As Ex-Forces Veterans we understand better than anyone the need to secure a home before your career ends and you have to move out of your SFA.
You’re in safe hands with advice from ex-military advisers, whose advice is not only fit for purpose from a mortgage point of view, but is also up to date with the military lifestyle you currently lead. We’ve spent the last 6 years delivering financial educational awareness briefs worldwide at the invitation of the CoC as well as being ex-military.
Rest assured we aren’t just any old civvy in a suit, who doesn’t have a scooby about the life you lead and the problems faced. We don’t work civilian 0900 to 1700 Monday to Friday hours but have comms via text, WhatsApp, email and Facetime after working hours, to fit in with your FOE.
How to Get an RAF Mortgage
Why should service personnel be thinking of their civilian housing options?
Security and peace of mind
Many RAF personnel are keen to get onto the property ladder whilst they are still actively serving as it gives them the security of having a home to return to between posts. It can save the stress of having to search for new accommodation when you only have a few months left to serve.
A foot on the ladder – fluctuations in the housing market could price you out
As well as security for yourself and your family, it’s important to buy a home at the right time. The property market is vulnerable to intense fluctuations, particularly in the wake of unexpected events such as the coronavirus pandemic.
What documents do I need to apply for a mortgage?
Military mortgages have many of the same information requirements as a civilian mortgage, and whilst it can be difficult to find Mortgage Lenders who offer mortgage products specifically for armed forces personnel, especially on the high street. There are lenders who are experienced in assisting military personnel with their mortgage needs and we can point you in the right direction.
All lenders will want to see that you have a strong credit score. If you’re serving overseas at a BFPO, credit referencing agencies are unlikely to be able to search that as your official address. If you have a UK address, perhaps your parent’s home, or wherever your bank statements are sent, this is the best place to use for your credit file and mortgage application.
Proof of ID
This is a requirement to comply with money laundering regulations. We can provide further help with which documents are acceptable and also offer a third party electronic ID check via Experian for our clients in HM Forces who are serving at the time of their application. Some acceptable documents may be:
- Scanned copy of Passport
- Scanned copy of driving license
- Recent (within three months) bank statement or bill (not mobile bill)
Payslips and P60
At least three months of PDF statements to be downloaded from JPA.
Three months worth of bank statements will be used to determine affordability. You will also need to show proof of your deposit availability.
How do you buy in the UK when stationed overseas?
Because your BFPO address has a UK postcode, unlike your civilian counterparts, you won’t have an issue with buying a UK-based property whilst stationed overseas. You’ll have access to a standard residential mortgage on any UK based property.
What happens if the house is unoccupied for long periods?
Whilst in usual circumstances Mortgage Lenders don’t like to lend for properties that they know will be vacant for long periods of time, there is usually a caveat to offer greater flexibility when it comes to Armed Forces Personnel.
Can I sublet the house and do I need a Buy to Let mortgage to do so?
For those members who are planning to continue their service, but don’t want to keep moving to another property each time they are posted elsewhere, some mortgage lenders give permission to RAF personnel to let out their properties whilst they are on active duty.
Another option would be to convert your mortgage to a Buy to Let, although you might find that there are limited options available for this type of mortgage for your circumstances.
What if I have a Limited Credit Score?
It’s possible that due to the nature of your job, your credit score is lower than the average civilian with the same income. There are specialist lenders who are more willing to take lower credit scores into consideration and some who are willing to personally underwrite mortgages for RAF personnel, so it’s important to ensure that you find a lender who is sympathetic to the needs of those serving in HM Forces.
What if I have a Low Deposit?
There are a number of schemes available to help First Time Buyers and those applicants struggling to secure a mortgage due to lower deposit availability, some of which are open to all, and one which is specific to Armed Forces personnel.
Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
From April 2021 the government has offered Mortgage Lenders a financial guarantee in return for offering 91-95% mortgages at a Fixed-rate of interest for five years. This means that standard residential mortgages will be far more available to creditworthy applicants who only have access to 5% deposit.
Help to Buy
This scheme allows applicants to borrow up to 20% of the cost of their home as a government equity loan. This is used towards a deposit (you must have 5% deposit available yourself) meaning you need to borrow less. This makes a mortgage more achievable as you will only need to fulfil the criteria of 75% Loan to Value borrowing.
Forces Help to Buy
This can be used as an add on to the regular Help to Buy scheme and enables service personnel to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary (up to a maximum of £25,000) to either buy their first home or move to another property on assignment. This is an interest free loan. To qualify you need to have completed the prerequisite length of service, have more than six months left to serve and meet the right medical categories, however the latter may justify an exception.
What is the process? How can a Mortgage Broker help?
As a Mortgage Broker with service experience, I understand the nature of your role. I served throughout the 80s in the Army, in some glorious postings such as ceremonial duties in the London District, through Northern Ireland and Germany. I also managed a couple of trips out to Hong Kong and Cyprus. I’ve spent the last six years visiting
BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield), BATUK (British Army Training Unit Kenya), BFC (Cyprus) and BFG (Germany), delivering financial education briefings to Officers and ORs, arranged with the CoC.
We’re happy to act as your representative for the large part of your mortgage application, dealing with solicitors, estate agents and lenders on your behalf. We are knowledgeable about which lenders are most receptive to the needs of service personnel and can help you to secure the mortgage most suited to your personal circumstances.
As well as making ourselves accessible to you through phone, email and Whatsapp, we issue you with access to a secure client portal. Our goal is to make the mortgage application and home buying process as smooth as possible for both current and ex-RAF service personnel.