How Many Times Your Salary Can You Borrow for a Mortgage?

If you're considering applying for a mortgage, chances are you've encountered numerous terms that will soon become part of your financial vocabulary. Among these is the concept of mortgage income multiples, also known as salary multiples. Understanding this term is integral as it directly influences the amount you can borrow for a mortgage, regardless of your income.

In this guide, we'll outline your borrowing potential based on your salary, covering the methods by which lenders assess your affordability. We will go over:

How many times my salary can I borrow for a mortgage?

Your borrowing potential hinges on your income multiplied by a factor. Typically, lenders extend loans ranging from four to five times your annual earnings, though variations can occur.

For instance, if you earn £30,000 annually, your borrowing range could be £120,000 to £135,000. With a £50,000 yearly income, your potential borrowing could span £200,000 to £225,000. Similarly, if you earn £70,000 annually, you might access £280,000 to £315,000 in borrowing.

For a more precise estimate, you can use our mortgage calculator.

What other factors do lenders use to calculate affordability?

Employment type

Your occupation and employment status can significantly impact your borrowing capacity. Mainstream lenders generally favour applicants with stable, conventional employment paths, such as teachers and doctors, considering them lower risk. However, self-employed individuals can secure comparable borrowing amounts if they meet the lender's criteria.

For self-employed individuals aiming at higher borrowing limits, specific requirements apply:

  • Sole Traders and Partnerships: Lenders usually assess income based on the average of the last 2-3 years' net profits for sole traders. For partners, owning a share of 25% or more in the partnership means your portion of the average net profits over the same period is considered for mortgage purposes.

  • Limited Company Directors: Most lenders calculate income by averaging your salary and dividends over the past 2-3 years. Some may also consider retained profits for mortgages involving limited company directors.

  • Contractors: Lenders determine income differently based on the type of contractor. This can involve an annualised version of your day rate or an average of net profits, depending on your contractor status.

For an estimate tailored to your situation, feel free to try our self-employed mortgage calculator.

Regular outgoings

Lenders typically focus on your disposable income when assessing affordability, subtracting all existing expenses from your annual income to determine your debt-to-income ratio. The remainder represents your usable income.

Even with a substantial salary, high outgoings can limit borrowing capacity. For instance, if you earn £30k annually with £10k in expenses, your usable income would be £20k. Moreover, lenders consider various commitments that could affect your mortgage repayment ability, including credit card debt, personal loans, childcare expenses, and student loan repayments.

Credit score

While lenders don't specify a minimum credit score for their mortgage products, they do seek a healthy overall credit report. Generally, the higher the borrowing amount, the more stringent the credit assessment. As such, a history of adverse credit may limit access to maximum income multiples, especially with high street lenders.

If you want to get an idea of your eligibility before you apply, then you can use our free credit check tool (£14.99 per month after the free 30-day trial). Using it will help you to view any possible mistakes or fraudulent activity on your profile, so that you can deal with any outstanding issues. The trial and subscription can be cancelled at any time.

How can I increase my borrowing capacity?

1. Use a bigger deposit

Using a larger mortgage deposit reduces the amount you need to borrow, ensuring a smoother affordability assessment. Consider a £150,000 home purchase: with a 5% deposit (95% LTV), you'd need to borrow £142,500, whereas a 20% deposit (80% LTV) lowers your borrowing requirement to £120,000.

Furthermore, a larger deposit often translates to lower mortgage costs for two reasons. Firstly, your loan amount decreases, and secondly, lenders might offer you competitive interest rates, perceiving lower risk due to your substantial investment. Generally, the most favourable mortgage deals are reserved for those with deposits of 40% or more (60% LTV).

2. Opt for a joint or guarantor mortgage

A joint mortgage involves applying for a mortgage with another individual, whether it's a spouse, partner, family member, or friend. By combining your incomes, lenders assess your joint financial strength, allowing you to borrow more. For example, if both applicants earn £30,000 annually, then their combined income of £60,000 might qualify them for a mortgage between £240,000 and £270,000.

For an estimate, be sure to use our joint mortgage calculator.

Alternatively, if you find yourself unable to afford your desired home despite maximising your individual income, a guarantor mortgage could present a solution. This type of mortgage entails securing your borrowing, either partially or fully, with the support of a guarantor who leverages their property, income, or savings.

3. Speak to a mortgage broker

Traditional lenders on the high street often adhere to strict lending criteria, limiting borrowing opportunities. Specialist lenders, however, may provide more flexible terms, including higher salary multiples. Engaging a whole-of-market mortgage broker provides access to these lenders.

In fact, certain specialist lenders exclusively work through intermediaries like brokers. Therefore, if your goal is to secure a loan beyond what mainstream banks generally offer, it's advisable to consult with a broker such as us.

Get Personalised Quote

At The Mortgage Genie, our team comprises seasoned mortgage brokers with a focus on maximising lending choices. We maintain relationships with a diverse array of lenders, including those offering mortgages with multiples of up to 5 or 6 times your salary.

Additionally, we can facilitate lending based on various income sources, such as supplemental income, overtime, and commission, catering to both self-employed individuals and conventional salaried workers alike. Contact us today at 01915809890 to explore your options.

Mortgage Details

This information is a guide only and should not be relied on as a recommendation or advice that any particular mortgage is suitable for you. All mortgages are subject to the applicant(s) meeting the eligibility criteria of the specific lender. You should make an appointment to receive mortgage advice which will based on your needs and circumstances.

Company Information

The Mortgage Genie Limited is Registered in England and Wales with Company Number 9803176. The Mortgage Genie Limited is an Appointed Representative of PRIMIS Mortgage Network, a trading name of First Complete Ltd. First Complete Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Most Buy-to-Let Mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The guidance contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore primarily targeted at consumers based in the UK.


Depending on the complexity of your mortgage there may be a fee for our mortgage advice and arrangement service, which will be discussed and agreed before you make a mortgage application. A typical fee is £293 and will never be more than 1% of the mortgage amount.