Getting a mortgage is tricky at the best of times: there’s a lot to think about. The banks understandably do a lot of thinking too and put in place many rules about who can borrow and how much.
But what happens when you are a Christian Worker living on gift income?
You sit across the desk from the bank manager and try to explain the situation. “Well, it’s not that I don’t have an income, it’s just that it’s not always the same… I live on the gifts of others… some months people might give me a £500 gift and then my income would go up.”
Hannah Oliver from Kingdom Bank explains:
“Applying for mortgages with high street banks can be difficult because they don’t always understand the Christian Worker’s situation. The processes and documentation often don’t fit with the nature of gift income, it either becomes an extremely painful process or it can grind to a halt altogether.”
If you’re a Christian Worker and this rings true for you then you might be interested to know that Kingdom Bank specialise in helping people like you. Their in-depth understanding of gift income and significant experience of lending to ministry workers means that they are sometimes able to lend when mainstream lenders are not. They also offer Shared Ownership mortgages, providing another possible route into home ownership.
If you haven’t come across Kingdom Bank before, you might be wondering what they are all about. For deposit customers they offer a unique opportunity: customers receive a slightly lower interest rate than they might find elsewhere while having the joy of knowing that their money is working hard for the Kingdom just by sitting in the bank. While customers who borrow can know that Kingdom Bank shares their ethos and understands their work. (And they have recently lowered their interest rates to better serve ministry workers!)
And while we’re on the topic of housing, if you live in the London area, a great organisation for you to know is Mission Housing. They help Christian Workers through their Shared Ownership programme. Mission Housing say:
‘If you’re working with a church or Christian organisation in London, we may be able to help you fulfil your mission by enabling you to live in a suitable home in the heart of the community you serve.’
Sometimes with high street banks it can seem like the doors are closed to Christian workers, so it’s great to know that doors are open elsewhere, ready for you to knock on them.