Mortgages for students: Buy-for-uni

Discover how you can use buy-for-university mortgages to buy property as a student.

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Buy-for-university mortgages are a product which will help you get on the property market while you’re still studying.

Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

What is a buy-for-university mortgage?

This is an interest-only mortgage aimed specifically at university students. It allows them up to borrow up to 100% of the property value to purchase a home to live in throughout their studies. They will be permitted to rent out rooms in this property to tenants.

To be approved for this mortgage, the student’s parents must act a guarantor, providing security in the form of cash or equity from the property they own.

After the student graduates, they must either sell the property or switch to a traditional mortgage.

Can you get a mortgage when you’re a student?

There are plenty of mortgage lenders that will consider granting a mortgage to a student.

However, the decision to approve your mortgage application will be primarily based on your annual income, the size of your deposit and your credit score. Most students are severely lacking in these areas.

Thankfully, some mortgage providers will still consider lending to students if they are able to provide a guarantor.

With a buy-for university mortgage, students will only have to pay the interest on their mortgage during their studies. In many cases, they will be able to fund these payments by letting out the additional bedrooms in the property. Plus, you’ll provide the lender the additional safety net of a guarantor.

That’s why it may be easier to be approved for a buy-for-university mortgage, compared to other more traditional mortgages.

Can you use a guarantor when you are a student?

If you don’t have a large deposit or a stable income, you’ll most likely have to use a guarantor to stand any chance of being approved for a mortgage.

In most cases, the guarantor will have to be a legal guardian or a direct family member. On top of that, they’ll need to be a UK resident and a property owner. Some lenders also place maximum age and minimum income limits on guarantors.

What are the pros and cons of buy-for-university mortgages?

Pros

  • You can be approved for a mortgage during your studies and hopefully benefit from a rise in its market value during this time.
  • Often, your mortgage repayments will cost less than renting a student property.
  • You can rent out rooms in the property to make extra income.

Cons

  • You’ll have to sell the home or remortgage after you’ve graduated.
  • There’s a significant risk of being stuck in negative equity if house prices drop.
  • If you fall behind on repayments or into negative equity, your guarantor will have to cover the costs.
  • You’ll still have to cover the significant one-off costs of buying a house, such as conveyancing fees, valuation fees, survey fees etc.

Is it better for parents to buy a property for their children to live in?

If parents opt to buy a property and rent it out to their children, they may be able to secure a better interest rate than those available with buy-for-university mortgages. There will also be no need to sell or remortgage the property after their child graduates.

However, when renting properties out to family members, they’ll have to opt for a regulated buy-to-let mortgage. As the name implies, these loans are regulated by the FCA and tend to require larger deposits than traditional buy-to-let mortgages.

Parents will face a larger stamp duty bill when buying an additional property, compared to what their children would pay (assuming it’s their first property). They may also face extra capital gains tax or inheritance tax bills as a result of buying this property.

Finally, when parents buy the property, it is them (not their child) who will face the obligations of being a landlord.

Frequently asked questions about buy-for-university mortgages

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