increasing morgage - what do I need to tell them?

Hi, we are thinking of trying to get a bigger mortgage (desperate for a garden) and I am not sure how the cancer diagnosis will effect my chances of getting life cover / mortgage. has anyone been through the process already or can anyone suggest who i could speak to about my options? I had BC and maestectomy / radiotherapy nearly 4 years ago and took myself off tamoxifen this year so technically i am no longer having treatment.

Hi Lisa

I don’t think you need to take out insurance if you take out a repayment mortgage as the mortgage will be paid off completely at the end of the term. If you take out an interest only mortgage the lender may want to see that you have an investment in place to pay off the outstanding sum at the end of the term. I suppose insurance is a personal thing to take out to ensure that if one of you dies, the other will be left struggling to pay the mortgage, but I don’t think it is compulsory for a mortage.

However, if you decide to take out insurance, you must disclose all your past medical history otherwise if you died, it would be completely invalid. I think these days, BC is so common that most of the underwriters will take into account your individual history.

thanks for your help!


I worked for a big bank for almost 20 yrs and was a mortgage adviser at time of diagnosis. Unfortunately, due to secondary bone cancer I haven’t been able to return to the role and have been medically retired. The following info is still valid though !
The increase in mortgage will be dependent on things like your incomes, outgoings and credit scores and should not be effected by the cancer. When it comes to any health questions, you do have to disclose any illnesses they ask about under what is known as ‘duty of disclosure’ otherwise the contract (usually the life/critical illness/protection policy) is void. The level of underwriting is determined by the company and they may refuse insurance cover completely, exclude the cancer in your case from the cover or load the premium if they do provide cover. Please make sure you get proper advice and go into things in detail - any reputable adviser should be able to answer your queries and explain the policy and its cover.

As has already been stated, life cover isn’t compulsory with a repayment mortgage and is down to personal choice after weighing up the risks involved and individual circumstances.

I was fortunate in that I had taken a critical illness policy out 7 years earlier and they agreed the claim within 2 days of getting medical reports back. Huge relief and having practised what I preached, it worked !

Hope this helps and good luck in moving !

thanks - enjoy your time off x

We currently don’t have a mortgage and have approached our bank to borrow half the value of our house. We bought another property to renovate 6 months before I was diagnosed and the work had to be put on hold during my treatment. I couldn’t get benefits, so we had to use the renovation money to keep ourselves afloat (long story, but we had just started a business). We plan to use the money to renovate and furnish the flat in order to let it out, plus we need a new bathroom and kitchen ourselves and the rest of the money is contingency for the business.

Our bank manager has been fully aware of my situation since just after I was diagnosed and we have been told there should be no problem, we just have to submit our accounts and tax stuff. They are not interested in the fact I’ve had cancer as my business is doing reasonable well and we have other investments to draw on.