Mortgages for the self employed

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Self-employment does not rule out the possibility of obtaining a mortgage, despite the perceived lack of security that is associated with being self-employed.

The following is a list of factors that are taken into account by prospective mortgage lenders when assessing your eligibility for a mortgage:

Photo Credit: Casey Serin (

Photo Credit: Casey Serin via Flickr

Proof of income

New rules imposed by the Financial Service Authority now mean that anyone applying for a mortgage must prove that they have adequate income to be able to pay for the mortgage.

What you will need:

  • Bank statements
  • Tax return records  – including the SA302 form and Self-Assessment Tax Returns
  • Official company accounts

These documents will be used to assess your ability to keep up with the monthly repayments. Lenders will ask for these documents covering a two or sometimes three year period.



The bigger the deposit you are able to provide as a down payment for your new house, the more impressed lenders will be and the more inclined to allow room for negotiation in terms of the mortgage rates that they are willing to provide.



Debt is something that is taken into account regardless of whether you are self-employed or not. If you are – or have been – subject to sizeable debts, this may have a significantly negative impact on your ability to obtain a mortgage. In these circumstances, you should consider seeking advice.


Seek advice from your current bank

Advisors at the bank that you use to hold the finances obtained from your self-employment may well be the best people to advise you on how to plan for a mortgage. This is because they have been privy to the details of your financial circumstances over the last few years and will therefore be able to tell you what your options are and how best to increase your eligibility for a mortgage.

Try using a calculator like eMortgage Calculator to work out how much you would pay when your self-employed earnings are taken into account.


The future

As well as providing evidence of your past earnings, it is likely that you will need to provide your projections for future earnings to illustrate that you will also have the ability to keep up with monthly repayments in the years to come. This is especially relevant to those with new businesses who will obviously not be able to provide proof of prior earnings from self-employment.

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  1. J had to go through this process when he was self employed. It stopped being worth it to him so he started working for a company, but it can be a bit of a pain to get a mortgage for those who are self employed!

    • CF says:

      It’s a tough situation! I imagine it’d be especially frustrating for those with a lot of cash on-hand who want to take advantage of low interest rates.

  2. Another challenge for the self-employed. I’m not even at the point of thinking of a mortgage, but I do sometimes feel concerned that if I had to get another apartment it would be difficult with my sketchy variable income. Although my credit is very good.

  3. Jose says:

    Interesting topic. I’ve known a few self employed folks that were extremely aggresive on how they filed their taxes. Those that were had a difficult time in getting mortgages and even car loans as a result.

  4. I’ve talked to a few lenders and they said it’s possible for you to get a mortgage after 1 years of solid earnings/commission/self-employment income. However, the majority of banks that I know of require 2 years worth of a income track record. So, if you’re just starting a business or a 1099 job, then it could still be tough to land a mortgage.

  5. Pauline says:

    I agree that your current bank would be the easiest go to in order to get a self employed mortgage. I was happy to get mine before I became self employed, or I would have needed 3 years of self employment income to get a mortgage.

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