I’m often faced with a number of challenges when it comes to assisting clients with their mortgage; however, there is a clear pattern in some of these challenges, especially when it comes to women. 

Having children and being on maternity leave is one of the biggest obstacles women have to overcome; more so when they need to apply for a mortgage on their own. Some lenders believe that there is a higher risk involved in lending to these women in case they decide not to return to work after maternity leave.

Having a long-term relationship with a mortgage advisor is often a good idea if you own a property or are thinking of owning a property in the future. That way, potential obstacles such as this can be looked at beforehand, and you can have a plan in place for when you do need the mortgage.

Another challenge comes for women who are in part-time employment. This is generally disliked by lenders. There is no real logic as to why lenders favour full time employees over part-time employees.

However, this is something a good advisor can look at when we plan for your mortgage, because not all lenders share the same view. Many lenders understand that by working part-time, there are savings made elsewhere, for example, in travel and childcare. It would take too long to go to each of these lenders in turn, so using a mortgage advisor can save time and money, because we have the expertise and knowledge to know which banks to recommend. 

A key question that often comes into play is that of affordability. Lenders are always concerned with whether any applicant will be able to make mortgage payments for the term of their loan; however, it seems that women in particular are discriminated against. This could be down to various reasons, from having variable-pay to being self-employed. 

There are many more obstacles that women face when it comes to applying for a mortgage, but the key to overcoming these obstacles is finding a mortgage that is tailored to your circumstances. Having children or a flexible income structure or being their own boss should not automatically put women at a disadvantage.

The good news is that the banking criteria is so vast and varies from lender to lender. Common sense underwriting and new policies being written every day to help women get mortgages, regardless of these challenges. This is where speaking to an expert like a mortgage adviser comes in handy.

Look for one that offers a bespoke service and can find exactly which banks will lend at the cheapest rate and under which circumstances. This will ensures that there is a perfect mortgage for each and every client.  

About The Author

Nahida Rahman is an experienced Mortgage & Protection Advisor and Director at Novello Mortgages Ltd.

Nahida Rahman
Mortgage & Protection Advisor