As a serving police officer looking to secure a mortgage, you might be unsure where to start, or even what options, issues and benefits are facing you. Buying a home is a complex and often stressful process when combined with the day-to-day challenges of your chosen career.
Police officers usually work shifts and supplement their income with overtime, all of which can make your financial picture difficult for a mortgage lender to understand in full, which in turn can impact how much you can borrow and how accessible that finance will be.
At Mortgage360, we understand the difficulties of your job, the differing police force pay structures and the need for a flexible approach to police mortgages. We can help you tailor your mortgage application to present your income and personal circumstances in the best light, seeking mortgage deals on your behalf that meet your individual requirements.
We provide specialist advice for all public sector professionals, from first-time buyers through to investment properties and even holiday homes.
As a police officer, you will probably retire at 55, so it’s beneficial to consider early how you might purchase your own home so that your mortgage can ideally, where possible, be paid off prior to your retirement.
How to get a mortgage as a serving UK Police Officer
The actual process for a police mortgage is no different to any other house buyer. The optimum course is to secure a mortgage in principle – where a mortgage lender will look at your application and agree on a loan sum in principle, without a specific property to lend on.
You then follow the regular steps of house hunting, completing your formal mortgage application and the processing and underwriting of your application including affordability assessments.
It’s advisable to secure a ‘mortgage in principle’ before you go house hunting; if there is competition for the property you want to buy, vendors and estate agents will view you in a better light if you already have your finances in place and you can evidence this with a document.
As a police officer, you will find it helpful to consult specialist mortgage brokers, who will search the market on your behalf to find the best deal based on your individual circumstances. Always consider using an specialist mortgage broker; they will have access to comprehensive range of mortgage options and not be tied to a single provider, which means you’re more likely to get the deal that’s right for you.
When you have found your new home, the actual mortgage application will involve detailed research into your personal financial circumstances, including your current earnings, your regular expenditure including costs such as childcare and car finance, and a full credit check. The lender will also require a valuation on the property you are buying, to verify that it provides adequate security for the loan.
Getting your paperwork together before you apply can save you time and effort down the line.
Benefits of Using a Police Mortgage Broker
Using a mortgage advisor with specialist knowledge of mortgages for serving police officers can be a great help. They will understand the pay structures and the impact of overtime on your annual salary, which is an important issue.
An adviser specialising in police mortgages will;
- Find the best mortgage deal matched to your individual requirements
- Provide you with expert and informed advice
- Help you with the application process and paperwork, presenting your application in the best light and saving you both time and effort
- Understand special schemes available for public sector employees, maximising your options
- Advise on the amount of mortgage you should be able to access, and what will influence this; overtime can often be taken into account in terms of assessing your annual income
- Ensure your application is made to the best lender in order to match your criteria, with knowledge of which mortgage providers offer the best deals for police mortgages and serving police officers
How long do you need to work for the police to apply for a mortgage?
A mortgage lender will always consider risk when making decisions on loans, so the more established you are in your police officer career, the better your application will be viewed.
However, it is possible to secure a police mortgage in the early stages of your career, even when you’re training as a police officer and are still in your probationary period.
Talk to Mortgage360 – we’ll look at your personal circumstances and provide you with advice and guidance on police mortgages.
Why mortgage lenders may not consider serving Police Officers
Most mortgage lenders will view police officer applications positively. Policing is seen as a stable and trusted career option, and as a result, you may even be able to borrow a greater multiple of your annual salary compared to others.
If you have a bad credit rating, however, even a stable position and prospects will adversely affect aspects such as the size of the deposit that may be required and the interest rates you can secure.
It’s always worth discussing these issues with your mortgage broker. At Mortgage360, we can advise frankly and honestly on your prospects of securing a mortgage, based on your credit history.
Are there specific mortgage deals for the Police?
There aren’t really any specific mortgage products for police officers, but it’s true to say that a professional public sector profession makes you a more attractive borrower for mortgage lenders, who will factor in issues such as job security, career progression and projected income growth.
As such, you may be able to secure better interest rates and a higher multiple of your annual income in terms of the amount you can borrow.
With every mortgage application, it’s important to meet the lender’s criteria to secure the right deal.
What help is available
There are a number of current home ownership schemes that are accessible to and can benefit serving police officers and staff.
Right to Buy – for police officers currently renting housing association or local authority properties. Dependent upon a number of requirements, Right to Buy can enable you to purchase the property you live in at a significant discount.
The Shared Ownership Scheme can be useful if you’re finding it difficult to save the required deposit. Here, you buy a percentage of the property – usually between 25-75% – and pay rent (usually to a housing association) on the remainder. This means you need less deposit, and your monthly repayments are lower. However, there is a limited pool of properties available under the shared ownership scheme, and it may not match your location requirements.
The First Homes scheme – for first time buyers, providing a discount of up to 20%, available on new build properties only
Key Worker Mortgages
Police officers and community support officers definitely qualify as key workers, and there are some specific schemes that can provide you with access to great deals. It’s a volatile market, so the availability of these schemes changes constantly. Some lenders look favourably on key workers, too, in the shape of more flexible eligibility criteria, better interest rates and higher income multiples.
Talk to Mortgage360. We’ll know of any schemes you may be eligible for, we’ll be able to explain the schemes to help you make the right choices.
Qualifying for a Police Mortgage
As a serving police officer, mortgage lenders offering mortgages for police officers will assess you on all of the following;
- Your income
- Your employment contract
- Your length of service
- Any regular overtime payments
- Your earnings record
- Affordability – looking at your regular outgoings to assess if you can afford the monthly mortgage payments
- Your credit score and credit history
Income & Deposit Requirements
Some mortgage lenders will look favourably on police officer applications and may consider upper thresholds higher than the standard of four times the applicant’s salary. Policing is seen as a long-term commitment with good promotion prospects, so you are likely to be viewed as a lower risk. As starting salaries for police officers are below the national average, this can be a great help when you’re first starting out on the property ladder.
Can overtime be included in the calculations?
If overtime is a regular boost to your salary, then specialist mortgage lenders will usually be prepared to consider your total pay structure when assessing your application. Equally, if you have a second job, this can be taken into consideration. The additional income must be consistent and evident in your payslips and employment contract.
How can Mortgage360 help police and police staff to obtain a mortgage?
At Mortgage360, we understand the demands of your job. We’ll match your personal circumstances to the mortgage lenders to ensure we get the right deal over the line for you. We’ll look after the admin for your police mortgage application and make sure the process is as simple and straightforward as possible. Call us for a chat or complete the form.