When can I find the best rates on military mortgages?
There aren’t really specific mortgages just for those in the military. Instead, you will need to find a broker who understands your circumstances and can help you present yourself in the best possible light to lenders. Once you have passed the initial lender checks, you will be able to access all of the same mortgage products as everyone else.
That said, there are things you can do to be able to improve the rates you are offered. These options are outlined below.
Increase your deposit
A healthy deposit is one of the easiest ways to ensure you have access to the best mortgage rates. When you can offer more deposit up front, this shows lenders that you are a low-risk borrower. As a non-standard applicant, increasing your deposit amount can be one of the easiest ways to get lenders to look past your lack of credit history.
Get your income in order
Military personnel are more likely to have irregular income. With most providers allowing you to borrow around 4.5x your annual salary, it’s important that you can show exactly what you earn every year. In some cases, you may be able to borrow as much as 5x your annual income, and in some rare cases, you will be able to borrow 6x your annual income.
It’s important to approach a specialist lender as they will be able to make sense of your income. Some military personnel will supplement their income with military disability payments or combat pay, which is sometimes referred to as operation allowance. Not all lenders will take these income sources into consideration and this can impact the amount you can borrow.
Fix your credit score
A long time spent overseas without any address history in the UK can be bad news for your credit score. It might seem unfair, but many lenders will use your credit score as the first opportunity to rule out an application. Lenders will also reserve the best rates for those with the best credit scores.
By seeking the advice of a specialist lender and working with a broker who understands the non-standard circumstances of military personnel, you can often navigate around these issues. Some lenders are more flexible than others when it comes to looking at credit scores, so it pays to shop around.
Choose the right property
It doesn’t matter if you are military, ex-military or a civilian, some houses make it harder to secure a mortgage than others. A great example of this is timber frame houses or those with thatched roofs. Since these are considered to be non-standard construction it can be harder to secure a mortgage on these types of homes. Only a specialist will be able to tell you if you are likely to be able to secure a mortgage on a particular property.
Things you can’t control
Age is an important factor in the mortgage application. Some mortgage providers will not offer a mortgage to anyone over 75, but some will disregard the age provided the borrower will still be able to make payments well into retirement. In general, younger borrowers will have an easier time as they will have plenty of time before retirement.