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Mortgage application during pregnancy 29 weeks...

(24 Posts)
whosthis Mon 06-Aug-12 19:09:48

We are FTB and found a house we really like. Started the process with First Direct. But when I started reading some online information about the almost automatic discrimination the lenders could hold against pregnant women, I started feeling really nervous.

I am 29 week, and I do plan to work until I couldn't. My arrangement with my employer (full-time/perm job) is to take maternity leave just before the due date and put on the paper for 1 year maternity leave but I would notify them 28 days in advance if I feel ok to be back to work. My company only offers the standard 6 weeks 90% pay, after that it would be the national standard. But we did the calculation, my husband's salary could easily make sure us be able to repay. And we apply for 5 year fixed rate as well, so low risk for increasing repayment for a long time.

What surprised me was when we were applying on phone, FD did ask if there's any long leave foreseen, e.g. parental leave. My husband was on phone and he said no - which is not a lie as he can't take any parental leave himself for his job nature. But I really didn't think nowadays the lender would put the question so straightforward...

Is it possible to say no when they ask me? I don't feel comfortable to lie. But if I say yes, they would absolutely reject our application.

I am also worried that a lot of people say that they would contact the employer to verify the employment status. Would they ask explicitly to my employer if I have maternity or any foreseeable long leave? If they ask, is that appropriate for my HR to release the personal information to a third party?

I don't want to be stressed out and have the baby affected in my tummy! But I can't help feeling so bad and don't know what to do!

Is there anyone can let me know if they would ask my employer this kind of question? Will HR provide information to them?

Thank you very much...

DustinTime Mon 06-Aug-12 20:05:48

Hi, I was 30 weeks pregnant, ftb also when we applied and our application got approved and I'm on a visa here (partner is from EU). One of the questions was what are your out goings now, what will they be in future, that was the only time I hinted at my pregnancy! Our financial adviser pretended he couldn't see I was pregnant and I pretended that he couldn't notice! I wasn't very big so maybe he didn't know?

I'm fairly certain they can't ask about maternity leave or discriminate on that basis. They didn't call my employer, pay slips were enough although we did put down 30% deposit.

Who are you going through?

Good luck!

whosthis Mon 06-Aug-12 20:51:04

Is it possible to let me know which lender you went through? We are applying First Direct.

The point is that they did ask over the phone if my husband has any leave including parental leave planned...

I really didn't think they could be so opening pick on this. Some people say it's not discrimination but responsible lending. I can not agree.

tara0202 Mon 06-Aug-12 20:55:55

Hi, I am not a first time buyer but buying a new house with a different mortgage lender. I am on maternity leave. My mortgage broker has told me I might need to write a letter to the mortgage company to confirm that I do intend to return to work and when that is likely to be. I was also told I may need a letter from my company to say that they understand I am returning to work on the same conditions (salary/hours etc) that my mortgage application is based on.

Ours has all been approved. Our advisor said we might not need the letters because the mortgage is not massive compared to our salaries, I'd imagine they would be more interested in mat leave if you are at the higher end borrowing based on salary. My mortgage is with The Co-Op Bank by the way.

DustinTime Mon 06-Aug-12 20:59:49

Mine is with Nationwide.

DustinTime Mon 06-Aug-12 21:07:19

But I must say that we had very little in the way of expenditure, no debt only rent and were saving a lot. Our mortgage payments worked out to be much less then our rent and so we were only out of pocket £300 extra a month with childcare (DH and I are both entitled to childcare vouchers which we put down on our application).

We told the truth but didn't offer anything that wasn't specifically asked for.

Moxxie Mon 06-Aug-12 21:07:43

I'm surprised at this. We remortgaged (transferred to a new lender) when DS was about 3 weeks old i.e. I was already on maternity leave. No-one asked whether I was expecting a drop in my earnings, I showed my 3 months worth of payslips just like my husband. Never occurred to me that it would be a problem. For data protection reasons my work would never have volunteered that I was off on maternity leave, they just confirmed that I work there.

pjd Mon 06-Aug-12 21:10:37

I am also with nationwide, and also applied for a mortgage at around 6 months pregnant. Don't think it was obvious I was pregnant when we went to the bank for our meeting (I wore the loosest clothes I could). They didn't ask about any leave, but did ask about outgoings, including any childcare costs, so I answered that based on our situation at the time, when we had one DC. Would you consider looking at other lenders? Not sure FD should be asking you this, so perhaps it is worth shopping around?

whosthis Mon 06-Aug-12 21:13:33

Thank you for the response, tara0202 and DustinTime.

We actually plan to overpay aggressively to shorten the mortgage duration significantly. If the lender can be less strict based on total gross salary, it might be helpful.

whosthis Mon 06-Aug-12 21:19:07

Hi Moxxie, I guess the lenders are far more picky than before because of everything going on in the financial market. But I did read some other threads in Mumsnet and there are similar cases back in 2009 (OK, still covered by the same financial crisis...).

Hi pjd, we heard Halifax is kind of lending to anyone. But FD offers the best deal and we plan to overpay aggressively but not many products in the market allow you do so without penalty.

DustinTime Tue 07-Aug-12 07:55:20

Sorry, we had 20% deposit! (And that was a scrape...don't know why I thought it was 30%!)

Moxxie Tue 07-Aug-12 08:01:21

This was only 6 months ago, but yes, I guess things change. Or maybe it was because we went through a very practical mortgage broker and not direct to the lender? Anyway, our mortgage is with Accord if that helps (but only available through brokers).

mrsfox Tue 07-Aug-12 08:07:54

Hi, we have just bought a house while I was pregnant and it was fine - we got our mortgage through N&P and my boss had to confirm that I will be going back to work, but that was all.

whosthis Tue 07-Aug-12 12:32:52

Well, we kind of decided to try First Direct and will see what their appliation form is like. If it can't go through, we would try someone else...

They are one of the most strict ones but also offering a good rate.

Fingers cross.

crazyhead Tue 07-Aug-12 19:56:56


We just had a mortgage approved from HSBC and I'm on maternity. I just got my employer to write a letter.

I've heard of it being an administrative hassle, so you might just want to think of what letters you could rustle up if the mortgage company is annoying

vez123 Wed 08-Aug-12 12:57:04

I applied for a mortgage when I was on mat leave (DS was 2 months old). The first lender we spoke to was FirstDirect and they said straight out No when they head I was on mat leave. In the end we found a decent deal with Post Office. All they needed was a letter from my employer and when I was returning to work and they then gave us the mortgage. We had no debts and we weren't stretching ourselves to the limit. I don't think I would lie about this sort if thing. It's probably the biggest debt in your life and you do not want to be stressed about this sort of thing. I felt rubbish after the rejection from FD, but they are known for turning this into an issue so we just went to another lender. This was in 2010.

herethereandeverywhere Thu 09-Aug-12 20:40:40

Sorry you're going through this I have been in a similar position with First Direct.

We applied to move our mortgage and increase the loan when we were selling our flat and buying a house. I was on maternity leave. Initially I didn't tell them (no reason to, I was going back to work on the same salary) but they found out. I have no idea how - tax code maybe? They confronted me with the information, then refused our application for the revised loan terms.

It IS discrimination but there is nothing we can do about it. We ended up paying a £5k break fee to get away from them and go elsewhere (RBS). I imagine one of the state-supported banks would be less likely to associate with such discrimination. I posted on here about it back in the day, on AIBU I think - you could do a search for that thread, I think there was some useful info on it - as well as plenty of naysayers who think it's fine for such discrimination to prevail hmm

Don't lie to them, they may find you out down the line.

whosthis Fri 10-Aug-12 11:15:51

Hi herethereandeverywhere, I am not due yet... Don't know if that would make any difference.

Do you mind to let me know some details? I've sent you a private message.

Thank you.

growingweeble Sat 11-Aug-12 21:43:16

We have just got a mortgage, which we applied for when I had just started my maternity leave. I was hoping to avoid having to tell the bank, but they ask whether you know of any reason why you might have a drop in earnings in the next 12 months. Also, they wanted copies of my payslips which already indicated that I had SMP. We applied to both Chelsea and Nationwide and both calculated the loan based on my earnings when I return to work. With my permission they got letters from my work confirming that I intend to return on the same hours, which seemed pointless as I don't think my employers are allowed to ask that.
A mortgage broker is very useful for selecting lenders who are maternity leave friendly. We used London and Country, although in the end we didn't get the mortgage through them as we found a better one that isn't offered through brokers.

Shenanagins Sat 11-Aug-12 21:54:54

We faced the same problem with First Direct. They were happy to lend to us but only take into consideration my OH earnings even though I was going back to work. We ended up going with Halifax who only required me to send a letter confirming that I was returning to work and on what hours.

In my opinion it's not right that they do this and I would consider it to be discriminatory but tbh I got a good deal in the end.

Spindelina Sun 12-Aug-12 14:58:50

Another vote for Nationwide here. We went through a broker, and when she rang them to check it was OK to apply based on my salary, they said they weren't allowed to discriminate. (But we only needed a very small LTV.)

JSpen Sat 29-Sep-12 21:17:18

Hi there
Can anyone tell me if they had issues getting a mortgage or remortgaging with HSBC whilst on maternity leave? My initial conversation with a mortgage manager at a branch indicated that they would only consider my current salary on SMP and not my fulltime salary until I return to work!

PogoBob Sun 30-Sep-12 13:44:44

I've not read the whole thread as in a rush so sorry if I'm repeating anything.

We applied for a mortgage with Principality last week - I'm 27 weeks - did the application through a broker who did a very good job of ignoring my bump. Slightly different for us though as DH is already a SAHP for DD so DS won't increase out outgoing in terms of childcare etc.

We are also chain free with a seller who wants to complete asap so we should have completed the whole process well before my maternity leave starts after Christmas.

We've got enough put aside to pay the mortgage whilst I'm on maternity leave so don't feel guilty in omitting to tell them about my pregnancy.

ChuckleMonster Sun 30-Sep-12 13:54:23

We sold our house while I was on mat leave and applied to transferred our morgafe to new house and borrow a bit more (Santander). It took 7 months of additional employer references / extra payslips and daily phone calls from me to get the funds approved. I was back at work by the tine we moved. it was horrific.they were (in my opinion) very discriminatory. If I could go back I would have paid the £2k early redemption to not have to deal with them (which they tried to charge us anyway 2 months after we moved)

I tried to complain but even that was virtually impossible (4 hours on phone being passed from wrong department to wrong department). apoligies for shoddy post, crap at typing on phone!

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