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PhD scholarship not recognised as income!

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Bec | 26 Oct 2013, 04:35 PM Agree 0
My husband are looking to purchase our first property. We have saved so far 10% of our deposit and have no debts and no children. Several lenders have refused finance because of my husbands income. He is a PhD student and receives an Australian Commonwealth Scholarship from the government as well as a top-up stipend from the university totalling $29,000 annually. Because it is tax free, it is considered $0 income and doesn't even count as self supporting. Which means our borrowing power is based on my income with a 'dependant spouse'. I work permanent part time (3 days a week) in the non-for-profit sector, topped up with casual employment so my borrowing power is very limited. My husband also earns additional income as a casual academic. I'm applying for full time work but lenders have told me that even with a full time income my borrowing power would still be only about $180,000. We are looking at properties in the range of $250-$280,000 and it is difficult to find something decent but we have come across a few we like. We want something we can live in now but will also be a great investment to rent out in a couple of years. I want to get our foot in the property door now as we plan to build up a portfolio of investments. Has anyone heard of lenders approving PhD scholarships or can anyone give any advice on this matter? I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
  • Rose | 21 May 2014, 09:49 PM Agree 0
    Hi Bec, It's been several months since you posted this so you might have already solved this problem, but in case you haven't.... I had the exact same problem as a PhD student when purchasing an apartment a couple of years ago. Like your husband, I also had a small amount of additional income from part-time work but this wasn't enough for lenders to consider granting more than a small personal loan. Eventually I did manage to find a lender who would recognise my PhD scholarship as income - my university credit union. They assessed the scholarship income exactly the same as they would income from full time work and I was able to purchase a property with a standard 20% deposit. So my advice would be to see if his university has a credit union and apply with them. I was pleasantly surprised that the interest rate and fees etc were comparable to one of the big four (cheaper, in fact.) Good luck!
  • Rem | 24 May 2014, 11:39 AM Agree 0
    West PAC bank , I heard recognises income of phd student.
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