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Applying for a Mortgage with Cancer

A guide to mortgages during and after cancer

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By Pete Mugleston  | Mortgage Advisor Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 21st October 2019 *

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatment, or are in recovery or remission, you’ll no doubt have a lot to deal with; emotionally and physically. 

As with any major illness, your focus may be on your health, but you can’t forget about the practicalities in your life. According to charity Macmillan Cancer Support, 80% of people who have cancer experience increased financial pressures costing them around £570 a month in lost income or increased outgoings.

Whether you’re already a homeowner with a mortgage to pay, are wondering if you can get a mortgage with cancer or are looking into buying a property after cancer, these are concerns that will arise.

Rather than having to spend time trying to work out the answers and what they mean for you, we’ve put together this article as a starting point. In it, we’ll be covering the following:

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Can you get a mortgage if you have cancer?

Being diagnosed with cancer doesn’t mean that you’ll get turned down for a mortgage. 

Getting a mortgage is based on a number of different criteria. What a lender is most concerned about is that you can pay back any loan you take out from them. With this is mind, getting a mortgage with cancer will follow a similar process basing your eligibility on the following:

  • Your income
  • Age
  • Credit history (including periods of bad debt)
  • Your outgoings (including essentials like bills and non essentials like holidays)

A mortgage provider won’t generally ask about the state of your health but in asking about your income there may be some anomalies if you have cancer. For example, if you’ve had to stop working your income may change. 

On the other hand, you may receive a level of sick pay that covers your mortgage, or have a form of insurance protection such as critical illness pay that covers your mortgage in the event that you can’t pay it. Some government benefits are available to cancer patients such as disability benefits and it’s possible that this could be used as additional income that could help pay off your mortgage.

What’s involved in getting a mortgage with cancer?

The process is similar to getting a mortgage if you don’t have cancer. If you’ve decided to go with a mortgage broker (recommended), they’ll check how much you can afford and suggest lenders that would best meet your personal circumstances.

As mentioned above, you don’t need to disclose to a mortgage lender that you have cancer, but if you’re in a position where paying off your mortgage is a problem due to your health then you should tell your lender. 

The Council of Mortgage Lenders Code of Practice says that lenders should be sympathetic if a customer has financial difficulties. If that’s the case, they may be able to help in a number of ways like reducing or suspending payments for a short time or extending the term of your contract to reduce your monthly payments.

Different lenders have different support in place. If you want to know more about what these are then we work with a range of experts with knowledge in this area. If you’d like to speak to one, make an enquiry and we can put you in touch.

Can you get a mortgage if you've had cancer?

If you’ve had cancer and are now in remission, you can apply for a mortgage just like anyone else but as explained at the beginning of this article, a lender bases their decision to give you a mortgage on you proving to them that you can pay it back. 

If your income was reduced or stopped while you had cancer, your personal financial records may not give them that confidence. There’s more about what you can do about this in the next section.

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  • Network of over 200 brokers all with whole of market coverage
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  • We've helped over 100,000 people get the right advice
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What’s involved in getting a mortgage after cancer?

If you’re applying for a first-time buyer mortgage then a lender will look at what you earn (this can involve asking to see payslips) or if you’re self-employed they may wish to see your accounts going back anywhere from a year to three years. If while you had cancer there was an irregularity in what you earned, your lender may have concerns about your suitability for a mortgage.

Here are some ways that can help if you’re in that situation:   

Proof of current earnings

Lenders are required to be sympathetic in the case of financial difficulties. 

If you had a good credit score and can provide evidence of this before you had cancer, and can show them you have that again, and that your reductions in income were only temporary and outside of your control, then there are lenders who will consider approving you.

Joint mortgage

If it’s a possibility then you could apply for a joint mortgage – this might be an option if your partner has a regular steady income.

Critical insurance cover

If you took it out before you were diagnosed with having cancer then the payout you receive can be a large enough sum to cover a percentage of your mortgage or even pay it off in full. Check your policy and don’t forget to put a claim in.

A professional broker will be able to assist you further and can talk through your personal circumstances, along with the requirements that different lenders have to help find a match that works for you.

We’ll find the perfect mortgage expert for you - for free

Save time and money with the right mortgage advice, first time

  • Network of over 200 brokers all with whole of market coverage
  • Save up to £400 per year with a mortgage expert matched to you
  • We've helped over 100,000 people get the right advice
  • Our quick & easy form only takes a couple of minutes to complete

Where can I get more advice about mortgage applications and cancer?

Advice from an expert in this field is the next step.  A whole-of-market broker will know about all types of mortgages from different lenders and what their different requirements are so whether you have cancer, or have had it; they can give you the most accurate guidance, as well as pair you up with the right lender so you save time and money.

If you need help finding one, give Online Mortgage Advisor a call today on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry so we can introduce you to one for free.

Then sit back and let us do all the hard work in finding the broker with the right expertise for your circumstances. We don’t charge a fee and there’s absolutely no obligation or marks on your credit rating.

Updated: 21st October 2019
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2019 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of 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 info 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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