Specialist Mortgages

Today’s financial climate, and the consequent state of the mortgage & housing market, has made it particularly difficult for many to get their foot onto the property ladder, especially for those who are first-time buyers. Not to mention, although the Covid-19 pandemic is now seated firmly in the past, it undeniably changed the way a lot of people functioned daily, whether concerning their work life or otherwise. And so, the criteria by which high street lenders measure their applicants is currently too inflexible for some. It may even be that you’ve recently found yourself in complex circumstances, but remain an adamant prospective homeowner.

Whatever the reason behind your situation not being so straightforward, it isn’t necessary for you to experience disappointment and frustration throughout the mortgage process. The crux is that you just need access to a lender who is accustomed to handling cases such as yours. Saliently, the prerequisite for this is having the right advice, advice which is solely based on your individual situation.

What we’re collectively describing here are specialist mortgages. Specialist mortgages make it so that many can access to a fitting deal, regardless of their personal circumstances and how negatively they might have been affected by them while trying to get a mortgage. Yet, if all we’ve said so far applies to you, you’ll have to be paired with a specialist lender, in turn, necessitating your speaking to a specialist mortgage broker. We at The Mortgage Genie are professionals in this area and are equipped with the nuanced expertise required to secure deals of all types for our UK clients, as well as that which allows us to guide them through every step of the, often complicated, process. We’ve assisted a substantial number of people in getting their hands on a specialist mortgage, despite the common obstacles. If you’re interested in becoming one among our various success stories then be sure to contact us at 01915809890 today.

However, beyond our recommendations and what we can do to benefit your journey, we highly suggest that you inform yourself on all there is to know relating to specialist mortgages. As such, we’ve put together this piece which comprises all the important details. By reading on, you’ll thereby possess a better understanding of the involved specifics so that you can make an astute decision. Throughout, we’ll go over:

What are specialist mortgages?

Specialist mortgages are those which stand apart from conventional mortgages offered by high street banks. They aren’t as initially recognisable as those which you’d see appear on comparison websites because specialist lenders are sometimes only directly accessible to specialist mortgage brokers. Reason being, that the big banks and building societies - who host comparison sites - are generally tailored towards those with a flawless credit score alongside a stable 9-5 income, whereas specialist mortgages are wholly designed for those who are predominantly ineligible for such deals.

Mainstream lenders have notoriously narrow margins for who they allow to borrow from them, and their decisions are often purely determined by quantifiable measurements. Hence why, if your personal position is more unconventional, they’re fairly likely to outright reject you. In contrast, specialist lenders go further than the surface level when carrying out profile assessments. Namely, human underwriters will account for the context of each application on a case-by-case basis, as opposed to using standardised policies to judge your suitability for borrowing.

Followingly, if you’ve recently been turned down by a high street lender, a specialist lender could represent an alternative & bespoke solution. Yet, again, if you want a favourable chance at securing a specialist mortgage, then we unreservedly & accordingly advise you to hire a specialist mortgage broker who can discern a competitive deal for you.

How do specialist mortgages work?

It’s a common misconception that specialist mortgages, owing to their unique categorisation, work differently from standard residential mortgages. Categorically, a specialist mortgage works similarly to those offered by high street lenders, with the exception being that the former is geared towards those whose circumstances fall outside of the latter’s rigid distinctions.

In essence, the process entails you putting down a portion of a property’s cost, referred to as a mortgage deposit, and undergoing an affordability & hard credit check to determine your financial and personal eligibility, relatively. Thereafter, you’ll then begin to make monthly mortgage repayments towards your new house.

Although, in principle, the procedure functions in the same way, i.e., as a method of getting an idea of how well you’d be able to comfortably make your usual monthly repayments and, likewise, how much of a ‘risk’ you pose before you borrow, specialist lenders’ perspectives are markedly varied. For instance, if a high street lender saw that you either had poor credit score, failed to meet payday loans, handled a court county judgement (CCJ), had an IVA, or that you’d claimed bankruptcy in the past, then they’d typically be inclined to immediately refuse you as a candidate, as per their strict criteria.

On the other hand, while such instances do impress a negative influence onto your mortgage application, specialist lenders are more open to leniency in their assessments. Moreover, this is true to a substantial extent if you’ve accrued a sizable mortgage deposit and it has been over six years since you found yourself in a complicated financial position. If you find this relevant, then it’s possible for a mortgage broker to secure you a competitive deal, one which has inherently favourable interest rates attached to it. This is a highly pertinent factor, considering the additional fees and charges all mortgages come with.

Having said all of this, it should be noted that hard credit checks leave a mark on your report. So, if you want to get a notion of your current eligibility before you apply for a mortgage, then you can use our free credit check tool (£14.99 per month after the free 30-day trial). Making use of it will help you to spot any mistakes or fraudulent activity present on your file, so that you can speedily rectify such issues. The trial and subscription can be cancelled at any time.

Why would I need a specialist mortgage lender?

Specialist mortgages constitute a very broad range of mortgage types. Of which, the mortgage type corresponds to a distinct element of a person’s specific circumstances. The reference point of such certain circumstances denote an aspect of either a person’s current personal or financial position. Another misconception is that specialist mortgages are for those who are irresponsible with their resources, however, this outlook is rather antiquated. We’ve compiled a few examples of specialist mortgages, including reasons as to why exactly you might need a specialist lender:

  • Self-employed mortgages - High street mortgage lenders are particularly stringent when it comes to self-employed applicants, often requiring at least three years’ worth of accounts as proof of income from freelancers & business owners alike. Albeit, it is possible to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed and only have one years’ accounts, or even no accounts, but you’ll need to go to a specialist lender.

  • Diverse income mortgages - For a lot of people, their income isn’t entirely indicated by their monthly wage. For instance, if you work in a job that is commission-based, if you’re entitled to additional benefits, are on a zero-hour contract, or on maternity leave. High street lenders tend to disregard these integral variables, pushing you towards seeking a specialist mortgage.

  • Different mortgage purchase types - There are a vast amount of different ways you can purchase a house, whether this involves a government scheme, a guarantor, or using dividends from your business. High street lenders do not take this into account, whereas specialist lenders do.

  • Shared ownership mortgages - On the back of the last instance, you can get a mortgage through shared ownership, a government-backed scheme wherein you can part-rent and part-buy a property. It will be a lot easier for you to secure such a mortgage by getting in touch with a specialist mortgage broker because these deals fall outside of ‘the norm’.

  • Tier 2 visa mortgages - As the world becomes more and more interconnected, there are an increasing number of foreign nationals who have migrated to work in the UK. This will mean that they are on a tier 2 visa. Despite the context, only a select few lenders offer tier 2 visa mortgages, leading them to be classed as specialist cases.

  • Expat mortgages - Expat mortgages are for those individuals who have emigrated from the UK but want to purchase a house while they’re living abroad. Just as with tier 2 visa mortgages, a limited number of lenders are accustomed to expat mortgages, necessitating specialist advice.

  • Bad credit mortgages - Bad credit mortgages are perhaps the most well-known specialist mortgages. People who find themselves in adverse financial circumstances are inclined to think little on their chances of securing a mortgage, but they are indeed accessible, provided you have specialist advice.

As you can see, the term ‘specialist mortgage’ covers a considerable range of mortgage types, as opposed to consisting only of adverse credit mortgages. Specialist mortgage brokers like us thoroughly understand that conforming circumstances are not all there is among the sprawling pool of potential homeowners, and know how to get people personalised deals. So, as a takeaway, if you’ve previously been rejected for falling into any of the above categories, don’t give up on securing your dream house just yet.

Finding a specialist mortgage lender

As we mentioned, specialist lenders are not present on online mortgage comparison websites, and there’s a slim chance that your bank will notify you of them, given that they symbolise competition. The best specialist lenders do not market their products publicly, and usually only operate within their brokerage network. Meaning, that if you try to find a specialist mortgage lender on your own, it’s highly probable that you’ll be missing out on the best deals that are out there.

The vital key is not only knowing where to look, but also having insider knowledge on an array of lenders’ criteria so that you can locate an established one who is accustomed to handling clients in positions similar to yours. This is a situation where having an independent specialist mortgage broker at hand is more appropriate than ever.

Specialist mortgage brokers

Getting a mortgage, whether it’s specialist or not, is a universally stressful process. It’s natural, after all, a mortgage is generally the biggest investment a person will make during their lifetime. Nonetheless, this is precisely the reason why it’s so crucial for you to choose the correct option when it comes to it. Evidently, finding yourself in a certain position which implies that you aren’t eligible for a deal being offered by your bank works to heightened every intrinsic complexity & doubt.

That’s where experts like ourselves come in. Specialist mortgage brokers provide you with all the assurance and assistance you require when you’re after a non-standard mortgage. Admittedly, while it may be more convenient for you to side with an estate agent’s in-house broker, they will unapologetically cater to the preferences of the seller. Consequently, although opting to hire our services comes with a cost, this will be entirely negated by both the money and worry you save yourself in the long term by getting a personalised mortgage product.

We at The Mortgage Genie have a comprehensive understanding on how to get a mortgage and are dedicated to helping people secure loans of all types. We hope that this article has cleared up the confusion surrounding specialist mortgages, as well as given you a degree of confidence about securing a deal in whatever position you might currently be in.

Each day we aid a growing number of people by getting them a mortgage product that is perfectly tailored towards their individual circumstances, all while navigating them through every step of the way. If you’re in need of a team of expert mortgage brokers, then be sure to get in touch at 01915809890 today and we’ll set you on the journey towards owning your dream home! And why not see how much you could borrow up to right now by using our mortgage calculator?

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.