In the UK, the number of people who work for themselves has grown by more than 20% in the last ten years. However, getting a competitive mortgage as a self-employed borrower still requires knowing important eligibility factors and navigating a process that is more geared towards traditional workers.
In this expanded guide, we’ll talk about what modern lenders look for in self-employed applicants, how to make your profile look its best, and smart ways to find the right goods and lenders for you. Independent workers can show stability, prove income, and show creditworthiness by taking smart steps, which can lead to mortgage approval with great terms.
Showing that income stays the same over time
As a self-employed candidate, one of the most important things is likely to be your ability to show a history of steady income over time. Underwriters focus on stable income because self-employment income is seen as risky and less certain than salaried income.
Give your business’s official yearly accounts for at least the last two years. The sales and profits should have been steadily rising from one year to the next. Bring attention to any contracts that last 12 to 24 months and promise future earnings. For new businesses, accounts that cover a longer time before they started selling may be needed. Do not leave gaps or guesses in your reports that send up red flags.
Have your accountant fill out a self-employed income verification form that checks your reported income levels against past tax returns. This makes people more likely to believe what you say about your salary and profits. Recent bank statements that show business income put into your personal accounts make it even more clear that you can make money.
Making the most of your accounts for self employed mortgage purposes
When getting your finances in order before you apply, you should talk to your accountant about what steps can be taken to make net profit calculations more accurate for loan purposes rather than just tax reasons. As an example:
Taxable profits are kept to a minimum by claiming the maximum amount of allowable business costs, such as using a home office and making pension contributions. However, cutting net income too much can make it harder to get loans.
Reporting income that was not fully reported on your taxes will not help you meet the insurers’ requirements for assessed income either. There are pros and cons to both mortgage and tax accounts.
Lenders get a more full picture of earnings when you clearly show them sources of income other than net profit, such as dividends, director loans, and personal shareholding income.
Accounts that are the same from year to year also help build trust. Don’t have big changes in your income between files. It’s best for earnings to rise slowly over two years.
Having an accountant who knows how to make self-employed accounts work best for loans can be very helpful. The goal is to give a true and believable picture of your steady income.
Putting together a full application package
Over and above official records, underwriters also need extra paperwork such as
Invoices and financial records match up with bank statements that show regular transfers from clients. Draw attention to regular payments.
Tax summaries that show your most recent tax returns and the amount of tax you paid. These numbers should match what’s written on the accounts.
A list of recent contracts and purchase orders that show how business will continue in the future.
For a younger company, business plans that show how it plans to grow and what it will do to get there.
For a self-employed mortgage to go through, you need to show as much valid information as possible to show how you make money. For a polished display, have your accountant put together and send in the application package.
Using common sense to handle personal finances
As part of the self-employed mortgage application, underwriters will look at more than just your business’s funds. They will also look at your personal bank statements, credit reports, and any debts you already have. The results of this more thorough study show how wisely you handle your money.
Statements should show that there is enough money left over after a business move to cover daily living costs. Underwriters want to see a net income that is high enough.
Before you apply, don’t make any strange lump sum withdrawals from business accounts. Paying your salary on time every month builds trust.
Keeping track of accounts like debts, loans, and credits that are paid on time and in order builds trust in your management.
Any problems from the past, like CCJs or defaults, need to be explained. For example, short-term effects from Covid delays need to be explained.
The better your personal credit history, the easier it is to get a mortgage as a self-employed person.
Checking the Sources of the Down Payment
If you are a self-employed borrower, you need to take extra steps to show where the money for your mortgage payment came from. Lenders always want to know more about how deposits are being made.
Give paper records that show how personal savings grow, such as:
Regular bank statements show that your regular income payments go into savings.
Investment profits shown by contracts and records.
Transfers of property or sales of property backed up by formal proof.
Gifted money, as shown by supporter statements and deposit receipts.
For smooth lending, it’s important to show proof that the down payment comes from a real source. There must be a full record of all payments.
Finding the Right Products for People Who Borrow Money on Their Own
Some lenders offer mortgage products just for people who are self-employed. These products don’t focus on current debts or credit scores, but instead look at how much the mortgage will cost overall. Fintech lenders like Atom Bank, Moneybox, and Habito that understand the needs of self-employed people are good places to look for these products.
When you’re self-employed and looking for the best mortgage packages and lenders for your specific strengths and weaknesses, mortgage brokers are your best friends. Brokers only put you in touch with lenders who will work with self-employed people. This keeps applications from going to waste.
For self-employed and contractor borrowers, the best chance of getting a mortgage is to have good money habits, strong proof of income, openness about personal funds, and strategic product matching. Taking charge of these important factors will help your application stand out.