Securing a mortgage during your PhD
Let’s start off by clearing up a misunderstanding from the get-go: securing a mortgage during your PhD research can often actually be possible!
Various mortgage providers have devised a special policy for this target group due to the positive future prospects of PhD students. Depending on your situation, there are often more options open to you than you think. Viisi’s advisors know how to prepare your application thoroughly, and are happy to consider your options together with you.
On this page
Can I secure a mortgage in my current PhD situation?
The likelihood of obtaining a mortgage during your PhD research depends on your situation. There are 3 situations to consider:
1. You have been working on your PhD research for 3 years or longer
Has your PhD research been running for 3 years, and do you have 3 annual statements that are indicative of this? If so, then you’re eligible to apply for a flex income-based mortgage.
If the purchase price is below the NHG limit (€ 325,000), you are also eligible for an NHG mortgage.
2. You have been working on your PhD research for less than 3 years, and can obtain a statement of intent
Because the average doctoral research takes between 4 to 5 years, any employment contract is usually of a temporary nature. As a result, obtaining a statement of intent for PhD students is not standard.
There are of course exceptions: you may have already agreed that you will remain affiliated to the university or your employer. Always ask if you are eligible for a statement of intent.
If the purchase price is below the NHG limit (€ 325,000), you can use a statement of intent to become eligible for an NHG mortgage. Is the purchase price above the NHG limit? If so, then extra motivation may be required. Discuss this thoroughly together with your advisor.
3. You have been working on your PhD research for less than 3 years and cannot obtain a statement of intent
When you can obtain a statement of intent and are not yet able to submit 3 annual statements, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot get a mortgage. There are certainly a number of options left.
For example, there are several lenders who maintain a special policy for PhD students. We will then look at your specific situation: for example, which field you are obtaining your PhD in, and whether you can show that there is a solid future perspective in the employment market. In many situations, you will still be able to qualify for a mortgage.
Would you like to know what options are out there for you?
Thanks to our extensive experience with PhD candidates, we can make an accurate estimate of your possibilities. Contact us without any further obligations, and we will talk through your options together with you.
An example: Thomas & Anna's PhD mortgage
Thomas (24) and Anna (26) set up an appointment with the Viisi advisor, after just having put in an offer on a nice apartment. The purchase price is € 275,000: an amount that they can easily borrow based on both their income and work situations, and one they have calculated online beforehand.
Anna works in IT and has a permanent contract of employment. Thomas studied physics and immediately started his PhD research after his studies, for which he is employed by the university.
Their financing options
In practice however, they come across a number of hurdles when trying to obtain financing. Many of the lenders they have approached only want to include Anna’s income in the mortgage calculation. Using Anna’s income alone however will not cover the financing up to the purchase price – this in spite of Thomas earning a similar salary at the university. In addition though, they have saved a lot in recent years and do not have any (study) debts.
The problem: a fixed-term employment contract
The stumbling block for most lenders is that Thomas has a fixed-term employment contract. There is no intention to convert the job contract into permanent employment after its termination; a situation that is very common in the academic world.
After all, only a limited number of PhD candidates go on to actually work at the university. The vast majority embark on a generally successful career in business – either within or outside their own field of expertise. In the standard acceptance requirements of lenders, this is not taken into account; something we are aware of at Viisi.
Viisi convinces the mortgage provider
The Viisi advisor in this example shares their knowledge with the acceptors of the mortgage providers, conveying substantiated information about the solid prospects of physics PhD candidates. Partly because of this information, the lender decides to include Thomas’ income in the financing, thereby allowing Thomas and Anna to go ahead and buy the apartment after all!
Are you curious about your options?
Are you curious about the options in your situation? If so, then set up an obligation-free phone appointment with one of our advisors.
This is how Viisi will get you a mortgage as a PhD candidate
This shows that many PhD candidates therefore wrongly postpone buying a home, and it’s something we want to change.
PhD candidates often fall outside the standard acceptance criteria of lenders, but lenders can deviate from this, provided that they are well motivated. Much depends on the preparation of the mortgage application.
Viisi understands the situation of PhD candidates, as well as the criteria affecting financing.
A greater role for educational attainment and career prospects
The number of permanent employment contracts has been decreasing for years. For many mortgage providers, this is a reason to look at criteria other than the employment contract alone. Education level and career prospects are increasingly becoming determining factors, which can be to the advantage of PhD students.
We are looking to accelerate this trend, and are realizing this by, among other things, bringing the financial potential of PhD students to the attention of lenders.
Career prospects equal security
After completing their studies, PhD candidates soon find employment, whereby they usually earn a pretty decent salary. This is especially the case for PhD research in the medical, legal or technical field.
This is confirmed by a study conducted by Leiden University among PhD graduates: out of all academics, PhD graduates are most likely to be in paid employment following their studies. Just over 2% will not have a job after completing the training and PhD programme, compared to the nearly 8% unemployed among the Dutch labour force as a whole.
We know the right mortgage providers
We know exactly which mortgage providers take PhD graduates into account in their assessment policy. This is the case for about a quarter of all lenders.
We understand what a PhD entails
Through years of experience with the highly educated target group, we know what is decisive in terms of obtaining mortgage financing. We notice that banks are relatively unfamiliar with PhD graduates, and we therefore regularly explain to mortgage underwriters what PhD research is.
To summarize: we are specialized in high level-educated clients, and regularly encounter PhD graduates. In addition, all advisors who work for us are academically trained or graduates. We are therefore very well versed in getting across why you, as a PhD graduate, are suitable to take out a mortgage.
Which PhD graduates can we help?
We have experience with different types of PhD graduates, including:
- Trainee researcher assistants (AIO’s in Dutch): also focus on teaching in addition to research.
- Trainee researchers (OIO’s in Dutch): usually focus mainly on research.
- Research physician: researchers with a medical background who often carries out clinical tasks.
- (General) physician in training to become a specialist (AIOS or HAIOS in Dutch): graduated doctor following training in a hospital to become a specialist.
- Doctor not in training to become a specialist (ANIOS in Dutch): also a graduated doctor but not (yet) training to become a specialist.
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Are you looking to find out more about buying a home as a PhD candidate?
Feel free to contact us.