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Pregnant women and new mothers who apply for mortgages with some of the UK’s biggest lenders are being declined because taking time out from work will cause a temporary drop in earnings, Refinery29 has learned. 
Thirty-two-year-old Isabelle is a self-employed TV editor based in north London. In the autumn of 2020, shortly before giving birth and while on maternity leave, she and her long-term partner applied for a new mortgage because they needed to upsize in order to accommodate their growing family. 
“We have a combined household income of more than £100,000 and, thanks to the Bank of Mum and Dad, we had a really sizeable deposit of £170,000,” she explains. The property they were hoping to buy was around £700,000, which meant they were able to put down more than 20% upfront.