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Mortgages with cancer

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 13, 2023

Mortgages with cancer

A mortgage can still be obtained even if you are diagnosed with cancer. A lender must know that you can repay the loan.

Cancer Research UK and mortgage advice from our mortgage brokers are here to help cancer patients with financial assistance.

Contact your lender immediately if you have concerns about your ability to pay your mortgage. They will look into financial support and ways they can help.

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Cancer Research UK and mortgage lender advice

It’s a good idea for anyone looking to get a mortgage to replace their current one. You can share your situation to get the mortgage best advice and find a deal that suits you.

You’ll have much to deal with if you’ve been diagnosed or are currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

While your primary concern may be your health, you must also consider the practicalities of your daily life. Charity Macmillan Cancer Support estimates that 80% of cancer patients experience financial stress, resulting in lost income and increased outgoings totalling around £570 per month.

These concerns can arise whether you are a homeowner already with a mortgage due or if you are considering buying a property following cancer.

Instead of figuring out the answers and what they mean to you, we have put together this article to help you get started.


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Can you get a mortgage even if you are suffering from cancer?

A diagnosis of cancer does not mean you will be denied a mortgage.

Many criteria go into obtaining a mortgage. Lenders are most concerned that you can repay any loans they give you.

This is how a mortgage for cancer applicants will look.

  • Your income
  • Age
  • Credit history (including bad credit periods)
  • Your outgoings (including necessities like bills and non-essentials such as holidays)

While a mortgage provider will not ask about your health, they may ask about your income if you have any anomalies. If you have had to quit working, your income could be affected.

You may also be eligible for a certain amount of sick pay to cover your mortgage, or you could have insurance protection like critical sickness pay that covers you in the event you are unable to pay your mortgage.

Certain government benefits, such as disability benefits, are available to patients with cancer. This could be used as an additional income source to pay your mortgage.


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What are the steps involved in getting a mortgage for cancer patients?

If you are suffering from cancer, the process is similar to applying for a mortgage. A mortgage broker is recommended if you decide to use them. They will assess your financial situation and personal finances and recommend lenders that are most suitable for you.

You don’t have to tell a mortgage lender you have cancer. However, if your situation is such that paying your mortgage off is difficult due to your health, then it’s a good idea to inform your lender.

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders Code of Practice, lenders must be compassionate with customers facing financial difficulties. They may be able to help you in a variety of ways, including reducing or suspending your payments for a brief time or extending your contract term to lower your monthly payments.

Different lenders may have different support. We have a variety of experts who can help you understand these.

Send us an enquiry if you would like to speak with one.

Can you get a mortgage if you’ve had cancer?

You can request a mortgage if you have had cancer treatment and are currently remission. However, as we explained at the beginning, a lender will base their decision to grant you a mortgage upon your ability to repay it.

Your financial records might not be able to give you that level of confidence if your income has been reduced or stopped during your battle with cancer. The following section will discuss what you can do to address this issue.


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What are the steps to get a mortgage after a cancer diagnosis?

A lender may ask for proof of earnings if you apply for a first-time buyer mortgage. If you’re seeking a self-employed mortgage, they might want to see accounts that go back from one year to three years. Your lender might be concerned about your ability to get a mortgage if you have had any irregularities in your income while you were ill.

These are some suggestions to help you if that’s your situation.

Evidence of current earnings

Lenders must be understanding in dealing with financial difficulties.

Lenders will approve you if you can prove that you had good credit before you were diagnosed with cancer.

Joint mortgage

You might consider applying for a joint loan. This is possible if your partner earns a steady, regular income.

Coverage for critical situations

If your policy was taken out before you were diagnosed, the amount you receive might be enough to pay off your mortgage. Make sure you check your policy and file a claim.

A professional broker can help you with further details and will talk to you about your situation and the requirements of different lenders to find the right match.


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Different types of mortgages

Your ability to repay the loan will determine how much money you can borrow.

Lenders will need to verify your income, outgoings, and expenses, as well as your financial history and security (or what assets) for the loan.

There are many types of mortgages, including:

Repayment mortgages

The most popular type of mortgage is the repayment mortgage. Each month, you pay off some of the loan and some interest.

Rates of interest may fluctuate over time. Many lenders expect the mortgage to be paid off before you retire. Ask your financial advisor or check with them for further information.

Mortgages with interest only

An interest-only mortgage allows you to pay the interest each month, and the full loan amount must be paid off at the end.

An interest-only mortgage will have lower monthly payments, but it won’t reduce your debt.

Flexible mortgages

Flexible mortgages allow you to make lump-sum withdrawals, overpayments and even holiday payments. You can pay off your mortgage early and save interest.

Lifetime mortgages (Equity release)

These mortgages are only available to seniors. The minimum age for these mortgages is usually 55, and the maximum age is rarely higher than that. This is a highly specialist mortgage, and it is important to get qualified financial advice.

The mortgage has no end date. After you die or vacate your home, the loan and interest are repaid. If you move into a residential care facility, you may have to vacate your property. This type of mortgage does not require you to disclose your health.

You can make interest-only payments. It is much more common to make no repayments. The interest can be added to the mortgage. The debt will continue to grow each year.

The future will be affected if you don’t make any capital or interest payments. You must get advice about what the future holds.

Insuring your loan if you have cancer

A mortgage lender will not usually ask for your medical history. The lender might ask you to get insurance to protect your loan. The insurer will require you to disclose any medical conditions that you may have or have experienced in the past.

Even if your lender doesn’t require you to have insurance, it could be in your best interest to protect your loan. Discuss it with your financial advisor.

You might be able to check any existing life insurance or critical illness policies. You might be able to get the entire amount of your mortgage repayment if they are not paid off. You might also be able to increase the benefit of an existing policy by paying extra premiums.

Also, check your income protection insurance. To cover mortgage payments, you will likely need to raise your premiums.

It might be very difficult for you to secure the loan without insurance. Imagine if you were unable to work due to illness. Your mortgage lender might be able to repossess your home if you cannot pay the monthly payments.

This is often the last resort. This situation can be avoided by arranging insurance.

It is a good idea to speak with various financial advisors, brokers and insurers before making a final decision. The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) can provide a list of potential suitable insurers.


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Mortgage payment protection insurance

A type of insurance policy is mortgage payment protection. Monthly premiums are payable. If you are seriously ill or lose your job, the policy will repay your mortgage for up to 12 months. You should check with your insurance company to see if it can vary.

You can choose from different types depending on what you need. You can generally get coverage for the following:

  • Accidents and sickness
  • Unemployment
  • Accidents, sicknesses and unemployment

This insurance might be available to people who have already been diagnosed with cancer. It will depend on their cancer type and how advanced their treatment is. For more information, consult a financial advisor.


Due to your illness, you might be unable to take out a mortgage. You may be able to have family members or friends act for you as a guarantor. This person guarantees that your mortgage will be paid if you cannot.

The guarantor may also need to arrange insurance. The guarantor should have sufficient income to pay your mortgage and other obligations. The possibilities are explained to you by your financial advisor, potential lender, or insurance company.


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Assistance with repayments and financial difficulties

You don’t have to inform your mortgage lender if you are diagnosed with cancer. As long as you can pay your mortgage, as usual, there is no need to tell your existing mortgage lender.

Your illness could make it more difficult to pay your mortgage. You might have difficulty paying your mortgage if you cannot work or your income is lower.

If you are having financial difficulties, tell your mortgage lender immediately. Are you concerned about your monthly repayments?

There is a code of conduct for mortgage lenders. They must be compassionate if you are having financial difficulties. They should look for ways to help. This could mean you have to reduce or stop your payments for a limited time.

What can I do to get more information about cancer and mortgage applications?

The next step is to seek advice from an expert in the field. A whole-of-market broker can tell you about the different types of mortgages offered by different lenders. They also know the requirements for each lender.

Our mortgage advisors can help you. Contact us today or submit an enquiry to be introduced to one.

Relax, and let us find the best broker for your situation. There is no charge and absolutely no obligation to improve your credit rating.


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