with a lender.

A minority of lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 6 times your household income, a salary multiple you will struggle to get without a broker. Six-times salary mortgages are usually only available under very specific circumstances.

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Mortgage calculators can be useful to get a rough idea of your total borrowing, but keep in mind that they are unable to take into account your personal circumstances, and therefore there may be additional factors that affect the actual amount you can borrow.

An experienced mortgage broker, on the other hand, will be able to create a bespoke calculation based on your specific circumstances, to give you a more accurate representation of the amount that you could actually borrow.

There are some lenders that don’t rely on income multiples to determine what you can borrow, and online mortgage calculators are therefore unable to reflect what they may be able to lend. To access these lenders you will typically need to speak to a broker.

How lenders calculate affordability

There are a number of things that mortgage lenders take into consideration when determining how much you can borrow, but their main concern is your ability to repay the mortgage, and therefore your income generally has the most impact.

As mentioned above, most lenders use a multiple of your income based on their affordability assessment to determine how much they’re willing to let you borrow. They will also factor in your outgoings and offset this against the amount you earn.

Whilst the typical borrower can expect to be offered between 4 and 4.5 times their salary, it’s possible to find lenders willing to offer more than that.

In certain circumstances, you may be able to borrow 5 or even 6 times your income, which can drastically increase the size of your loan, as demonstrated in the table below.

Example calculations

This table highlights the importance of securing the highest multiple of your salary possible and the effect this will have on the size of your mortgage.

Net Salary 4x 4.5x 5x 5.5x 6x
£20,000 £80,000 £90,000 £100,000 £110,000 £120,000
£25,000 £100,000 £112,500 £125,000 £137,500 £150,000
£30,000 £120,000 £135,000 £150,000 £165,000 £180,000
£40,000 £160,000 £180,000 £200,000 £220,000 £240,000
£45,000 £180,000 £202,500 £225,000 £247,500 £270,000

As you can see, even as little as 0.5 difference in the income multiple can make a staggering difference in the size of the loan you can borrow, and, more importantly, the type of property that you can afford.

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How to borrow more

If you’re looking to borrow more than 4.5 times your income, there are a number of things that you can do to increase your chances of accessing higher levels of borrowing, such as:

Speak to a specialist broker

As high street lenders tend to be more restrictive with their lending, it’s often specialist lenders that can be more generous salary multiples. Using a whole-of-market broker provides you with the best opportunity to access those specialist lenders who will be able to make the best use of your salary by stretching your borrowing a little further.

In fact, some specialist lenders are only available via an intermediary such as a broker, so if your main goal is to borrow more than your typical bank will offer, it’s highly recommended that you speak to a specialist broker, like those that we work with.

There are brokers in our network who have specific expertise in maximising lending and can prevent you from missing out on a more suitable deal that you wouldn’t find online.

The table below highlights the benefits of being matched with a mortgage broker that we handpick for you versus going direct to the bank and how your maximum borrowing can differ depending on which option you choose.

Going Direct to the Bank

Dash

Risk of having borrowing capped at 4.5 times your annual salary

Dash

Might be able to borrow based only on your main salary

Dash

Risk being declined if your debt-to-income ratio is high

Dash

Access to just one range of mortgage products

Dash

Lender likely to upsell their own products and services only

Online Mortgage Advisor Broker

Check

Access to a wide range of lenders who offer 5 times salary and 6 times salary mortgages

Check

Able to borrow based on salary plus 100% of any supplemental income, such as benefits, pension income or freelance work

Check

Borrowing options still available for high debt-to-income customers with via lenders with a higher appetite for risk

Check

Access to the entire market, including mortgages based on higher income multiples and exclusive, broker-only deals for customers in certain professions

Check

Bespoke, impartial advice about rates and deals from across the entire market

Increase your deposit size

When it comes to residential purchases, the minimum deposit requirement is 5-10%, and you won’t usually need to provide more than that unless the lender considers you a high-risk borrower.

If you’re looking to maximise how much you can borrow, however, a larger deposit can go a long way towards persuading lenders that you’re a safe bet. It will also increase the number of lenders available to you, which means a better chance of landing the mortgage you need.

Offering more than the minimum amount necessary will encourage some lenders to lend to you at higher multiples of your income, as well as at more competitive interest rates.

Another point to note about providing a larger deposit is that it will reduce the LTV (Loan to Value) you actually need to borrow, which could mean you’re able to purchase a higher-priced property without increasing your borrowing. For example…

To purchase a £200,000 home, if you;

Provide a 5% deposit  – (£10k) you’ll need to borrow £190,000

Provide a 15% deposit  – (£30k) you’ll need to borrow £160,000, which is easier to achieve

Include supplemental income

Many people earn some form of supplemental income on top of their basic salary, and there are some lenders willing to include this additional income into their affordability calculations.

This means that you could potentially borrow more if you take home any of the following:

Not all lenders accept supplementary income, and those that do won’t necessarily accept all types. There are also not many lenders willing to consider 100% of your additional income, with most only using between 50-75% in their calculations.

To access the optimum mortgage to salary ratio, it’s, therefore, important to find a lender that accepts the right type of supplementary income, and is willing to utilise as much of it as possible. A whole-of-market broker will be able to help you access those lenders who can be most flexible with your specific additional income type(s).

Use a guarantor

If you’ve already stretched your income as far as possible and are still unable to buy the home you want, a guarantor mortgage could be the answer. There are various options available, but the concept is that your borrowing, or an element of it, is secured by a guarantor, usually on their property, income, or savings.

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If you are looking to borrow 6 or more, or want to use additional income etc. seek help from us now

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See how our customers managed to borrow more after they were matched with a specialist broker.

Mitchell
Lancashire, UK
As a single dad I needed to borrow 5 times my salary to afford the property I wanted. Every lender I met with capped their borrowing at 4.5 times salary and refused me even though I had great credit. Online Mortgage Advisor recommended a building society who I'd not considered, but borrowed up to 5.5 times salary! Suddenly my application was accepted and me and my daughter were one step closer to our new home.
Natalie
Hitchin, UK
I'd found my dream home but it was slightly above my budget. I went to my bank for my mortgage and was refused instantly because I needed to borrow 5.5 x my income. I was devastated! Online Mortgage Advisor though instantly reassured me and explained that specialist lenders tend to borrow higher income multiples. I applied with a specialist lender and couldn't believe that the impossible was finally possible!

Joint mortgage borrowing

If you’re applying for a mortgage jointly with someone else, lenders will use your combined incomes to determine how much you can borrow, which usually works out to much more than either applicant could afford on their own. Of course, this depends on both parties’ circumstances, and the addition of an applicant with very little or no income is unlikely to be very beneficial.

Some mortgage lenders will even consider the income of up to 4 applicants on one mortgage, however, this is fairly niche and is more likely to be available through specialist brokers.

Salary A Salary B Total Joint Salaries 4x Joint Salaries 5x Joint Salaries 6x Joint Salaries
£20,000 £24,000 £44,000 £176,000 £220,000 £264,000
£22,000 £31,000 £53,000 £212,000 £265,000 £318,000

Which lenders offer higher income multiples?

There are a few high street lenders who will offer higher salary multiples – usually between 5 times and six times income – in the right circumstances, although much of the high-level borrowing on the market is provided by more specialist lenders.

Barclays
Halifax
HSBC
Kensington Mortgages

Currently offers up to 5.5* times the income of applicants, so long as the LTV is 85% or less, and at least one applicant earns more than £75k or joint applicants earn more than £100k between them. This is only available for capital repayment mortgages.

Currently offers up to 5 times the income of applicants who earn more than £75k on loans of up to £750,000 with an LTV of between 75-85%

Currently offers up to 4.49 times the income of applicants who earn at least £50,000 on loans with a maximum LTV of 80%

Can consider up to x6 salary mortgages but has been known to reserve this multiple for people in specific professions

 

* Please note: individual banks’ terms can change at any time, this was correct at the time of writing.

Other factors that affect how much you can borrow

Aside from your income, some of the most common factors that can impact how much you can borrow can be found below, but it’s important to bear in mind that each lender may apply these criteria differently:

Your profession

As mortgage lending is all about risk, lenders tend to favour those applicants that are in careers that they consider to be low-risk. Applicants in low-risk careers are therefore often able to borrow higher multiples of their income from some lenders. This includes those with a clearly structured career path, such as police or similar key workers, or those that require a professional qualification, such as teachers, doctors, and solicitors.

If you think you may qualify for a professional mortgage it’s worth speaking to a broker, as each lender has its own list of careers that they consider to be professional, and some lists are more extensive than others.

Minimum income requirement

Not all lenders have a minimum income requirement, but those that do typically have stricter criteria the more you borrow. For example, of those lenders with a minimum income requirement who offer loans of up to 5 times your income, the minimum salary is £40k-£50k, whereas, for more typical borrowing, £20-£25k is standard.

Credit score

Lenders don’t list a minimum credit score requirement on their mortgage products, however, most will be looking for a strong overall credit profile, and the higher the level of borrowing, the less likely it is that a history of adverse credit will be acceptable.

This means that most high street lenders will be unlikely to offer the maximum income multiple that they have available to those with poor credit, even if their income is adequate. If you’re concerned that your credit score could limit your borrowing, there are specialist bad credit lenders who are able to help.

Existing financial responsibilities

It’s important to understand that the income lenders use in their affordability assessment will rarely be your full salary.  It’s actually only your expendable income that can be used for this purpose.

In order to determine your expendable income, they will deduct all of your existing outgoings from your annual income to find your debt to income ratio. Whatever’s left over is considered your actual ‘usable income’. If you have a high salary, but also very high outgoings, it could impact how much you can borrow.

For example:

Earnings = £100k

Outgoings = £30k

Usable income = £70k (this will be the figure that’s multiplied to calculate your loan)

You can use our debt-to-income calculator below to work out how your outgoings could impact your maximum borrowing.

calculator icon

Debt to Income Ratio Calculator

You can use our debt-to-income (DTI) ratio calculator to work out how much of your income is going towards your fixed outgoings, expressed as a percentage. Based on that percentage, this tool will tell you whether mortgage lenders will class your DTI as low, medium or high.


The amount you get paid each month, after any taxes or contributions have been deducted
£
Be sure to include all of your fixed outgoings, as well as any loans or credit card payments you make
£

Your Debt to Income Ratio is %

Risk Low Moderate High

Good news! Most mortgage lenders will class your debt-to-income ratio as low. You’re unlikely to be declined for a mortgage based on your outgoings, but speaking to a mortgage broker before applying is still recommended as they can improve your chances of getting the best deal.

Most mortgage lenders will class your debt-to-income ratio as moderate, which means some of them might view your application with caution. Some lenders are much more strict than others when it comes to affordability and debt, so it’s important for you to find a lender who’s more lenient. You should speak to a mortgage broker before you apply to ensure you’re matched with a lender whose criteria you fit.

Most mortgage lenders will class your debt-to-income ratio as high. But that’s where we can help! With so much of your monthly income going towards debt repayments, you could struggle to get approved for a mortgage without the help of a mortgage broker. We can help you find a lender who’s more lenient on debt and affordability, and could still secure a mortgage approval.

Get Expert Advice

Did you know… An Online Mortgage Advisor broker has access to more deals than any comparison site. Get Started to unlock more options and increase your chance of mortgage approval.

Employment type

As well as the profession you’re in, the way you’re employed can have an impact on how much you can borrow. On the whole, high street lenders tend to prefer employed applicants, as they’re considered lower risk. That said, self-employed applicants can generally achieve the same level of borrowing as other applicants, with 4.5  being typical, so long as they’re able to meet the lending criteria.

If you’re self-employed and looking to secure a loan based on higher income multiples, however, you’ll find that many lenders have specific requirements for the following…

  • Sole traders – Most lenders will use an average of the last 2-3 years’ net profits as your income figure.
  • Limited company directors – Most lenders use an average of your salary and dividends over the past 2-3 years as your income figure, although some will look at retained profits for limited company director mortgages.
  • Partners – Providing you own 25% share or more of the limited liability partnership, your share of average net profits over the last 2-3 years will be considered income for mortgage purposes.
  • Contractors – Lenders may use an annualised version of your day rate or an average of your net profits, depending on the type of contractor you are. Those working under umbrella companies will usually be treated as employees.

The good news is that there are lenders who specialise in self-employed lending, and they are much more likely to be able to accommodate higher lending limits for self-employed applicants. You can find out more in our guide to self-employed mortgages.

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Speak to a mortgage affordability specialist

Mortgage calculators can be helpful, but If your main goal is to stretch your borrowing to achieve the highest mortgage possible, it’s important to find a lender that is flexible enough to consider that based on your individual circumstances. Unfortunately, it’s impossible for a calculator to provide you with everything you need to know, not least because they’re missing out a whole section of the market who don’t use this metric to calculate loan size.

The whole-of-market brokers that we work with have access to every lender, so they can provide a bespoke calculation based on your exact circumstances, that considers every possibility. They also have strong working relationships with those lenders who are most likely to make the best use of your income. So whether you’re self-employed, a professional, or are looking for a lender who will consider 100% of your supplemental income, they will know which lender will maximise your borrowing as far as possible.

Call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry to make use of our free mortgage broker matching service, and we’ll put you in touch with an expert broker who is best able to help you achieve your home ownership goals.

FAQs

Can I borrow 7 times my salary?

In certain circumstances, it may be possible to borrow more than the maximum income limit of most lenders, which is typically 6 times your income. However, this level of borrowing is typically reserved for high-net-worth individuals. There are far fewer lenders equipped to deal with the often complex finances of high-net-worth individuals, but, those that are, tend to specialise in high net worth mortgages exclusively.

This type of applicant may be able to borrow 7 times their salary, or potentially even more than that, depending on their circumstances. A specialist broker will generally be needed to access this niche area of lending.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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