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Mortgages for soldiers and military

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 9, 2023

Mortgages for soldiers and military in the UK

We stand behind our servicemen and women and believe that they should not be discriminated against in any way. Unfortunately, this can sometimes be true as members of the armed forces face different obstacles than the civilian population when it is time to get on the property ladder.

We receive many enquiries about military mortgages. Our specialist advisors have helped many professionals from the army, navy, and air forces to achieve their home front goals.

This article provides key information about UK military mortgages.

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Is there mortgages for soldiers and the military?

Yes! Yes! Many soldiers at the entry level have low income, while officers of higher rank might have their credit rating affected by being deployed to other parts of the country and to foreign territories.

The good news is that specialist lenders are available to offer the following…

  • British army mortgages
  • Navy and Army Mortgages
  • Mortgages for Air Force personnel
  • Marine corps mortgages
  • Ex-military personnel can get mortgages in the UK
  • For military personnel stationed overseas, mortgages
  • For civilian support staff, mortgages

You can read on to learn more about mortgage assistance for military personnel, or contact us. The military mortgage specialists that we work with will answer your questions over the telephone and connect you to a lender that offers these products at attractive rates.

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What type of mortgage assistance is available to the military?

It is important that you seek specialist advice if you are a member or a veteran of the armed force looking for a residential mortgage. Some high street lenders may not be able to understand the unique needs and challenges faced by servicemen and women as they relate to the property ladder. Military mortgage assistance is also available to armed forces professionals.

There are many support resources and schemes available, including…

  • Increased flexibility for lenders
  • Purchases made possible by the force
  • Long Service Advancement of Pay

Specialist military mortgage lenders are available for assistance

While you won’t find many “military discount” mortgage products, it is worth looking for a specialist lender. They are more likely to be flexible to accommodate the needs of servicemen or women who may have a non-standard source of income and poor credit ratings due to their stationing in multiple places, including overseas.

These are some of the options available to providers who offer mortgages for personnel in the Armed Forces:

  • Military borrowers can consent to a standard residential mortgage
  • Allow military personnel stationed overseas to purchase a property in the UK
  • Let the property go unoccupied for a period
  • Allow British Armed Forces to Buy Overseas

Get in touch with our advisors to find the best mortgage deal for military professionals with the most favourable rates.

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The Armed Forces Help to Buy program

Forces Help To Buy is a program for personnel of the armed forces to help them climb the ladder to property ownership. The loan is interest-free and can be used to pay the deposit or other fees. Here is a summary of the rules for Forces Help to Buy, as compiled from the most common questions we get about the initiative.

What financial assistance does Forces Help to Buy Mortgages offer?

Servicemen and women are allowed to borrow up to 50% of their annual salaries interest-free, but not more than £25,000. This could be used as a deposit or a percentage. It can also be used to pay any other costs and fees such as the payments of a solicitor or estate agent.

What kind of homes can Forces Help to Buy Cover?

Forces Help to Buy mortgage program can be a great option if you are buying your first property, moving to an assignment property, or changing your family’s needs.

Who can apply to Forces Help to Buy

The Forces Help to Buy program is available to the British military, navy, and RAF personnel.

  • You have completed the required service.
  • You have more than six months to serve when you apply
  • You must meet the appropriate medical criteria (though exceptions may be made if you have exceptional medical/personal circumstances).

What are the Forces that Help to Buy Application Process?

Online applications can be made by servicemen and women via the Joint Personnel Administration System. This intranet-based system was created in partnership between Electronic Data Systems and the Ministry of Defence.

Before you start, it may be worthwhile to seek advice from your Chain of Command or personnel agency regarding your application. Before you begin, it is a good idea to seek advice from an expert armed forces mortgage broker.

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What Do Forces Help to Buy Repayment work?

A Forces Help to Buy loan is typically repaid over a period of 10 years. The loan amount will be repaid gradually over the period. Forces Help to Buy offers interest-free financing so you won’t have to pay any additional.

What is the average time it takes to get a Forces Help to Buy loan?

Forces Help to Buy typically requires a two-week drawdown after approval. The process for getting a mortgage is similar to that of a member of the non-armed forces. However, it will take a different time depending on the lender. The average house purchase takes around three months. However, some deals can be completed in less time.

What happens when Forces Help to Buy ends?

It was initially launched as a pilot program for three years in April 2014. Forces Help to Buy was originally launched in April 2014 as a three-year pilot program. Its end date has been extended to December 2019. However, new applications are not required to be submitted before the end of the month.

Is it possible to use Forces Help to Buy in conjunction with the government’s Help to Buy program?

Yes! Yes! Some mortgage lenders may not allow you to use both, but specialist ones that are more open to military borrowers will.

For a small deposit, Forces Help to Buy may be able to provide you with a loan to cover your deposit and fees. Help to Buy might also be able to help you get home. The government can provide a loan up to 20% of the property’s price, with no interest for five years. Borrowers can also take out a mortgage to pay the remaining 75%.

This scheme is only available for new-build properties that must be the borrower’s sole residence upon completion. This scheme is not available to investment properties and properties valued at over £600,000.

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Can I use Forces Assistance to Buy with a Help To Buy ISA?

This may be allowed by some lenders, as there are no restrictions on armed forces personnel applying for a Help To Buy ISA. These ISAs are part of the Help to Buy program and allow the government to top up the amount you have saved for a mortgage deposit.

You will get a £50 government bonus for every £200 that you save. They will pay out a minimum of £400, and a maximum of £3,000.

This scheme, which is typically limited to first-time buyers, could offer you an additional deposit to go with Forces Help to Buy.

This scheme is only available to new applicants up until 31 December 2022.

Are you able to use Forces to buy with shared ownership?

Forces Help to Buy can’t be used to purchase shares of equity or Shared Ownership, but there is no reason for a serviceman/woman to not find a favourable Shared Ownership deal without Forces Help to Buy.

Can I accept a lodger?

If you purchased your home through Forces Help to Buy, it may be possible to accept a lodger. This is because Forces Help to Buy mortgage lenders are more flexible with military borrowers. Even if your residential mortgage is not in force, some lenders will let you rent out your house. If someone else moves in, be sure to notify them.

What tax will I have to pay on a Forces Help to Buy Loan?

Yes in some cases. HMRC considers a loan amount exceeding £10,000 to be beneficial, with tax implications. Before you take on any debt, it is important to consider all costs. Get in touch with an advisor who will explain them over the telephone.

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Forces Help to Purchase available for ex-army forces personnel?

You must still have at least six months of service at the time you apply. However, that does not mean that there isn’t help for former service personnel.

Anyone who falls within this category needs specialist advice. Some military personnel may not have ever owned a home before or have spent significant time in military accommodation during their long career.

It could be that they have poor credit or low borrowing history. Forces Help to Buy is not available to retired military personnel. However, there are special mortgage products that retirees can use and specialist bad-credit mortgage lenders for those with poor credit ratings. Contact us to discuss your options and find the best ex-military mortgage lenders.

If you are still serving, they can offer Forces Help to Buy advice.

Where can I find a Forces Help to Buy Calculator?

A mortgage calculator will give you an idea of what you can borrow under the Forces Help to Buy program. However, submit an enquiry to get full-of-market advice from our brokers.

Each lender has a different mortgage calculator. They will take different factors into consideration when assessing your application. A broker who has access to all the market can connect you with the mortgage provider most likely to provide favourable results for your particular circumstances and needs.

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Long Service Advancement of Pay

Long Service Advance of Payment was a scheme for UK armed forces personnel that predated Forces Help to Buy. To help servicemen or women climb the ladder to property ownership, this initiative offered interest-free loans up to £8,500. The initiative was discontinued on April 1, 2014, to make room for Forces Help to Buy. It’s not clear if it will be restored.

Get the best military mortgage rates

Forces Help to Buy is a program that can help you get a mortgage deposit together. It also covers the fees. However, when it comes to military, navy, or RAF mortgage loans, the rates offered are the same as civilian products.

These factors are also taken into consideration by lenders when determining eligibility. When deciding the rates they are willing to offer for a military mortgage, lenders will consider the following:

Your deposit

A minimum deposit amount is required for a residential mortgage. However, the lender may require you to make a larger down payment if you are a more risky borrower because of factors like your age, credit score, or property elements that are non-standard.

Your deposit source will be taken into consideration by the lender. The lender will also consider the source of your deposit, such as foreign investments, gifts, or cash savings. This could limit the number of mortgage providers who are available and may increase the need to seek specialist advice. Mortgage deposits can be found here.

Your income and your outgoings

Most lenders will offer you a mortgage on 4.5x your average annual salary. Some providers will offer you a mortgage based on 4.5x your annual salary. Others may go as high as 5. It is important to consider how you earn your money. Ex-military and military personnel may supplement their income by obtaining sources like military disability benefits or Operation Allowance (sometimes referred to as combat pay).

It may be necessary to consult a specialist lender, as not all mortgage lenders allow income supplements. Some also place restrictions on how much additional income they will accept. The income will be offset against other important outgoings. You may not be able to borrow the maximum amount if you have major debts like credit cards or personal loans.

Credit rating

Bad credit can make it difficult for some lenders to lend to you. Others might not be willing to give you the best rates or require a larger deposit to offset some risk. There are lenders that specialize in dealing with customers with adverse credit.

Many military personnel see overseas postings as having a negative impact on their credit records. It is important to seek professional advice. Lenders that cater to customers with the above information on their file can be flexible and will base their decision on the age, severity, and eligibility of the borrower.

Learn more about mortgages for bad credit.

Your age

Some lenders won’t lend mortgages to people over 75 years old, while others will allow for those who are 85 or older in the right circumstances. Some lenders are flexible enough to allow no upper-age limit as long as the borrower is able to prove that they can repay the mortgage in retirement.

Type of property

The type of property that you want might impact your eligibility for mortgage financing, regardless of whether you are a soldier, ex-military personnel, or civilian. Some properties are unique, like those that have elements of non-standard construction. thatched roofs and timber frames or listed buildings are considered higher-risk properties, so a specialist lender may be required. To increase your chances of getting a favorable deal, it is especially important to consult a whole market expert if you are in two niche categories (in this instance unique property or the military).

If I am in the armed forces, can I get a mortgage to buy to let?

You can’t use the Forces Help to Buy program because it is only for main residences. The same criteria would apply to you as a civilian applying for a BTL. However, a specialist military mortgage lender might be more flexible in dealing with complex income and bad credit.

A higher deposit will usually be required to buy a mortgage. The maximum loan-to-value ratio for buy to let mortgages is often 85%. Some providers may not consider income as important because they base their lending decisions on the viability and potential return of the investment. Whether the rental payments projected will be sufficient to cover the mortgage by 125%.

However, there are other minimum income requirements, especially for first-time landlords. The standard is around £25,000. Our dedicated page provides more information on buy-to-let mortgages.

Talk to an expert for a specialist military mortgage lender

Call Online Mortgage Advisor to get mortgage advice for the armed forces. Or, make an inquiry .

Relax and contact us to find the right broker for you. We do not charge any fees and you are under no obligation to improve your credit rating.

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