Can you get a Mortgage on Maternity Leave?


Getting a mortgage on maternity leave can be stressful, especially at a time when you may be experiencing all the challenges that come along with having a newborn. 

At Barlow Irvin, we deal with enquiries that don’t always fit the norm, including potential buyers on maternity or paternity leave.

How does being on maternity leave affect applying for a mortgage?

Maternity leave can affect your chances of lenders offering you a mortgage, since you will usually have a lower income for a while.

Some lenders will ignore your usual annual wage, and instead will look at your maternity wage. This means they will offer you a mortgage based on a varying percentage of this, while other lenders may not offer you a mortgage at all. 

Having a lower income can make mortgage approvals harder as lenders need to be sure that you earn enough to cover the monthly mortgage payments. 

How does being on maternity leave affect getting a mortgage?

Lenders won’t just look at your income, they’ll also look at your monthly outgoings too, which are likely to increase due to childcare costs. 

While it is still possible to get a mortgage on maternity leave, you may have to fit more of the lender’s criteria to be considered as a potential borrower. 

A lender will want to know about any changes, such as when you can expect to return to work and what hours you may be working.

Types of mortgages available when on maternity leave

You may think you have limited options in regards to the types of mortgages available to you, but the majority of the time, you will be able to apply to the usual mortgages without any issues:

Self-employed mortgages on maternity leave

If you’re self-employed, getting a mortgage is still possible on maternity leave. Lenders will need to understand how maternity leave will affect your business and base their affordability assessment on your accounts. 

As your accounts will usually be filed from the previous tax year, be sure to inform your lender that you are going on maternity leave, since they won’t be aware. 

Your lender will examine how the maternity leave will affect your business. If you have employees, your maternity leave may have very little to no impact.

Joint mortgages on maternity leave

If there are two applicants applying for a mortgage, then lenders will make an assessment based on both applicants, which is known as a joint mortgage. 

In some cases, one applicant may meet the criteria on their own, making the maternity leave an irrelevant factor. 

However, if you are looking at joint application with your partner, paternity leave may impact the mortgage application. This is rare though, since paternity leave is much shorter than maternity leave. 

Remortgaging while on maternity leave

When you remortgage, you will likely find that the process is much like applying for a new mortgage product. You may be better off looking for new lenders in order to find the best rates, which is something your current lender may not provide if you are on maternity leave. 

Some lenders will take into account your full time pay, so you don’t have to wait until you’re back at work to remortgage

Can you get a mortgage on maternity leave if you’re going back to work part-time?

Most mortgage lenders will only be able to offer you a mortgage based on the part-time salary you will receive. 

You will essentially be treated as if you work on a part-time basis, but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you won’t get a mortgage. 

Things that could help you secure a mortgage on a part time wage include having a large deposit, having minimal and only necessary outgoings, having a good credit history and fitting within the lenders age parameters. 

How to apply for a mortgage when on maternity leave

Not every lender will approve a mortgage if you’re on maternity leave, but there are lenders out there who will. It’s important to show lenders that although there will be a dip in your salary, it isn’t permanent and you will soon be earning your usual annual salary. 

This will give lenders confidence when analysing your affordability. There are also a few steps you can take yourself to prove your affordability. 

You should look at getting some evidence from your employer, outlining the following:

  • You still have employment once maternity leave ends
  • The approximate dates you’ll return to work
  • Any changes to your employment once you return
  • Your hourly rate once you return to work

If your employer can’t provide this information, then you could struggle with getting a mortgage. If your employer provides the information but states you will be working less hours, this could negatively impact your chances of being accepted by a lender. 

Getting a mortgage on maternity leave is made far easier with the support from experienced mortgage brokers, like us at Barlow Irvin. Get in touch with the team to discuss your options.

Should you tell a mortgage lender if you’re on maternity leave?

While mortgage lenders aren’t legally allowed to ask if you are pregnant on your mortgage application, it is a good idea to let them know anyway.

Lenders are more likely to take into account what your salary will be when you return to work, which could result in higher or better mortgage offers. 

Can I apply for a mortgage when on paternity leave?

Yes, you can apply for a mortgage whilst on paternity leave. As we’ve mentioned it could affect your mortgage application, but it is very unlikely too since you will be off for a much shorter period of time compared to maternity leave.

About the author 

Gary Oxborough

Gary is the Founder and Director of Barlow Irvin Financial Services Ltd. He has been in the Finance industry for over 20 years and has specialised in Mortgages since 2003. As well as running the firm, he is still actively involved in advising clients.

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