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Mortgages For Social Workers

Can I get a mortgage as a social worker - and what will my chosen career path mean for my mortgage assessment process?

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Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2023-05-09
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Mortgages For Social Workers

Many UK residents working in the social care sector may find that variable patterns of work, and a changing income can have an impact on their mortgage options.

Permanent contracts are less common, with a large proportion of the workforce employed by agencies, temporary placements, zero-hours contracts and short-term posts, with many professional self-employed.

Such structures can make it difficult to find a competitive mortgage through a high street bank, and so we have created this guide to explain how social worker mortgages work, and where best to apply!

For help finding the right mortgage for you, contact the Revolution Brokers team on 0330 304 3040 or drop us an email at [email protected].

Mortgages for Permanent Social Workers

If you have a fixed contract, then usually you can find a mortgage through any mainstream provider. Exceptions apply if you are in a new role, with less than 12 months of steady income, in which case a new worker mortgage might be your best option.

Mortgage brokers can also negotiate mortgages for applicants who are not currently in post, but who have a new contract starting within the next three months.

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Finding a Mortgage as a Social Worker on a Temporary Contract

Many social workers have contracts that are not permanent, and a short-term appointment is considered anything lasting less than three years.

The majority of short-term contracts run for three to twelve months, and as such a mainstream lender might deem this an unviable income, and not be able to offer a mortgage.

However, there are several solutions, with the Revolution Brokers lending network able to consider a range of circumstances:

  • Contracts with at least six months left to run, where the applicant has a good credit rating and can offer a deposit of 10% or more.
  • Applicants, who have one year left on their contract, also have a clean credit history, and can offer a 5% deposit.
  • Social workers who are in a contract with at least a year remaining, which has previously been renewed at least once, have a 5% minimum deposit and a clean credit rating.
  • As above, if the applicant does not have a clear credit history, then a mortgage is still possible with a higher deposit of around 20%.

Where social workers have a clear credit history, without any missed payments in the last 48 months, there are more lenders to choose from - but in any adverse credit scenario, the longer ago the issues occurred the better.

Mortgages for Agency Social Workers

Another conundrum arises for social workers employed through an agency, which can be difficult for high street lenders. However, agency work can be well paid, and the flexibility is appealing, so this isn't necessarily a less stable role given the high demand of professional social care workers.

Mortgage lenders, however, need as much security as possible, and if there is no guarantee of further work, or reliability that the agency work will meet a minimum threshold, this presents a risk.

Our agency-friendly lenders take a more flexible approach, and can offer mortgages to social workers who:

  • Have worked at the same employer through their agency for over a year.
  • Have a clean credit history, without missed payments in the last two years.
  • Can offer a 5% deposit with a good credit rating, or 20% without.
  • Are applying for up to four times their annual income when there are adverse credit issues, or to a maximum of five times annual income with a clear credit score.

Social Worker Mortgages for Staff Employed Through Umbrella Companies

This common structure is where social workers are employed through an umbrella company, and deployed to posts similarly to an agency.

Generally, mortgage lenders consider this a form of employment between the social worker and the umbrella company, and treat it as an insecure form of work.

Although the umbrella company pays the social worker through PAYE, many mainstream lenders will still regard this set-up as a self-employment situation, and therefore need three years of trading history to consider an application.

However, as with self-employed social workers, the Revolution team can recommend lenders who have experience lending in the care sector, and are usually happy to lend against a 12-month work history.

Mortgages for Social Workers Trading as a Sole Trader or Limited Company

In some cases, social workers trade as self-employed, through umbrella companies, as a sole trader, or through a limited company structure.

With these scenarios, lenders will typically apply their usual self-employed criteria, and will:

  • Require three years of trading history.
  • Base lending decisions on net profits for sole traders.
  • Base lending on the salary and dividends paid for a limited company.

Limits and caps very much depend on the lender, with some of our more flexible mortgage providers able to:

  • Consider only the last 12 months of trading.
  • Accept deposits as low as 5%.
  • Incorporate residual profits left in the business for limited companies.
  • Offer terms around bad credit scenarios.

Governmental Support Schemes for Social Workers with Low Mortgage Deposits

Historically, social workers were able to apply for keyworker mortgages. However, Help to Buy replaced this mortgage product, where by borrowers can:

  • Take out a 20% government loan with a 5% deposit and 75% mortgage for a new-build property.
  • Buy an existing property with a 5% deposit and 95% mortgage.

While specific keyworker mortgages no longer exist, some lenders will take a more flexible approach to applications from healthcare professionals in the public sector.

Mortgages for Social Workers with Bad Credit

Credit history can be a major issue when applying for a mortgage - and if you are not permanently employed, can make it extremely difficult to find a lender who will accept your application.

However, where adverse credit issues are causing an issue, an expert broker can help you discover the right lenders to apply to, based on your average income, deposit value, and when the credit issue occurred.

For support with finding a competitive social worker mortgage in any social work structure or scenario, contact the Revolution Brokers team on 0330 304 3040 or email us at [email protected].

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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