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Stipend mortgages

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 6, 2023

Fact Checked By:
David Nicholson - Finance Editor

Everything you need to know about stipend mortgages as well as how we can help get you approved for a stipend mortgage in the UK

As mortgage brokers, we often get asked for PhD stipend mortgage advice. Many borrowers who have received a PhD stipend may face problems when applying for a mortgage. Most mortgage lenders might not take into account the income for many reasons.

Some lenders would accept a mortgage application based upon a stipend, but there are few. The good news is that we have a few mortgage providers lending mortgages with stipend income, and we will ensure you are given the best mortgage deal.

When you click the link below, we will explain how a stipend income mortgage works, mortgage payments, how the affordability calculations take place and any other questions you may have. We will then introduce you to the lenders who offer stipend mortgages.

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What is a stipend income, and how can it be earned?

A stipend, also known as benevolence income, is a regular payment that an employer or organisation makes to help cover the basic living costs while they work/train.

It can be used to pay for food, fuel, and other expenses. These include those pursuing a PhD or working as charity workers and the clergy.

When will UK lenders allow stipend income to be used for a mortgage?

There are limitations to your options if you want to get a mortgage and receive a stipend. Most lenders don’t accept stipend income.

It will be of interest to lenders who can consider it:

  • Who will apply for the mortgage? Some UK mortgage lenders do not accept stipends but require that the borrower has a job. Other applicants will be accepted regardless.
  • The length of time you have been receiving the stipend (some require that it has been paid for at most a few months while others require that there be a minimum amount of time remaining).
  • No matter what profession you’re in, some will accept any type of stipend work while others accept only clergy work and others accept only PhD work.
  • Which profession you will choose in the future (some people want to see proof that there is an income-yielding job, while others are happy to assume that there may be).
  • You may be denied PhD stipend mortgages if you are in good financial standing.
  • Someone with no other debts and a clear credit history is better than someone with bad credit. Those with less credit will have fewer options and may need to deposit more.

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What documents are required for a mortgage application?

For you to get a mortgage approved with your stipend, lenders will ask for the following:

  • A letter from your university or doctoral centre confirming your enrollment dates and the amount and duration of your stipend.
    • While receiving stipend remittance letters, they’re not always essential.
  • Bank statements for at least three months showing your stipends and expenses
    • If you have just begun receiving your stipend, they will only need to see it on one statement.
  • You will need to provide proof of your deposit.
  • A few other items may be required depending on your situation, such as a spreadsheet to track your spending and credit file. This is not a stipend.

Speak with a stipend income expert below, an FCA appointed representative will be tailored to you and will help throughout the process of getting a mortgage.

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Can a PhD stipend be used to get a mortgage?

Most high-street lenders won’t approve your mortgage application if your stipend is part of a PhD. This is because the stipend can only be paid for a limited time, and you may not get a job that will replace it for an extended period.

Some lenders will consider whether you have a guaranteed full-time job in the end.

As a guideline, lenders will consider your future approximate annual income as a guideline for affordability. If they give you a PhD stipend mortgage in the UK, they need to be sure it will be affordable after your PhD is over.

It is possible for certain types of PhD to be more difficult to obtain approval for. For example, it may not turn into a full-time position.

Free of charge, we can discuss different mortgage subjects, repayments on your mortgage, if a secondary income is possible, the maximum mortgage available to you, how a PhD stipend income works with a mortgage and any other questions you may have.

We will then introduce you to a mortgage lender whose lender criteria you meet, start by clicking the button below:

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Clergy can get mortgages using stipend income

Lenders are more comfortable accepting clergy stipend income as a source of income when applying for a mortgage. This is because they are more stable and pay for more extended periods and they also qualify for a clergy mortgage interest deduction.

Clergy may use their clergy housing allowance, mortgage interest deduction, and property tax as part of their qualifying expenses for housing.

These factors will assist in determining affordability for clergy housing allowance mortgage applications. The length of time you’ve received the stipend will depend on the amount.

The lender will generally ask for proof that you have had it for at least 12 months. Lenders might ask for confirmation from your Diocese if you have received the stipend for a shorter time.

Calculate how much you can borrow if your stipend income is less than £600

Although each lender uses a different affordability calculation, many others use a more complicated one, however, lenders will generally cap mortgages based upon income multiples to maximise their lending potential.

The most crucial affordability factor is whether you’re using your stipend to apply for mortgages alone or if you have multiple sources of income. Mortgage brokers will introduce you to a PhD stipend mortgage lender.

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Only one application for a stipend mortgage

If the stipend is the sole source of income, most lenders will reject the application. They consider the stipend to be not reliable enough as an income.

However, some will lend up to 4x the amount of stipend to be considered a single income.

You can apply jointly with a partner, friend, or family member; this could increase your chances of borrowing from many more lenders.

This is because some lenders won’t accept stipend income from applicants with different income types, which is particularly attractive for a graduate student mortgage.


A deposit is required for a stipend mortgage loan.

The amount of deposit that you will need depends on your age, term affordability, credit history, and other factors. Higher credit scores or a more risky profile will often require more deposit, although it is possible to deposit a minimum of 5 percent.

You can pay it from savings or gift money from your family and friends; some lenders may also accept this arrangement.

Although it is possible to obtain a stipend mortgage even with a modest deposit, having a higher deposit will increase your chances of success.

Stipends income will not be considered for mortgage applications with a loan to value (LTV) greater than 80%. This means that your deposit must be 20%. A larger deposit will be more favourable.


Many lenders require you to be eligible for a minimum income of £13,000 or £15,000. Some lenders have no income requirements, but others do. Speak with a mortgage advisor here who specialises in a low-income stipend mortgage.

Credit history

Your options for lenders will be limited if you have defaults, arrears or county court judgments (CCJs); while some lenders will still accept your application, it is best to go through a specialist in bad credit loans.


Stipend mortgage lenders generally require applicants to be at least 18 years old. However, a few lenders have a minimum requirement of 21. The maximum age limit for stipend mortgages is between 70 and 84. Five lenders have no maximum age limit.

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Buy to let mortgages and stipend income

You can deposit for a stipend or buy to let

A deposit can play a role here. The deposit level could be as high as 25% for a buy-to-let property as a first investment. However, some lenders will offer buy-to lets with as low as 15% depending on your situation.

Minimum income thresholds

To cover rental voids, some mortgage lenders might require that buyers of a buy-to-let must have a minimum income (often between £15 and £25,000).

Rent to Let

Buy-to-let lenders may also use different stress tests on rental income to ensure that the loan is feasible and affordable should the rates rise or tenants fail to pay their rent.

This involves estimating how much rent you will be able to/will receive as an income compared to the monthly mortgage payment. Depending on the tax threshold, it must exceed the payment by a certain amount—usually 125% to 145%.

The first-time buyer: Buy to lets for stipends.

Many mortgage lenders who offer buy-to-let mortgages want borrowers also to own their residential properties.

A first-time buyer whose first property is a purchase to let is subject to standard income criteria and they would need to prove that they can afford the mortgage with their stipend and rental income.


Speak with an expert stipend mortgage broker

A mortgage broker who specialises in PhD stipend mortgage, clergy, medical, and other forms of stipend mortgage will be able to give you an accurate picture of where you are in the market and present your income to the lender in its best light.

Our online mortgage advisor will help with your mortgage application and guide you through the mortgage process.

Click the link below to begin your journey with an online mortgage advisor.

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Can you get a mortgage if you have a stipend?

Yes. A few lenders will allow you to get a mortgage using your stipend. You will need a mortgage broker or an online mortgage advisor with access to specialist lenders.

Is a stipend income sufficient for a mortgage?

Yes. However, only a few lenders allow stipends to be considered income for mortgages. It is possible that your bank will not accept it, but a specialist broker can tell you which banks will.

Do you qualify for a mortgage if you are a PhD student?

Yes, some banks will grant you a mortgage even if your only income is a stipend. It is unlikely that many banks will accept it, but you may be eligible if you apply with someone with a ‘normal income’.

What is a stipend loan?

A stipend mortgage refers to any mortgage in which the lender accepts a stipend as an acceptable source of income. Although it’s not common for banks to offer stipend loans, it is possible.

What is stipend income in the UK?

Although it is considered income, stipends are not subject to tax. While it may impact your eligible benefits, not all institutions consider it acceptable income.

Is it possible to buy a house with a PhD stipend?

Yes, even if you only earn a stipend, it can be used for a mortgage to purchase a home. All lenders do not accept it in the UK, but it is possible with certain banks and specialist lenders. Click the link below to begin your journey.

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