I am a Pupil Barrister – Can I get a mortgage?

For a Pupil Barrister, finding a mortgage isn’t always easy. We often find when clients come to us, that branch advisers or other brokers have advised that they are unable to lend, as they do not fit the standard bank’s “tick box” lending criteria. Many underwriters also have a limited understanding of a Barrister’s income.

How can we help a Pupil Barrister get a mortgage?

Based on the experiences our clients have faced when trying to obtain a mortgage with the standard high street lenders, we developed pilots with a few specific banks, who are able to take a more holistic approach toward a Barrister’s income.

How will these lenders’ criteria differ from a standard high street lender?

We worked closely with the underwriting and credit risk departments within these specific banks to ensure they are familiar and comfortable with the evidence we can provide – such as the letter from chambers confirming the award and forward projecting income if taken on as a tenant. 

The Pupillage award is guaranteed for the typical twelve-month term and broken into two parts – the first six and the second six. These amounts are typically tax-free, meaning a lender can take this into account as pure income to calculate affordability. This type of income is best compared to a stipend that many students will receive when studying for their PhD.

It is common among most sets, that Pupils will be able to start earning additional fees on cases they work on, within their second six – these can be evidenced via an aged debt report, work done report or payment summary. These reports are easily available to a Barrister directly or from their clerks via LEX reporting systems. 

Rachel Bale, Founder of Her Bar, commented:

“Pupillage can be a very challenging time for home ownership. For many second-six Pupils, it is the first time they’ve ever experienced self-employment and therefore, do not have the advantage of relying on aged debt to supplement income. Meaning their monthly earnings can be lower than expected and later fluctuate. Furthermore, Pupils cannot rely on previous years of income, even if they have been previously employed.

Using a bespoke mortgage broker, such as Henry Dannell, is a real asset for Barristers, as they are able to advise what relevant evidence can be used for a mortgage application and can make the dream of owning a home seem more achievable for a self-employed practitioner, at the beginning of their career.”

Why should a Pupil Barrister use Henry Dannell?

With our extensive experience in the Barrister lending market, we understand our client’s income. With this knowledge, we are able to evidence affordability to an underwriter, using documents to outline current and projected income. This allows us to provide the lender with a forecast that even within the initial twelve-month training period and, in this instance, the first six months of true practice, the upward trajectory of income is sharp, specifically for Pupil Barristers within certain sets of practice. 

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Please note: a mortgage is secured against your home or property. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Please also note: The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most forms of buy to let mortgage.