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Self-employed mortgages

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Our broker partner Mojo Mortgages can help you find a mortgage if you're self-employed

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  • Mojo compares with over 70 lenders to find the right self-employed mortgage for you

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What counts as self-employed?

Lenders typically consider you self-employed if you earn most of your income from a business where you own at least 20-25%.

If you're self employed you're normally classed as one of the following:

  • Sole trader
  • Contractor
  • Limited company director
  • Business partner in a partnership

Depending on which category you fall into, lenders might have different requirements when you apply for a mortgage.

Is it harder to get a mortgage if you're self employed?

It can be a bit harder to get a mortgage if you're self employed because you normally need to do a bit more to prove your income to a lender.

This is because the lender wants to make sure you can afford the repayments and they can't rely on payslips from your employer to tell them this.

Before 2014, self-employed people could apply for 'self-certification mortgages'. This meant they could declare their own income, without providing evidence, and their borrowing amount was based on that.

But following the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), lenders have become stricter and these no longer exist.

As long as you supply the correct documents, you shouldn't have too many issues. This is where a broker can help, like our partner Mojo Mortgages.

Self-employed mortgages with Mojo

We've partnered with an expert broker, Mojo Mortgages.

Just answer some questions about your situation and let Mojo's expert advisors guide you to a mortgage tailored to your needs. And the best part of it all is, it’s completely free (yes, really!).

With access to lenders across the whole of the market, Mojo advisors strive to save you money and find your best mortgage rate.

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4.5 rating based on 3,904 reviews
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How much can I borrow if I'm self-employed?

Lenders usually cap your borrowing amount around 4.5 times your annual income.

If you're a sole trader, they may take an average of your net profit over a period of time in order to work out this amount.

They normally look at your share of net profit or salary and dividends if you're a company director.

For contractors, they may take an average of your income over the past few years. But if your earnings have changed significantly in that time, they might look at your lowest earning year. 

How to boost my chances for being accepted for a mortgage when self-employed?

  • Build up a deposit depending on your rough property budget. The first thing you need when thinking of applying for a mortgage is a deposit. You normally need at least a 5% deposit, but the larger it is, the better mortgage deals you can access.
  • Sort out your finances so that you can evidence your income appropriately to lenders. You might want to hire an accountant. Lenders sometimes prefer accounts provided by a certified accountant as they're more reliable.
  • Have a good credit score so that lenders see you as reliable and more likely to make monthly repayments. There are some lenders who offer bad credit mortgages but you have to meet the specialist lenders' critera.
  • Get a mortgage in principle which is a document that outlines how much a bank or building society is willing to lend you. Also known as an agreement or decision in principle. It isn't a guarantee they will accept your application, but it helps with budgeting and estate agents may ask to see it.
  • Get your documents together so that they are ready to send when you apply for your mortgage. Deals change quickly so it's best to get these to your broker as soon as you can.
  • Apply for a mortgage with a broker like Mojo Mortgages. Mojo can help you supply the correct documents and compare mortgages to suggest suitable deals. This reduces the risk of you being rejected.

What documents do I need when applying for a self-employed mortgage?

If you're self-employed you require the following documents:

  • Proof of ID and address
  • Bank statements and evidence of how you funded your deposit
  • SA302 forms or a tax overview from the HMRC for the past couple of years
  • 2+ years of certified accounts

If you're a contractor, you might also need to show evidence of upcoming contracts.

Company directors may be required to provide proof of dividend payments or retained profits.

Business partners might need to evidence their share of profits.

Make sure to check what documents are required with your broker or in the lender's terms and conditions. 

What if I’ve only been self-employed for a short time?

Many lenders require at least 2 years of certified accounts when you apply for a mortgage as a self employed person.

But there are some providers that may be able to consider you even if you've only been employed a short amount of time. Bear in mind that you'll have access to a smaller range of deals though.

Mojo Mortgages can help advise you on which lenders may be more likely to consider you.

What our mortgage expert says

"If you're self-employed, you normally need to do more to evidence your income. Ideally, you must demonstrate a steady income over the past 2 or 3 years. Many lenders now accept an HMRC SA302 form as verification of income. Our Mojo experts can help you navigate the process of applying for a mortgage when you're self-employed."

Claire Flynn, Senior Content Editor at Mojo
Senior Content Editor | Mojo, Mortgages Expert | Confused.com Mojo logo

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Mojo mortgages have a 4.5 rating based on 3904 reviews
as of 30/01/2024

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Need more help?

Do self employed people pay higher mortgage rates?

No, self employed people don't generally pay higher mortgage rates than others.

But if there are any complications with your application, you may find that the only deals available to you have higher rates.

This could be the case if you've only been self employed for a short amount of time or you have poor credit.

Can I get a joint mortgage with a self-employed worker?

Yes, you can get a joint mortgage with someone who's self employed.

But they need to evidence their income properly. The lender needs to be satisfied you can make the payments.

If they don't do this, it increases the risk of you both being rejected which can impact both your credit scores.

To limit this risk, it might be worth speaking to a broker who can advise you both on what documents you need to provide.

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Page last reviewed: 30 January 2024

Reviewed by: Claire Flynn


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