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Can I Get a UK Mortgage on a Single Income?

Independent guidance securing a mortgage with a single income - and how you can strengthen your UK mortgage application.

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AboutAbout your mortgage

Single or joint mortgage?
What’s your yearly income?

Error: Yearly income income must be between £1 and £10,000,000.

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about your mortgage

Based on your yearly income,
you may be able to borrow


Most lenders will let you borrow 4.5 times your annual salary so, as long as you have a standard 10% deposit, you should be able to borrow this much.


Depending on your personal circumstances, some lenders may let you borrow 5 times your salary.


Lenders usually cap the amount they lend at 5.5 times your salary, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to borrow more than this.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2023-05-09
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Can I Get a UK Mortgage on a Single Income?

While finding a property you can afford, and getting approved for a mortgage can be a challenge for many people, doing the same on a single income can feel more difficult!

This isn't an unusual scenario though, with many families reliant on one income, or single people looking to get onto the property ladder.

Here we'll explain how to find a single income mortgage, and what sort of criteria will impact the affordability calculations.

If you'd like dedicated assistance in finding the borrowing you need, from an independent team of mortgage experts, get in touch on 0330 304 3040, or send us a message to [email protected].

What is a Single Income Mortgage?

There isn't any difference between the mortgage products available to single and joint applicants, so a single income mortgage simply means that one person is applying, or that the application is dependent on the income of one person.

That might be because one partner works, because the applicant is a single person, or because one individual is buying a property alone.

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What is the Difference Between a Joint Mortgage and a Single Income Mortgage?

Neither is better than the other; although the amount you can borrow will depend on how much you earn.

Joint applications consider both people's income when working out affordability. If you are buying a home with somebody else, it makes sense to apply together since you'll be approved for a higher mortgage value.

How Hard is it to get a Mortgage on One Income?

It can be more difficult to get a single income mortgage since the amount you will be deemed to be able to afford will typically be lower - depending on what sort of earnings you have.

There can be other challenges, such as having a small deposit or having an adverse credit history, making the application more difficult if you are also only reliant on one wage.

However, plenty of specialist lenders and schemes are designed to help you get a foot onto the property ladder. Therefore, even if one lender has turned you down, there is no reason an experienced broker won't be able to find you a great mortgage deal.

What Mortgage Can I Get With Only One Salary?

The amount you can borrow really depends on what you earn. It might be that your maximum mortgage offer is more than sufficient to buy the property you have in mind.

It also depends on the lender, since they all use a different calculation, based on a multiple of your annual earnings.

For example, if you earn £30,000 a year, a mainstream lender will tend to offer up to four times your salary so that you could borrow up to £120,000. Other lenders have different income multiples, so it is vital to consult an independent broker who can match your borrowing needs with the right lender.

You'll also need to consider any other debts you have and your living costs since lenders will also assess your outgoings to make sure you can afford the repayments.

How Do UK Mortgage Lenders Assess Single Applicant Affordability?

Lenders have a responsibility only to lend an amount that they believe the applicant can afford to repay, hence the importance of affordability assessments.

While an online mortgage calculator can be useful to get an indication of what you can borrow, and how much it will cost per month, it's essential to understand which mortgage products offer the best deal, and how the costs might change over time - such as if interest rates increase.

A typical income multiple is only ever an estimate. Some lenders will offer up to four or 4.5 times income, whereas others can go as high as six times your salary if you meet all their other criteria.

Factors such as your credit history will also come into play.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for a Single Income Mortgage?

The exact assessments depend on the lender and its internal policies, but a UK mortgage provider will consider the following factors:

  • Your income - if you are in PAYE employment that includes 100% of your salary. Lenders take different attitudes to variable pay such as overtime, bonuses and commissions. Some will include 50% of that income in calculating your average annual income, and others will include all of it.
  • Self-employment can make the application more complicated, as you'll typically need to provide three years of accounts or tax returns. Again, the assessment depends on the lender, as some will accept just one year of trading figures. They will use different bases to estimate your average earnings - some will include net profit drawn from the company. Others will rely on your tax returns.
  • Your outgoings - things like debt, credit cards and living costs usually need to be calculated, backed up with bank statements. The lender needs to see that you will be able to keep up with the mortgage repayments alongside your other regular expenses.
  • Stress testing - lenders also use a stress test, which means checking that if the costs change - usually due to interest rises - or your circumstances change, you will still be able to afford the mortgage.

Can I Apply for a Mortgage By Myself?

You certainly can - there is no requirement to have two or more applicants for any mortgage. Many families have one worker, and many people buy property by themselves.

If you are a joint applicant with one partner who is in work, and the other is considering returning to the workforce at some point, this can strengthen your application.

Do Lenders Credit Check all Mortgage Applicants Even if Only one has an Income?

Indeed they do - even if the affordability relies on one salary, the lender will need to verify the financial standing of every applicant named on the paperwork.

If one applicant does not earn a salary but has a clean credit record, this adds value to the application's reliability.

Can I Use a Guarantor to Get a Mortgage on a Single Salary?

Many single salary mortgage applicants use a parent as a guarantor, especially if they are a first-time buyer.

Guarantors don't necessarily have to be parents, but this is the most common scenario.

In essence, the guarantor backs up your application and gives the lender assurance that somebody will step in to pay back the debt if you fall behind with your repayments.

Most of the time, the guarantor offers savings or property as security, which acts as a type of debenture against your loan, with any claim to that asset withdrawn when the mortgage repayments reach a particular stage.

What is a Sole Proprietor Joint Mortgage?

There is an alternative mortgage called a joint mortgage, sole proprietor product. That is similar to a guarantor mortgage but means that the supporting applicant puts their name on the mortgage, but isn't planning to live in the property.

For example, a parent might act as a joint applicant to help a child get a mortgage, without intending to live there.

In this scenario, the guarantor doesn't own a home share, although that can be agreed through a trust deed.

What Deposit is required for a Mortgage on One Income?

The higher the deposit, the lower the lender's risk and the more likely your application is to be approved. Therefore, the better the deposit, the stronger the application.

Although most UK lenders will look for around 10% as a minimum, there isn't a fixed minimum. Mortgage deposits can be as low as 5% and as high as 20% to qualify, so this also depends on the lender and what they will accept.

Can I Get a Single Applicant Mortgage with an Adverse Credit History?

Having a bad credit rating is always a challenge; however, specialist bad credit lenders can help even in more severe circumstances.

Likewise, a minor credit issue may be small enough or have occurred long enough ago that a lender will choose to disregard this.

Business loan broker work with lenders who will consider applications against a single salary even when the below scenarios exist on your credit file:

  • Late payments or defaults
  • CCJs
  • Mortgage arrears
  • DMPs or IVAs
  • Bankruptcy or repossession

Specialist Support with Single Income Mortgages

If you're ready to buy a property and would like help finding the best mortgage deals on the market, or have been turned down elsewhere and need expert help, get in touch.

The Revolution team is a whole-of-market, independent broker who helps clients find the right borrowing products. Give us a call on 0330 304 3040, or drop us an email to [email protected] to arrange a good time to talk!

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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