Mortgages for Graduates
Everything you need to know about getting a Mortgage as a recent graduate and how a broker can help you
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There’s a lot of information online aimed at recent graduates who may be looking to get on the property ladder straight out of uni. Not all of the advice out there is particularly reliable and some of it is downright misleading, so we’ve compiled this handy guide to address some of the main questions that tend to come up on this topic, all in one place.
Can a graduate get a mortgage?
The short answer is yes, as long as they can afford the repayments and have enough funds set aside for the deposit requirements. But the reality for most people who’ve recently completed their education is that these sort of financial milestones are still some way off.
We know that when people search for ‘graduate mortgages’ they tend to be most interested in finding out which lenders will consider them despite knowing they are likely to score poorly on the criteria that potential borrowers are judged on, such as:
- Not having a large deposit
- Being new in a job and still in probationary period
- Having large debts in the form of student loans, overdrafts or credit cards
- Poor or no credit history
- Low entry-level income
While all the above will present obstacles with most lenders, some are likely to be more lenient than others, especially if you can demonstrate your potential as a reliable borrower. An experienced broker should be able to help you identify the lenders that are most receptive and generous in cases like yours, boosting your chances of being accepted the first time.
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Schemes to consider
A number of government-backed schemes have been made available to help people buy property in recent years, and as many of these were brought in with the needs of first-time buyers in mind, they can be helpful to recent graduates, too.
While the Help to Buy scheme has now closed to new applicants, there are still options worth talking over with a broker. At time of writing (November 2022) these include:
- Shared Ownership, where you own a ‘share’ of the property and rent the rest.
- The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme which helps people with smaller deposits — but be warned that it’s closing to new applicants in December 2022
- The First Homes scheme, which was designed to help key workers such as NHS staff, firefighters, supermarket staff and so on, get on to the property ladder.
- Lifetime ISAs, which offer tax breaks on longer-term savings and can be used to fund a mortgage deposit.
If none of these are right for you or you don’t qualify, there may still be alternatives to ‘standard’ mortgages that could give you the leg-up you need to make your first property purchase. Depending on your circumstances and preferences, these could include:
- Guarantor mortgages, where a parent or other close family member or friend formally agrees to ‘bail you out’ if you ever run into difficulties repaying your mortgage.
- Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor (JBSP) mortgages, where a close family member or friend agrees to pay a portion of your regular repayments with no rights to the property itself for an agreed period.
- Family gifted deposits, where family members gift you a sum of money with the sole purpose of using it to fund a deposit.
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What other options are available?
In summary, your options as a recent graduate without significant family (or in rare cases employer) support are likely to be:
- Convince a lender that your credentials, along with your current salary and savings, make you a reliable and trustworthy customer (easier if you have a professional degree).
- Wait until you’ve saved enough deposit and have a high enough regular income that most lenders will consider you. A tax-free savings account like a Lifetime ISA could help.
- Take advantage of a scheme like Shared Ownership or First Home, which are designed to help people get onto the property ladder.
As ever, there will be pros and cons to each route, and you will need to decide which option best aligns with your priorities.
Mortgages for graduates in high-earning professions
You may be eligible for the perks being offered by some lenders that specialise in professional mortgages: these are exclusive mortgage deals available to those with particular qualifications. The benefits of these deals usually include:
- Lower interest rates and fees
- Higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios
- More flexible repayment options
- Guarantor and family assisted mortgages
- Lower deposits (with some lenders)
- Higher income multiples
Not all lenders offering professional mortgages will accept very recent graduates however, and you may need a few years’ proven service under your belt before you’ll be eligible for the best deals. Speak to a specialist broker if you’re interested in finding out what’s available to professional graduates with your level of experience.
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Can graduates declare stipend income?
If your employer pays you a stipend to support your living costs while you’re undertaking training such as an internship or apprenticeship, you may be able to declare this as income for affordability purposes.
Some lenders are willing to factor in stipend income when assessing affordability, so it’s worth asking a specialist broker for advice on which to approach if you want to include this in your application. The main issue you are likely to face is that stipends are generally much lower than average salaries, so lenders will want to see solid proof that your earnings are set to increase.
How can a broker help graduates get approved
A broker who specialises in graduate mortgages should have the most complete picture of the breadth of deals currently being offered to graduates of all types. Because they work with customers like you nearly every day, they’ll be ideally placed to spot genuinely attractive options while warning you off any questionable ones, and can hand-pick products to suit your needs.
They will also have intimate knowledge of the lender landscape, meaning that they’ll only approach providers with a strong track record of catering to graduates in your situation, boosting your chances of success first time. This is especially important when you’re building up your credit record, as a failed application could seriously impact your chances of being accepted next time around.
Make an enquiry and we’ll match you with a broker who specialises in graduate mortgages today.
Which lenders favour graduates?
As there are no ‘graduate’ mortgages per se, it’s hard to predict which lenders will be the most suitable for you without knowing a bit more about your current situation, priorities and plans.
This is because the choice of lender will depend on things like the type of mortgage you want, your job status and whether you plan to use any of the schemes currently on offer, as each lender will have its own rules about what it can and can’t offer in each case.
For example, if you’re fresh from your studies and raring to go, Nationwide is one of a handful of lenders that will accept applicants who are in the first 3 months of their first job, and in the right circumstances will even offer mortgages to people in the first month in that role.
If you need financial support and your family can provide a 10% security deposit, you might consider Barclays’ Family Springboard mortgage. A 5-year fix is currently offered at a rate of 6.20% for borrowers who can personally put down a 5% deposit in addition to the 10% family-backed security, or 6.25% for those who don’t have any deposit saved at all. A few other lenders offer family assist mortgages, usually through specialist broker-only agreements.
If you opt for a Guarantor mortgage, you are more likely to find a suitable lender among the smaller building societies than with any of the high street banks, but due to the higher risk to the lender, the loan size will usually be smaller than what you might get on a standard mortgage.
For example, Penrith building society can accept guarantors up to a maximum LTV of 80%.
Earl Shilton and Harpenden building societies can both accept them on condition that the guarantor could theoretically cover the entire mortgage for the term, while Vernon will accept guarantors who are able to cover 70% of the repayments.
If you’re thinking of buying with Shared Ownership, there is a decent spread of high street banks and more specialist providers operating in this market, but eligibility requirements can vary a lot between one lender and the next, so you will need to scrutinise the smallprint.
For example, Virgin offers shared ownership mortgages only where the landlord is a registered provider of social housing. Loughborough building society accepts shared ownership applications up to 90% LTV on houses and 80% on flats.
Get matched with a broker who specialises in graduate mortgages
If this is your first time applying for a mortgage you are likely to have a lot of questions and will want to feel confident that you’re getting a good deal. A broker who specialises in graduate mortgages can provide that reassurance every step of the way, and will be able to steer you in the right direction for your needs.
Many of the options set out in this article fall into the ‘specialist’ category, which makes it even more important to get professional advice as some of these more ‘niche’ products are not made available to the public directly. If you’d like to speak to an expert about your mortgage goals after university, call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry today and we’ll put you in touch with a specialist broker.
This may be possible depending on what plans you have in place post-graduation, and in particular whether you can prove that you’ve secured a job that will pay enough to make the repayments affordable.
If you already have a contract in place with a future employer, you’ll be treated as any applicant who is due to start a new job or is in their probationary period. Not all lenders are comfortable lending to people in this situation, but some are prepared to in the right circumstances. Find out more in our guide to getting a mortgage when you’ve recently started a new job.
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