Myself and my husband have been foster carers for 17 years and have always rented our home from the council.

So we decided to find out if we were able to buy our council house.

We were told that we could buy our home and would receive a £46,000 discount due to the number of years we had been tenants.

We also decided that we would want to borrow an additional amount to put on a conservatory to make the property more comfortable for ourselves and the children we foster.

With that in mind we made an appointment with our bank who we have been with for 25 years to arrange the mortgage.

And that was where the problems started!

Our bank were not able to lend us the money (£46,000) due to the way our payments from the council were paid to us.

Our income was paid fortnightly straight into our bank account. The problem was as it was a carers’ allowance we did not pay any tax. Other foster carers have also struggled with this problem – see

Our bank advised us that they couldn’t take it into account as it wasn’t taxable, but they would give us a personal loan. However, we couldn’t use that loan to buy our home. So what was the point?

I was then advised to speak with Manchester Mortgages by friend who was also a foster carer and had used their services before.

They met with us at a place and time convenient to us knowing how busy we are.

They were able to recommend a lender who would take into consideration how we received our income from the council and allow us to borrow the additional amount for the conservatory.

They did all the paperwork for us and kept us informed at each stage and were able to find us a local solicitor to do all the legal work.

We are now proud owners of our own home.

We have since recommended Manchester Mortgages to other foster carers who have also had problems obtaining a mortgage due to the way they receive their income.