NHS Mortgages

If you work for the NHS and are wondering about whether that impacts a mortgage, get expert advice from a specialist mortgage broker

Firstly, do you currently work for the NHS?

Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 18, 2024

From paediatric nurses to porters, radiographers to surgeons, the NHS employs over 1.5 million people in the UK and many wonder whether or not working for the country’s health system will affect their mortgage options.

Although a respected employer, there are elements of working for the NHS, such as hospital rotations, short contracts, shift work, salary band restrictions and, in some cases, lower incomes, to contend with. This guide will answer what it means to apply for a mortgage as a NHS employee and talk you through where to find expert guidance.

Who qualifies for an NHS mortgage?

There actually is no such thing as a specific NHS mortgage but what you might find is that the government has various initiatives that NHS workers qualify for while certain lenders are more open to applicants working for the NHS, offering a degree of understanding and flexibility. This boosts your chances of getting the mortgage approval you want and need. Ultimately though, as with any mortgage, whether you qualify will depend on how well you meet the criteria set by lenders.

Before starting your mortgage hunt, it’s worth connecting with an advisor who has experience helping NHS staff to find out what options might be open to you.

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Do NHS staff get mortgage discounts?

Yes, it’s possible. Some mortgage providers and housing developers offer key worker mortgage discounts and incentives. Barrett Homes, for example, offers a 5% deposit contribution to such personnel while Tilia Homes takes £500 off every £25,000 spent on one of their new build properties. Others might offer cashback schemes or contribute something tangible such as the property’s alarm system or flooring.

It’s important to note if there is an advantage to be had for NHS workers, the individual usually has to have a permanent contract with the NHS (not be retired) and be a clinical member of staff.

An experienced mortgage broker would be best placed to help you compare the whole lending and developer market to find the best incentives available.

Is there an NHS Help to Buy scheme?

No such Help to Buy scheme exists but there are some alternative government schemes that, although not specifically NHS mortgage deals, are primed for health workers to take advantage of.

These include:

  • The First Homes scheme: Designed with local young people and key workers, such as NHS staff, in mind, this scheme supports those earning less than £80,000 (or £90,000 in London) by offering a discount of 30% to 50% on a certain number of new builds.
  • Shared Ownership: This scheme doesn’t offer anything specific to NHS workers but it can be a help to those struggling to get onto the property ladder. It allows you to purchase just a portion of a home, making it more affordable and leaving you to pay rent on the remaining share. Over time, as you climb the NHS wage bands, you could increase your ownership share.
  • Right to Buy: Again not NHS exclusive, but this initiative allows those living in a council-owned property to buy that same property at a discounted price, making it far more affordable, especially if you earn a lower income.

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How much can you borrow?

Just like for any other mortgage applicant, what you can loan as an NHS worker will be mainly reliant on a lender’s assessment of your affordability. They’ll largely use your income to determine this, multiplying it by 4 or 4.5 times or, in certain circumstances, going as high as 5 times or 6 times your salary. Additionally, they’ll assess your expenditures as well as any bad credit or debt you may have.

Below is a table of the average salaries for various NHS positions and what they’d equate to when multiplied above 4 times.

Profession/Average salary 4 times 4.5 times 5 times 5.5 times 6 times
Paramedic £36,355 £145,420 £126,598 £181,775 £199,953 £218,130
GP £72,000 £285,000 £324,000 £357,000 £396,000 £432,000
Nurse £33,384 £133,536 £150,228 £166,920 £183,612 £200,304
Administrator £20,198 £80,792 £90,891 £100,990 £111,089 £121,188
Occupational therapist £35,814 £139,476 £161,163 £175,290 £196,977 £211,104
Porter £22,328 £89,312 £100,476 £111,640 £122,804 £133,968

Affordability calculator

Should your salary differ from any of the above, you can play around with our affordability calculator to determine a mortgage size you might be likely to get.

Mortgage Affordability Calculator

Use this calculator to determine how much you could potentially borrow for a mortgage, based on the typical salary multiples used by most UK lenders.

Input full salaries for all applicants
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Your Results:

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.

Get Started with an expert broker to find out exactly how much you could borrow.

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Of course, the best thing to do is consult a broker on what you personally can expect to borrow, as such calculations don’t factor in those other elements of spending, debt and credit history.

Which lenders offer the best mortgages for NHS workers?

Many mortgage providers, be it high street lenders or specialist ones, are open to NHS applicants but some take it one step further by making certain exceptions or more carefully considering the nuances that come with buying a house as an NHS worker.

HSBC, Coventry Building Society and Nationwide, for example, consider applicants on zero-hour contracts specifically for NHS work yet may not be so open to such contracts in other types of work. Some specialist lenders even offer discounts depending on your role.

How a mortgage broker can help NHS staff find the best deals

What if a significant part of your earnings come from overtime? What if you work unsociable hours that make it difficult for you to meet a mortgage provider in person? What if you lack the time to sit and find the best mortgage deal for an NHS worker out there?

All of these factors could lead to a rejection or a missed mortgage opportunity. This is where a broker comes in.

They can:

  • Assess your financial situation and give you an accurate figure for a mortgage size you could expect.
  • Share any ways in which you as an NHS worker might receive some extra benefits or discounts by way of a mortgage.
  • Recommend a lender they already know to look favourably on NHS workers and package your application in a way that explains the nuances of NHS life, setting you up for an approval.

If you get in touch we can arrange for a broker we work with, who has experience seeking out the best mortgage offers for NHS workers, to contact you straight away.

Speak to a broker experienced in NHS mortgages

If you’re trying to buy a house as an NHS staffer, your unique employer will add a degree of reliability to your application but there are various elements that could work against should you compile an average application.

This is why it’s vital to partner with a specialist mortgage broker for NHS staff. You don’t have to go through this process alone when there is expert guidance available. Call 0808 189 2301 or fill out our enquiry form and you could very quickly be taking part in a free, first time consultation.

Maximise your chance of approval with a dedicated specialist broker

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Ask Us A Question

We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects.

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FAQs

Unfortunately, this is an old government scheme that many NHS staff did qualify for but it is no longer active.

There is no blue light card mortgage currently on offer, however, it can get you discounts on estate agency and letting management fees with some companies.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in NHS Mortgages.

Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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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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