How do I get a mortgage as a freelancer?
3 tips on how to get a mortgage while working as a property freelancer, by Debbie Fletcher.
While working for yourself has several benefits, it can be a disadvantage when you’re trying to buy a property. These days lenders must satisfy strict rules when dealing with mortgages for self-employed candidates. However, it’s by no means impossible for freelancers to get a loan; you just need to be clued up.
1. Prepare in advance
If you’re wondering how to get a mortgage when self-employed, the most important thing is to be prepared. Mortgage providers need to see that you earn enough money to pay back your loan, so they can be sure you’re worth the risk.
You’ll need to present at least two years of accounts and proof of regular income. Lenders will also want to see that your credit history is clean and that you have enough money for a deposit. It’s a good idea – and often preferred by providers – that you work with a qualified accountant, who will ensure your accounts are organised, up to date and complete.
2. Know your business
While it’s important to be able to prove how much you earn, it’s also essential that you understand the figures. For example, if you had a month where your income dipped, it’s impressive if you can explain what happened and why. On the other hand, if the mortgage lender mentions the dip and you’re unable to provide details, it may affect your chances of being approved.
The type of business you run will also affect your loan application. Sole traders, partnerships and company owners all have slightly different requirements to comply with, so make sure you find out which apply to you. If you’re a sole trader, you’ll need to include at least 1 year’s finalised accounts, or your SA302 tax calculation from HMRC.
3. Shop around
Some mortgage lenders are more strict than others when processing applications from freelancers and owners of small businesses. It’s a good idea to discuss your situation with a number of mainstream and specialist lenders to work out which are used to dealing with self-employed people, and which can offer you the best rates.
Remember it is possible to get a mortgage when you’re self-employed, so don’t give up.
Debbie Fletcher is an enthusiastic, experienced writer who has written for a range of different magazines and news publications over the years. Graduating from City University London specialising in English Literature, Debbie’s passion for writing has since grown. She loves anything and everything technology, and exploring different cultures across the world. She’s currently looking towards starting her Masters in Comparative Literature in the next few years.