Getting a mortgage if you’re ill or disabled

Money Advice Service

Being ill or disabled shouldn’t stop you from getting a mortgage, even if you rely on benefits for all or part of your income. Here’s what you need to do when applying.

If you can afford a mortgage, banks and other lenders are not allowed to reject your application just because you are disabled.

Lenders can’t insist that you pay a larger deposit or make larger monthly repayments than non-disabled customers.

Who does disability legislation apply to?

Anti-discrimination rules might apply to you, even if you don’t think of yourself as a disabled person.

For example if you have a physical condition such as cancer, MS or HIV, or a mental illness such as depression.

Find out more about disability discrimination on the Citizens Advice Bureau website.

Before you start applying for mortgages

If you want to apply for a mortgage – either to buy a new property or re-mortgage – it’s important to make sure you’re well prepared.

Follow these simple steps:

Step 1 – Draw up a monthly budget

Mortgage lenders must check that you’ll be able to afford your mortgage payments by looking at your income and your regular outgoings.

So before applying you need to draw up a monthly budget of all your income and outgoings.

You can use our Budget planner to do this.

Step 2 – Work out how much you can afford to borrow

When working out how much you can afford to borrow, lenders also look at whether you’d be able to meet your monthly payments if the interest rate went up.

So you need to consider this and also how you would meet your payments if:

  • Your circumstances changed – for example if you or your partner lost your job
  • Your income fell – for example if your benefits were reduced

To protect yourself against an unexpected drop in income in the future you could:

  • Consider taking out mortgage payment protection insurance
  • Build up an emergency fund – ideally equivalent to three months’ outgoings

The lender must refuse your mortgage application if you don’t pass their affordability check.

Step 3 – Get your paperwork in order

Gather together all your bank statements and paperwork relating to your income.

If you’re on benefits, don’t forget details of how much you’re receiving or are due to receive.

Getting a mortgage if you’re on sickness or disability benefits

If your income is either partly or mainly made up of benefits, this shouldn’t stop you from getting a mortgage but it can make it trickier.

Some lenders are more likely than others to accept disability benefits as income when doing their affordability checks.

A specialist mortgage adviser can help you find a lender that is more willing to lend to someone in your situation. (See ‘Get specialist advice’ below.)

Help with mortgage interest payments

If you’re claiming a benefit such as income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support or Universal Credit you might be able to claim help with your mortgage interest payments. This is called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). SMI is changing from a benefit to a repayable loan.

Read our guide Support for Mortgage Interest to find out more about SMI loans and repayment options.

Find out more about Support for Mortgage Interest on the GOV.UK website.

Consider a shared ownership scheme

HOLD – Home ownership for people with a long-term disability

HOLD is a shared ownership scheme for people with long-term disabilities and is part of the government’s affordable housing programme.

The way it works is you buy a share of a property on the open market and a housing association buys the remaining share.

The housing association negotiates with the property vendor and the mortgage lender on your behalf.

My Safe Home

Specialist provider, My Safe Home can help you buy a home if you’re disabled. It works with selected lenders on shared ownership schemes.

Get specialist advice

Make sure you speak to several different mortgage lenders and advisers, as this will help you find the mortgage that meets your needs.

Contact your local Disabled People’s Organisation

Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) operate across England and Wales. DPOs can offer free, independent and confidential information and advice, and are run by and for disabled people.

Contact your local Disabled People’s Organisation.

In Scotland, contact Citizens Advice.

In Northern Ireland, contact Disability Action.

Speak to an independent mortgage adviser

Independent mortgage advisers offer impartial advice and can also shop around for you. Some charge a fee for their work.

To find out more about independent mortgage advisers and the services they offer, read our guide Choosing a mortgage – how to get the right deal.

Use price comparison websites

Comparison websites are a good starting point for anyone trying to find a mortgage tailored to their needs.

We recommend the following websites for comparing mortgages:

Remember:

  • Comparison websites won’t all give you the same results, so make sure you use more than one site before making a decision.
  • It is also important to do some research into the type of product and features you need before making a purchase or changing supplier.
  • Find out more in our guide to comparison sites.

Speak to your bank or building society

Contact your bank or building society and ask to speak to their mortgage adviser.

But bear in mind that banks and building societies will only tell you about their own mortgages.

So take the information they give you and compare it with the competition before making a choice.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Join Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.

Join the Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get free job alerts and inspiring content sent straight to your inbox.
By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.