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Getting a mortgage while self-employed

Who is this page for?

We understand applying for a mortgage when self-employed can be a worry. If you’re looking for helpful information around the process involved, this page is for you.

We’ll cover everything from the basic mortgage approval criteria to the frequently asked questions around self-employed mortgages. 

Getting a mortgage while self-employed

Being a freelancer or running your own business comes with plenty of challenges – being accepted for a mortgage doesn’t have to be one of them.

While being self-employed means your mortgage application might need more evidence and paperwork, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to be accepted.

We’ll talk you through how to apply for a mortgage when you’re self-employed.  

How to get a mortgage while you're self-employed

If you’re your own boss and apply for a mortgage, you will be getting the same mortgage that someone in salaried employment would get.

People in salaried employment can hand over their payslips and contracts to prove their income – not just in the past, but for the future. If you are self-employed, you might not be able to prove how much you’ll earn in the future.

This can be a challenge for business owners, freelancers and contractors, as income can change from month to month. Contractors aren’t always classed as self-employed, so check with your lender before applying if this is the case.

Before you apply, you’ll have to consider things like your:

  • Personal financesCan you afford to make repayments over the long term? Do you have any existing debts? Look at your budget to see where you can make savings.
  • Professional finances Think about whether your taxable income is enough to afford monthly repayments.

Self-employed mortgage criteria

You may be considered self-employed by a lender if:

  • You own shares in a business which forms your main income
  • You’re a contractor or freelancer
  • You’re acting as a director of a limited company
  • You’re a partner in a partnership or limited company
When you are self-employed and applying for a mortgage, you’ll usually fall into one of three categories:
  • Sole trader You own the business and keep all the profits.
  • Partnership You own a company with one or more people and share the profits.
  • Limited companyYou have set up a company that keeps your own money separate from your business.

Lenders will look at your application based on your business type. Freelancers can be classed as any of the above.

All these categories need to provide different types of evidence of your income.

Documents you will need

You’ll need to provide the following documents if you’re applying for a mortgage while self-employed:

  • Tax calculations and tax year overview (SA302) These show your earnings and the tax you’ve paid. You will get these when you fill in your self-assessment tax return.
  • Evidence of upcoming contractsIf you have work coming up, it might be helpful to share this with your lender.
  • Salary and dividend payments If you are the director of a limited company, lenders will need to see how much you are paying yourself.

Lenders will want to know your profits and how these have changed over the years. This will show them that you are earning a steady income and can make regular repayments.

If you have recently become self-employed, it may be trickier to get a mortgage. In this case, evidence of future earnings or contracts and a strong credit history may help.

  • Here are a few common questions you may have when applying for a mortgage when self-employed.

     

    Can I get a mortgage with a self-employed partner?

    Yes, but they will need to provide evidence of earnings and future earnings. If your partner is self-employed, they will need to prove that they can make regular mortgage payments.

     

    How much income do I need to get a self-employed mortgage?

    There is no set amount that you have to earn to be accepted for a mortgage. You’ll need a good credit rating, a 5-10% minimum deposit and a steady taxable income that means you can make the monthly repayment comfortably.

     

    Do self-employed people pay higher interest rates?

    No, not always. If you can prove you can pay back your mortgage and have a good credit rating and deposit, you won’t necessarily pay a higher interest rate.

     

    Can I get a first time home buyer mortgage while self-employed?

    Yes, it’s no different whether you’re buying your first or second home when you’re self-employed. As long as you have a strong deposit, have a good credit rating, evidence of taxable income and can make the monthly repayments, you may be able to get a mortgage.

     

The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute finance advice.

For impartial financial advice, we recommend government bodies like the Money Advice Service.

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