Veteran Mortgages

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Veteran Mortgages

What help is there for veterans to get a mortgage?

When you leave the Armed Forces it’s quite common to feel that you’re left to your own devices and there’s not a lot of help.

Strictly speaking, there are no special mortgages for veterans beyond the standard ‘civilian’ mortgage. The key really is to find an adviser or a firm that has veterans in their team who know what it’s like for you. That way you’ve got peace of mind – we know exactly what your situation is and, from a financial point of view, how to assist you with it.

Has being posted abroad a lot affected my credit score?

Possibly the first thing we say to everybody – for a civilian mortgage or a veteran – is to get a copy of your credit report before applying for the mortgage. That way, you know exactly what the lenders will say. 

Quite often serving overseas does have an effect. Credit reference agencies can’t search BFP addresses, so it can seem that there are gaps in your residence records. The solution is to find a lender that is Forces-friendly and sympathetic to the fact that you’ve been overseas.

I have a low credit score from a debt issued against me when I was posted. What can I do?

This is a very common problem. If a County Court Judgement, for example, was issued against you after you’d been posted, you can apply to the court and have it overturned, as you weren’t there to defend it. 

The paperwork will be issued again and then you can either defend it or agree to it. As long as you pay it off within 28 days, the judgement won’t go on your credit record.

Do bear in mind though that bad debts disappear off your record after six years, so if the issue is four or five years old, it may be better to wait rather than get a new summons issued against you. This is the kind of thing we can advise on – we’ll look at your credit report and recommend the best route.

I’m not entitled to Forces Help to Buy as a civilian, are there any other schemes to help?

You need at least six months left on your contract for Forces Help to Buy, but if this isn’t available to you there are other schemes you could potentially look at. 

The Shared Ownership scheme is a good way to part-buy, part-rent a home.

The most appropriate schemes will depend on your preferences and circumstances. We can discuss it with you and help you decide.

Why don’t civilian mortgage experts speak the same language as me? 

Unfortunately, most civilian brokers don’t have any idea about the life a veteran has lived, postings, how you were paid, the daily routine. Again, if you can find a broker like us, where we’ve had military experience, we can make it easier to explore what you need and get you a good deal.

We understand your situation and, more importantly, we don’t just work nine to five, Monday to Friday. We’re contactable almost at any time. We’re not always sitting in front of a computer to bring up specific details, but we can certainly offer support and advice to give you confidence.

Can I get help with the mortgage application paperwork?

Yes, we offer as much or as little help as anyone needs in completing the paperwork. We can also help you deal with solicitors, estate agents and anyone involved in the property chain. And we keep you updated on the progress of your mortgage application any time you like.

Are there veteran friendly solicitors I can appoint?

Yes, we can also take care of this for you. We quote from a nationwide panel of solicitors, and many use electronic ID verification, so you don’t have to risk sending your original passport and driving licence in the post. 

What size of deposit will I need?

The more deposit you have, the better the interest rate you’re likely to get from the lender. Some lenders will accept a 5% deposit, as we’ve already said. But if you’ve got 10% or more you’ll have a wider choice of lenders and products. 

Interest rates tend to come down in a 5% chunk – so you get a better interest rate with a 15% percent deposit than with 10%, and so on.

How much can I borrow?

Lenders have to make sure that the mortgage is affordable to you, so they make ‘affordability calculations’. They take into consideration any existing loan commitments, day to day living expenses and so on. 

But in general, if you calculate somewhere between four and five times your gross income, that gives you a fair idea of what you could borrow. If you’ve got a partner, with a joint income they will take his or her income into account as well.

How can Pia help?

Once you accept your mortgage quotation, we get an Agreement in Principle for you, which is like a certificate stating how much you can borrow, which means you can start looking at property and making offers.