In this blog, we will cover military mortgages which are mortgages for military servicemen and women. Military mortgages were designed for servicemen and women due to the issues military personnel were facing in getting a mortgage.
Military men, especially those who are entry-level soldiers will usually have a small income and will often have bad credit due to the fact that they are often deployed to different locations and end up having multiple addresses on their credit files which pushes their credit scores lower.
Military mortgages are a specialist part of the mortgage market and you may require a specialist mortgage broker to assess your military mortgage option.
Military mortgages may include:
British army mortgages
Navy and army mortgages
Air force mortgages
Marine corps mortgages
Mortgages for ex-military personnel in the UK
Mortgages for armed forces personnel stationed abroad
Mortgages for civilian support staff
What kind of help can you get for a military mortgage?
If you are a serviceman or servicewoman who wants a military mortgage then you may be able to get some mortgage help from some of the below:
The armed forces help to buy
Long service advance of pay
Increased mortgage lender flexibility
Increased mortgage lender flexibility
There are some specialist mortgage lenders who offer military mortgages and other mortgage lenders who offer mortgages with favourable offers or terms for military men or women. This could be a military discount or favourable terms for military men or women.
Some military mortgage lenders may be conscious of the issues military men or women face such as having non-standard income or having bad credit.
- Military mortgage lenders may offer special terms such as:
- Allow military men and women to get a military mortgage on properties that are empty
- Allow military men and women to use their military mortgage to buy properties outside of the UK
- Allow military men and women who aren’t in the UK to buy property in the UK
- Allow military men and women to let out their properties which are on residential mortgages
The armed forced help to buy
The Armed forces help to buy is a government scheme which allows military personnel to get on the property ladder by providing them with an interest- free loan to add to their mortgage deposit and other fees.
The armed forces help to buy will allow military men and women to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary up to a maximum of £25,000.
This money can be used as a mortgage deposit or towards the cost of other fees associated with buying the property. This could be conveyancing fees, valuation fees etc
You will have 10 years to pay back the armed forces help to buy loan but given that it is an interest-free loan you will only be paying back what you borrowed.
The armed forces help to buy application process will usually take 2 weeks to get approved.
The armed forces help to buy scheme will end by December 2019 and ay applications must be submitted by midnight on December 31st 2019.
To use the armed forces help to buy scheme you will need to be buying your first home and hence be classed as a first-time buyer. You may need to sign a first-time buyer declaration. You may also be able to use armed forces help to buy scheme if you are moving homes.
Who is eligible for the armed forces help to buy scheme?
To be eligible for the armed forces help to buy scheme you will need to be either part of the :
& the RAF
You may also be eligible for the armed forces help to buy if you are a serviceman or servicewoman in any other military field providing:
You have completed the required length of service
You have more than six months left to serve at the time of your armed forces help to buy application (this means if you are ex-military you won’t be able to use the armed forces help to buy scheme)
Meet the right medical categories (although exceptions can be made where extenuating medical/personal circumstances are evidenced)
Can you use the armed forces help to buy scheme with other schemes?
Yes, you can use the armed forces help to buy scheme with other schemes such as the below.
- Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save a maximum £4,000 a year.
- Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
- Help to buy equity loan– gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
- Shared ownership– You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
- Armed forces help to buy– similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
- Rent to buy– This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
- Right to buy– allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
- Preserved right to buy– same as above.
- Right to acquire– similar to the above.
Depending on where you live, you may also be able to take advantage of home buying schemes provided by your local council. Example: In Norwich, the local councils provide the Norwich home options scheme.
You should note that not all mortgage lenders may allow you to use your armed forces help to buy scheme with other schemes and if you plan on doing this you should contact a mortgage lender who can accommodate you. You may be able to find mortgage lenders who are willing to accommodate such a request by using a specialist mortgage broker
Where can you make your armed forces help to buy application?
You can make your armed forces help to buy application via the Joint Personnel Administration system, an intranet-based system created by Electronic Data Systems in partnership with the Ministry of Defence. It may be worth seeking advice regarding your application through your Chain of Command and personnel agency before you begin.
Long Service Advance of Pay
Long Service Advance of Pay was a scheme for UK armed forces personnel which pre-dated the armed forces Help to Buy. The initiative provided interest-free loans of up to £8,500 to help servicemen and women get a foot onto the property ladder. It was suspended on 1st April 2014 to make way for the armed forces Help to Buy, and it’s unclear whether it will ever be reinstated.
Getting the best military mortgage rates
Schemes such as the armed forces Help to Buy can give you a helping hand when it comes to getting a mortgage deposit together and covering some of the fees, but when it comes to army, navy or RAF mortgage loans themselves, the rates they’re offered with are no different to civilian products. Lenders also take the same factors into account when determining eligibility.
Lenders will take the following into account when working on which rates they’re willing to offer you on a military mortgage:
Your mortgage deposit
Your credit score and history
The type of property you are buying (non-standard construction will have limited mortgage lenders)
Your current disposable income
Can you get a Military mortgage with bad credit?
Getting a military mortgage with bad credit may be difficult as mortgage lenders may usually want to lend to borrowers who have a good credit score and have shown a good repayment history on all their previous debts.
There are however mortgage lenders who will offer a Military mortgage to a borrower depending on what type of bad credit was and what the circumstances were.
If it was a CCJ which was satisfied and is a certain age then some mortgage lenders may be willing to lend. Other mortgage lenders may lend if the CCJ was a maximum amount.
When looking to get a mortgage with bad credit the requirements from different mortgage lenders will differ and a bad credit mortgage broker may be able to assist you in getting a Military mortgage.
Bad credit could include:
A debt management plan
A home repossession
missed mortgage repayments
A Mortgage default
late credit account repayments
If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.
You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.