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What are Military Mortgages and how can I find one?
Working in the armed forces is a challenging and demanding career and a nationally essential one. In recognition of the critical work you do, many mortgage companies offer special deals for Forces personnel.
What is a Military Mortgage?
While there aren’t any mortgage products specifically for the military, many lenders are sympathetic to the unique qualities of a forces career. Overseas tours and postings at short notice can often be a challenge for home ownership.
If you’re thinking about moving or remortgaging, it could be worth exploring your options for a military mortgage. These apply to anyone in a military role and, often, retired personnel.
Lenders that offer special mortgages for the military are often listed in your benefits information, along with other financial products that might be useful.
What mortgage assistance is available for military personnel?
Sometimes members of the armed forces find it difficult to find a mortgage. Some lenders might see people in the military as a riskier customer, which can affect your rates and therefore mortgage payments.
Moving around is common in the forces, but frequently changing addresses can be detrimental to your credit rating.
So it’s positive that some lenders understand the military lifestyle. They allow for these differences and have a more flexible way to assess you as a potential customer. Plus, they often allow certain additional options, specifically designed for the military. For example:
- Allowing you to buy in the UK while stationed overseas
- Allowing you to rent out your property on a standard mortgage while you’re stationed elsewhere. This would normally require a buy to let mortgage.
- Allowing your property to be unoccupied for certain periods of time
In addition there is some support from the government to help you buy a home.
What is the Forces Help To Buy scheme?
The Forces Help to Buy Scheme allows you to borrow up to 50% of your salary, interest free,as a deposit to buy a home. It applies to both First Time Buyers and those looking to move house.
It is open to all regular personnel, as long as you have served for a minimum term, have more than six months left on your contract, and meet some medical requirements.
You can borrow up to a maximum of £25,000, an ideal amount to cover a deposit and other property costs. For further information, visit the Government website.
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You will need to pay back the loan by the time you leave the forces or within 10 years, whichever is soonest. Many military professionals choose to do this by remortgaging the property.
How can I get the best rates on military mortgages?
Although some lenders welcome Army, Navy or RAF customers, you will usually find that the rates offered are the same as for civilians. The mortgage lender will assess you on the same criteria too, namely your age, income, outgoings, credit rating, deposit and the type of property you are looking to buy.
Getting the best rates requires shopping around. Before you start, using mortgage calculators will give you an idea of the mortgage payments you can expect. Make sure they are comfortably affordable – if you don’t keep up with the repayments your home may be repossessed. Consider too if you are comfortable with a variable mortgage or if you would be more comfortable with a fixed rate deal.
How can a Mortgage Broker help?
Because the military mortgage market is quite specialist and complex, it is always helpful to seek mortgage advice.
Our mortgage advisors are here to help, and they have a lot of experience in helping military personnel buy a home. They will spend time getting to know you and exploring your personal situation. They will source the lenders most likely to have suitable mortgages and then support you through the application process.
That means you can rely on our support. If you need the support of other property professionals as part of your home buying journey, we can put you in touch with experienced experts.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other debt secured on it.