Mortgages for Young People

House prices can make homeownership feel unachievable in your twenties but there are lenders keen to offer mortgages for young people. Find out how to make it happen here.

Are you aged 25 or younger?

Home Mortgage Application Mortgages For Young People

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

Whatever your financial situation, there’s no doubt that getting a mortgage as a young, would-be buyer is a milestone achievement.

We get lots of calls from young people who are ready to take out a mortgage and need some guidance as to how to get the best deal.

The mortgage experts we work with have enjoyed helping hundreds of young people all over the country successfully secure their first home. Experts know that, despite mortgage affordability or age restrictions, when it comes to negotiating a good mortgage you have one massive advantage – time is on your side!

What is the minimum age for a mortgage in the UK?

Legally the minimum age that you are able to purchase and own property is 18, and this minimum age restriction applies to mortgages too, as it does to any formal borrowing. In practice, lenders are able to set their own limits – a common minimum age for residential mortgages in the UK is 18, but for buy-to-let mortgages it’s more often 21, or even 25 in some cases.

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How to get a young person’s mortgage

Getting a mortgage when you’re in your teens or early twenties can feel like an impossible dream, but it needn’t be if you’ve done your homework and have the right support in place.

Here are three things to do before you apply for your young person’s mortgage:

Get a mortgage broker

Mainly people wrongly assume that you only need a mortgage broker if you’re very wealthy or looking for a million pound mortgage, but a broker is actually a valuable part of the application process whether you’re researching a high net worth mortgage or buying your first one bedroom flat. A broker with experience in mortgages for young people will already have a good understanding of the lenders and products that might be right for you and can save you a lot of research time and potentially money too as they can compare rates across the whole market.

Make an online enquiry and we can take a look at your situation and match you with the right broker.

Maximise your deposit

One of the main reasons that more young people aren’t getting on the property ladder is the lack of a deposit. Most mortgages require a minimum deposit of 10% and with average house prices in the UK creeping towards £300,000, that’s a lot of cash to find when you’re young.

While some people benefit from an inheritance to put towards a purchase, there may be other avenues that you could explore. Perhaps a family member has been paying into a savings account for you ready for when you start a family, or maybe your parents have money set aside for a future wedding. If buying a house is your priority, it’s worth having a discussion about whether you can access these savings as a gift for a deposit instead.

Build up your credit history

A common issue with mortgages for young people is a lack of credit history. Because you have to be 18 to have loans, credit cards or other formal borrowing, you won’t have had the opportunity in your late teens to build up a history that shows you as a responsible borrower.

If you’re keen to buy a house young, take steps as soon as you turn 18 to build up your credit history. Making sure you’re on the electoral roll, having direct debits in your name that you pay on time every month, having a phone contract and taking out a credit card and paying the balance in full every month can all leave a positive credit footprint.

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Government schemes you could use

If you’re keen to buy a house at 18, 19 or in your early 20s, you’ll need to understand the market and what government mortgage schemes there might be available to help young people buy a property.

The schemes below are aimed at all first time buyers but may be particularly useful for young people buying their first homes as they are all designed to make getting on the property ladder more affordable.

Shared ownership

One way to buy your first home without a huge mortgage or needing a large deposit is to go for shared ownership. When you buy via the shared ownership scheme you buy just a proportion of a property – normally between 25-75% initially – and pay rent on the remainder.

You have the option to increase your share over time through a process known as staircasing.

Help to Buy equity loan

If a deposit is your main issue then you might benefit from the government’s Help To Buy equity loan scheme.

The scheme is open to first time buyers and new build properties only, but gives you the option to put down as little as 5% and to borrow between 5-20% (40% in London) as a government loan to supplement your deposit.

You don’t pay interest for the first five years but then you’ll be charged at 1.75% for one year, increasing every year by the Consumer Price Index +2%.

Lifetime ISA

The Lifetime ISA (LISA) has replaced the Help To Buy ISA and offers young people aged 18-39 the chance to save for either a deposit on their first home or for retirement.

You can save up to £4,000 a year and the government will add a 25% bonus each year, so it’s a great way to make your deposit go further if you’re prepared to put in a few years of savings before getting a mortgage.

Other support that’s available

As well as government mortgage schemes for young people there are some specific mortgage products aimed at younger borrowers who might not otherwise be able to afford to take that first step.

Guarantor mortgages are one such option. With a guarantor mortgage a parent or other close family member agrees to guarantee your mortgage using their own property or savings as security in place of a deposit. Keep in mind there is a risk to the guarantor should you ever fail to make your mortgage repayments.

A family springboard mortgage, sometimes known as a family deposit mortgage or just a family mortgage, is one type of guarantor mortgage. With a family springboard mortgage you’ll need a family member who is prepared to have an amount of their own savings held in an account for a set period of time, often 3-5 years, while you start to pay off your mortgage. At the end of the term the savings are released, with interest.

Terms for these sorts of family mortgages will vary between lenders so speak to your broker about which might suit you best if it’s something you’re interested in.

Matthew's Story

Online Mortgage Advisor made this happen

Due to some adverse credit from my Uni days I thought we were going to be renting forever but now we have our perfect three bedroom house near Merseyside. Online Mortgage Advisor made this happen and I couldn’t recommend them enough to anyone that’s had adverse credit history like me.

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Which lenders offer mortgages for young professionals?

Many lenders will have preferential rates and terms available for specific professions such as doctors, nurses, teachers or legal professionals and some may even have specific products available. This is because certain professions are classed as lower risk and this can translate into lower deposit requirements or better interest rates.

This is where speaking with a broker first, before approaching any lenders yourself, can be a shrewd move as they will be able to identify the right lenders and also make you aware of exclusive deals that may not yet be available to the wider public.

Can you be approved if you have bad credit?

One of the measures that lenders use to evaluate your suitability for a mortgage is your credit history. A lender will carry out credit checks for any red flags such as missed or late payments and use this information to assess whether or not they think you’re likely to default on your mortgage.

While it is possible to get a bad credit mortgage, it’s often on the condition of having a bigger deposit, which may be a struggle for younger borrowers. If you’re worried that bad credit may affect your chances of approval, talk to your broker about specialist lenders who are prepared to take more risk.

Get matched with a broker experienced in young person mortgages

Although you’ll be bucking the trend by getting a mortgage in your teens or early twenties, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible with the right planning and support. Knowing which lenders to approach and what information they’re going to need is key, so having a broker who specialises in mortgages for young people can give you a valuable head start.

Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make a quick online enquiry now. We’ll take a look at your situation and arrange an initial chat for you with the broker we feel is going to give you the very best bespoke support. Our broker matching service is free of charge and there’s no obligation, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

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FAQs

No, a child under the age of 18 cannot legally own a property. The only way for someone under 18 to hold property is in trust. This can be done either as a ‘bare trust’, which is simply another person nominated to hold the title to the property, or as a more formally constituted trust.

Buying land is much the same as buying property so legally you have to be 18 – the age of contractual capacity. Land can be held in trust by a minor’s parents, guardians or other adult, for their benefit, until they reach 18.

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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 Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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