Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

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Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

You may find it harder than most people to get a mortgage on a spouse visa, but it absolutely is possible, even with a 10% or 5% deposit. Mortgage lenders in the UK often apply extra rules and restrictions on people buying a house with a spouse visa. Thankfully among the many lenders out there, a few are more lenient. Read on to find out more, and then get in touch to start your mortgage process. 

Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

Can I get mortgage if I’m on spouse visa?

Absolutely. The biggest difficulties that people on spouse visas have when getting a mortgage in the UK are that most banks insist on a huge deposit, and they may require a long period of validity left on your visa. They may also need you to have already lived in the UK for a long time.

In reality, the most visa-friendly lenders offer mortgages on a spouse visa in the UK, even with just a 5% deposit. If you have lived in the UK for the last six months, you will have access to the best options, but it can still be possible if you have just arrived. You can even apply for a mortgage with as little as 6 months left on your spouse visa.

What is a spouse visa?

A spouse visa falls under the family visa section of UK immigration. They allow people who are married or in a civil partnership with somebody who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK to also live and work in the UK for a set period of time. They typically last for 2 years and 9 months, but can be extended by another 2 years and 6 months. After this time you can apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK, but you do not need this to get a mortgage.

There are lots of additional requirements that you can read about on the GOV.UK website.

Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

Can we get a joint mortgage if one of us has a spouse visa?

Yes. You can get a joint mortgage and use both of your incomes even if one of you is on a spouse visa. Often it can be easier to do with both of you on the mortgage, but there are situations where it’s better for just one of you to apply.

Is it better to apply alone if my partner is on a spouse visa?

In some situations yes, but often this can make it harder. If only one of you is on the mortgage the lender will only consider one income. They may also class your spouse as a dependent and make an allowance for their expense. This can reduce the amount you can borrow.

Lenders often don’t like it if somebody living in the property, even your spouse, contributes towards the deposit if they are not on the mortgage. Therefore it can be better for them to be on the mortgage even if they do not have any income. If they are not on the mortgage they also cannot own the property.

What size deposit is needed for a mortgage on a spouse visa?

Mortgages for spouse visa holders are available if you have just a 5% deposit.

To access this level of deposit you will need to apply with somebody who has indefinite leave to remain (they don’t need to be British though). You’ll need to have lived in the UK for 6 months, and have at least 6 months remaining on your visa.

Most mortgage lenders want a 25% deposit for anyone without indefinite leave to remain. By working with a mortgage broker who is experienced with your situation you will save time and avoid being disappointed.

The rules are more lax if you have a 25% deposit.

Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

What if neither of us have indefinite leave to remain?

If neither of you have indefinite leave to remain you can be considered for a deposit as low as 5% if you meet just one of the following conditions:

  • You have a joint income of at least £100,000 per year, OR
  • One of you has lived in the UK for the last 5 years, OR
  • You have both lived in the UK for the last 3 years AND have 2 years remaining on your visa

Why do most lenders want huge deposits for people on a visa?

A lender’s priority is ensuring that they can sell the property for what you owe on it if you fail to keep up with the mortgage payment. If one of you doesn’t yet have indefinite leave to remain, their concern is that you may not get this in the future, and be forced to leave the UK. If that happens the potential issue is that your partner may then not be able to cope with the mortgage payments alone. By insisting on a big deposit they reduce the risk of you being in negative equity – meaning your house is worth less than what you owe on the mortgage – in the event you can’t pay the mortgage and house prices fall at the same time.

Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

How much can we borrow for a mortgage with a spouse visa?

This will always depend on your exact situation. You will be pleased to hear you will be assessed just like any other mortgage applicant. There aren’t any extra restrictions on this.

The more you earn the more you can borrow. This is then reduced if you have significant debts such as loan repayments, credit card debt, other commitments, and dependents such as children.

Most people are able to borrow up to 4.5 times their joint income so long as their debts aren’t too large compared to their income. If you earn over £60,000 you may be able to borrow 5 times your income. A larger deposit can also increase how much lenders are willing to lend. Below are some examples.

To take advantage of a small deposit, you may need to have been in continuous employment for the last 6 months.

Joint Income

Deposit Size

Income multiplier

Mortgage  amount

£40,000

5%

4 x

£160,000

£40,000

10%

4.25 x

£170,000

£40,000

15%

4.45 x

£178,000

£40,000

25%

4.95 x

£198,000

Depending on your exact situation you may be able to borrow more than all of the examples shown above, even on the same salary. You could also only qualify for a smaller amount.

The only way to find out for sure is to speak to a mortgage broker experienced with spouse visa mortgages for a full assessment.

Are interest rates higher for spousal visa mortgages?

No. You will be offered the same interest rate as anybody else applying for the same product with the same lender.

You might not be able to get the lowest cost mortgage on the market as that lender may not accept applications from people in your situation; say they insist on a 25% deposit and you only have a 10% deposit. However, there are mainstream lenders that will consider you at ‘high street’ interest rates that people without your restrictions apply for all of the time.

Does one of us need to be a UK citizen to get a mortgage?

No. It is possible if neither of you have indefinite leave to remain to get a mortgage, even with a small deposit like 5% or 10%.

However, the best options start to open up so long as one of you has indefinite leave to remain in the UK. That could be because one of you;

  • Is a British citizen, OR;
  • Has already been granted indefinite leave to remain, OR;
  • Has EU settled status, OR;
  • Has EU pre-settled status

How long do you need to live in the UK to get a mortgage?

In some circumstances, it can be possible if you have only just moved to the UK.

You’ll have the best chance of qualifying with the most spouse visa-friendly mortgage lenders once you have been in the UK for 6 months.

If you have indefinite leave to remain and are returning to the UK after some time abroad you may be able to qualify for a mortgage right away, even if you have only just started a new job. Read more about getting a mortgage with a new job.

How long do I need remaining on my spousal visa to get a mortgage?

Some lenders will consider you and without a specified minimum time remaining on your visa.

One of the most spouse visa-friendly mortgage lenders asks for 6 months remaining on your visa at the point of the mortgage application being made.

Some of the less lenient lenders ask for 2 years, and many mortgage lenders won’t consider you at all.

What documents are needed to get a mortgage on a spouse visa?

To get a mortgage with a spouse visa you’ll need the following standard documents:

  • Proof of your income
    • Typically 3 months worth of payslips, more if you have overtime, bonus or commission-based work
    • Sometimes a new job contract can be accepted before it even starts
  • Bank statements for the last 3 months
  • Proof of your deposit

I will also ask you to provide your credit file and complete some forms on your expenditure in order to get the best results for you.

As you’re on a visa you will also have to provide:

  • Proof of your right to live and work in the UK

Does it matter if you are not a first time buyer?

No. Lenders will consider you if you are a first time buyer or have already owned property in the UK or abroad.

If you still own property abroad then the running costs of this will need to be taken into account, as will any mortgage on the property.

If you are not a first time buyer and have owned property anywhere in the world this can affect your stamp duty liability.

Read my ultimate guide to everything you need to know about mortgage when you are a first time buyer.

Mortgage on a Spouse Visa

Buy-to-let mortgages with a spouse visa

The rules on getting a buy-to-let mortgage with a spouse visa are more similar to those for people who don’t need a visa.

Typically lenders require a 25% deposit for a buy to let mortgage regardless of if you have a visa or not. The amount you can borrow is then determined by the expected rental income of the property though most lenders have minimum personal income requirements too.

How much does advice cost to get a mortgage on a spouse visa?

If you’d like me to help you get a mortgage with a spouse visa, I typically charge £245.

For this price I will fully assess your situation, request and review all of the documents required to get a mortgage in your situation, obtain an agreement in principle with a lender that you qualify with, confirm how much you can borrow, and then submit a full mortgage application for you.

This is paid at the start of the process, after an initial Zoom meeting to discuss your requirements. The full amount will be refunded in the case I find that you cannot get a mortgage at all, or that you cannot obtain a mortgage that suits your needs.

Read more about my mortgage broker fees.

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