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Self Employed?

Builders & Tradesman | Freelancers

Sole-Traders | Contractors | Company Directors

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Your comprehensive Self-employed mortgage guide


A Self Employed person can be someone who is a sole trader, builders carpenter, electrician, locums, company directors, freelancers, contractors. Any person who will file a self-assessment every year. Workers in the UK who are currently self-employed is around 15% or 5 million people which the lenders cannot ignore. Therefore our Specialist brokers have worked to make sure they have the knowledge and understanding to help Self-employed clients get the mortgage with ease. Our experienced brokers accurately provide the product information and criteria so the application process can be explained in detail and move forward smoothly

Self Employed clients for so long have felt getting a mortgage is easier if you’re employed. Well that is not simply true, as lenders today are far more equipped to understand Self Employed workers as they do employed clients.

What we have noticed at Bad credit mortgage brokers is that Self-employed monthly income is staggered and sometimes inconsistent. Therefore lenders look at the client’s net profit which is on your self-assessment / tax returns. It is important for a lender to see that a self-employed client has submitted their self-assessment, tax returns and has been registered with HMRC.

Self Employed clients don’t always know their exact annual figures, with money coming in and costs going out it can be hard to track. More often or not, their accountants submit their books to HRMC, so it’s important the specialist brokers have the tax returns to help give them the correct annual income. One important factor, if the lenders do require more information from the client’s accountants, they must be qualified accountants or book keepers who must be registered by an acceptable professional body. –

Now most lenders require a minimum 2yrs tax returns / accounts (SA302’S & Tax year overviews). However our specialist brokers have lenders who would accept 1yrs Tax Returns and some instances lenders would like the individual’s accountant to project next year’s income. What is becoming ever important when submitting Tax Returns to the lender is the Tax Overviews. These documents are fundamental when applying for a mortgage as Self Employed.

When applying for a mortgage SA302’S or Tax Returns must be requested by yourself or your accountant from HMRC as they do not issue them anymore – the Tax year overviews can be found online on your HMRC tax account.


This is a mortgage for people who have set up a business or own more than 25% shareholding of any business. You have your normal trade workers who are self-employed and own 100% of their business, however there are customers who do not completely own their company as they have partner or silent business partners. So it is important to understand that any person who has the latter shareholding of more than 25%, then lenders class as self-employed thus falling into this category.

Lenders treat self-employed no differently and it needs to be clarified how they earn their income and how much by way of tax returns and submitted accounts to HRMC. The same rates and products apply to them as they would to employed person. A 95% mortgage product can be available for self-employed customers as long as the criteria is met. Once income can be verified by tax returns then the same process applies to any mortgage.


The myth that lenders don’t want to lend to self-employed clients because they are considered high risk – irregular / staggered monthly income.

Lenders today are so equipped with the modern ways of earning and they understand how self-employed people earn. Inconsistency and irregular payments are confirmed by annual figures that are registered HMRC at the end of their financial year. Lender’s like to see submitted accounts as proof of income and nothing else to process your residential mortgage application.

Our specialist brokers understand this market with vast experience of process and applying for these particular mortgage products. So anyone that is working in the Self-employed capacity can feel confident they are coming to the right place to succeed in getting the mortgage approved.


Sole trader and LTD Company Directors

Self Employed customers incomes are assessed by mortgage lenders to ascertain the amount they can borrow. The more years you have trading the stronger your application.

Mortgage Lenders, like any other application, work on affordability and self-employed customers are no different. The amount borrowed more often is easier to calculate by what lenders class as income multiples. The annual net profit amount you earn, times 4.5 or even 5 X income depending on your circumstances.

So whatever your self-employed net profit or income from employment for Company directors, average over 2 year’s earnings, the lenders will X 4.5 or with some lender is can be 5 x you income. Although some lenders will just take you recent annual figures.

Net Profit Average over 2 years

2017/2018 Net Profit = £32,000

2018/2019 Net Profit = £35,000

£32,000 + £35,000 = £67,000 / 2 = £33,500 (2 Year Average)

£33,500 x 4.5 = £150,750 max borrowing

Whilst this a simple calculation to work out how much you can borrow, other factors need to be considered which may impact your borrowing. Financial commitments such are credit card, loans, hire purchase agreements and financial dependants such as your children or partners that are not working. Lenders also take in consideration what parts of the UK you live. This is to determine if your spending is in line with their affordability matrix. Therefore it is vitally important you speak to Bad credit mortgage brokers who will guide you through this and help understand it better.

Contractors Income criteria

Anyone who is a contractor will be assessed a little different from the above. If the applicant has just started the contract but has experience before moving to be a contractor then mortgage banks will look at the case favourably. Any contractor with no experience in the same field and just started will find it difficult.

Contractors who have experience or new but have worked in a similar role before will be assessed as follows

Lenders basic calculations work on following figure = Day rate x 5 days x 48 weeks

Contractor Income Example

Day rate = £185

£185 x 5 days = £925

£925 x 48 working weeks = £44,000 annual income

Lenders Criteria

Evidenced By


Sole traders | LTD Company Directors | Partnership

  • Minimum 12 months trading history
  • Sole traders net profit accepted
  • LTD Company directors, salary and dividends accepted
  • Partnerships, will accept your share of the net profit
  • Self-assessment Tax returns ( SA302’S ) and Tax year overview or Minimum 1 years accounts
  • 3 months personal bank statements
  • 3 months business bank statement


  • Income calculated as day rate x 5 (day per week) x 48 (working weeks in year )
  • Continuous employment of 12 months or minimum of 3- 6 months of the contract remaining.
  • Less than 3 months must have written confirmation that employer will renew contract for a certain period of time. This depends on the lender your bad credit mortgage broker sources for you.
  • Copy of current contract
  • Copy of previous contracts
  • 3 months bank statement

Whilst each company type would have accounts and profit and loss accounts, what lenders today are more concerned about assessing is the applicant’s self-assessment Tax Returns and Tax Overviews. If you as a sole trader or your LTD Company has been running for over 3yrs it’s always good to provide company accountants as well as your self-assessment Tax Returns. Our experts are finding it becoming more common that lenders are requesting the self-assessment Tax Returns (SA302’s) and tax year overviews for the applicant.


Self Employed income is proven through you self-assessment tax returns you file every year, they have been known to be called SA302’s in mortgage terms.

Lender’s stipulation is minimum 2 years self-assessment Tax Returns with Tax year Overviews and with some banks its 3 years Tax Returns. However our specialist brokers who have access to whole of market products can source lenders who would accept ONLY ONE YEARS TAX RETURNS. This does narrow the client’s options but our Brokers can and have applied with 1yrs accounts and the mortgages have been approved. It is important to note that with 1yrs tax returns the customers may need an accountant’s projection in some cases

Specialist Lenders will always need clarification with income so if a customers has low income in the first year and the increased in the second year what most lenders would do is average the two incomes over the 2yrs.

Our Bad Credit Mortgage brokers are also able to look at businesses that has declining profits as long as the business has satisfactory explanation to why the business income has dropped and what the owner is doing to rectify the issues then our specialist brokers can cater for this application.

For sole traders your Net profit is always considered very important to know how the business is doing. Net profit is the amount of profit the business retains after all costs are paid to the business debtors.

For Ltd Company directors it’s your income from employment which is your salary and any dividends is considered very important, which the lenders will use to assess your affordably

So when you are self-employed applying for a mortgage the lender needs to see what the person is earning as stated on the self- assessment tax returns (SA302’s). This helps the lenders understand the true earnings and from this they are able to assess what the self-employed customer can borrow.


The same rules would apply to any client whether employed or self-employed and therefore using our experienced and highly qualified specialist brokers who can access the mortgage market with a touch of a button. They have 1000s of products that can suit most customers’ expectations and match their circumstances. Once again it’s important to note the information provided is vital to help our brokers get the best deal for you.

From losing your job to the credit crunch or even a divorce, any credit issues that you have on your credit history normally comes with a story of why it happened. This information is key to providing the picture to our brokers. They use this to explain and present to the specialist mortgage companies who can understand and evaluate your past and future circumstances. The boutique lenders like to access these key elements along with income, age, term, affordability and build a better picture of you as a client. Our highly experienced brokers have first-hand knowledge and expertise in submitting cases and allowing the banks to get the whole picture. Giving your application every chance to being accepted.

Higher deposit may be needed for adverse credit clients 15% depending on your circumstances. The more adverse history the more deposit maybe required

Credit History / Credit Report

Credit history will always be important for lenders to take into consideration when applying for residential or buy to let mortgages. This will be no different with employed or self-employed customers. So having this to show to our Self Employed specialist broker will be imperative to get you the mortgage.

Bad Credit Mortgage Table

The Bad Credit table below is a guide to give you an idea of the likelihood of getting a mortgage based on the type of credit issues you may have. The guide show if you have any credit issues registered between a certain lengths of time. For example if you have had a CCJ registered between 7 – 12 months ago, there are lenders that WILL ACCEPT you for a mortgage.

If you have credit issues outside a certain time frame. Don’t worry speak to a Self Employed expert broker today! If you need to wait 2 months before you can apply our expert brokers can give advice on which lenders could accept you in the future or coming months based on their criteria. They will give advice on what documents and other details are needed before applying, having these documents and other details needed ready in time to apply, will make your mortgage application process much quicker and smoother.

0 – 6 Months 7 – 12 Months 1 – 2 Years 2 – 3 Years 3- 4 Years +4 Years
Late Payments (personal loans / credit cards / store cards/ other unsecured credit) Maximum of 2 missed payments allowed on each credit commitment YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum)
Missed Rent Payments (First Time Buyer) No YES( 3 Maximum) YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum) YES( No Maximum)
CCJ (County Court Judgement) No YES (Subject to amount) YES ( if 36 MONTHS ago will ignore) YES YES YES
Defaults Help to Buy Only (Subject to lenders discretion) YES (Subject to LTV) YES (Subject to LTV) YES YES YES
Debt Management Plan / Debt Arrangement plan Yes Yes Yes YES YES YES
IVA No Very Unlikely Help To Buy Only (Subject to lenders discretion) Achievable but high deposit needed YES YES
Bankruptcy No Very Unlikely Help To Buy Only (Subject to lenders discretion) Achievable but high deposit needed Achievable with good deposit Achievable with good deposit
Pay Day Loans No No 0 In last 12 months All outstanding loans to be cleared Yes Yes Yes


It is very common to be self-employed and a first time buyer. Self-Employed people access the same rates and products and go through the same process as an employed person. The only difference is how you are assessed on your income and proving the evidence. If you are self-employed and a first time buyer, you will go through the exactly the same process as if someone who was employed and a first time buyer. Find our FULLY COMPREHENSIVE FIRST TIME BUYER MORTGAGE GUIDE, detailing the whole process of the journey to getting your new home. The FIRST TIME MORTGAGE GUIDE will explain how much you can borrow, the cost and deposit needed and more questions you might have on your mind.

Deposit (Purchase only)

All lenders require proof of deposit if you are purchasing a residential or BUY to Let Property and this will need to be in the form of a bank statement showing the money in the account. If a family member is giving a gift then you need them to confirm by a letter drafted by our specialist brokers as well showing proof of their bank account with the deposit.

For Residential Purchase you can put down as little as 5% deposit if getting a mortgage through the Help To Buy scheme. If not a 10 % - 15% deposit is normally required. The more deposit you put down the less loan amount being taken out and normally a cheaper mortgage.

For buy to let and investment mortgages a deposit or 15% - 25% is normally required. Please see out BUY TO LET MORTGAGE GUIDE for a comprehensive and detailed guide on getting a Buy to let mortgage.

Deposit Source What the Mortgage Lenders say Evidenced by
Own Savings / ISA / Life time ISA The majority of lenders accept this 3 Months savings or bank statements to show proof of money acclimated over time

ISA / investments – 12months statement
Family gift – Cash Will accept from family member. Parents, Siblings, in Laws, Grandparents, Auntie/ Uncle (related by blood) Niece / Nephew. Partners living with applicant could be married or Co-habiting. Also Step and half family members are accepted.

Lenders DO NOT accept gift from other sources such as cousins, friends, co-workers, these are not accepted due to money laundering rules and funds could be classed as loans that need to be paid back..
A letter from family member stating gift amount and state knowingly they do NOT want the gift to be repaid back or have any interest in the property
Gifted Equity Will accept ONLY from close family members only such as Parents , Siblings, Grandparents or Children A letter from family member stating gift amount and state knowingly they do NOT want the gift to be repaid back or have any interest in the property
Inheritance Will accept if the inheritance will be paid prior to full mortgage application or currently going through probate. Bank statement showing funds / solicitors confirmation
Sale of Assets Assets such as jewellery, cars and other valuable personal assets can be accepted by the lenders as proof of deposit. Although thorough checks and due diligence will be carried out by the lender, Mortgage Broker and Solicitors to see if no money laundering rules have been breached and funds are legitimate. Evidenced by recipe sale and proof of money deposit or money transaction on bank statement
Loan / Credit Cards /other unsecured credit Raising your deposit by taking out loans or credit cards are not accepted by most lenders. Very few accept this only if the loan or credit cards have been paid back in full. Student Loans are not acceptable Only if the loan / credit card is paid back in full (Subject to lenders direction) Student loans are not acceptable
From Foreign Sources Majority of lenders don’t accept this cause of money laundering rules. As the money can be difficult to trace to the original source. Under special circumstances lenders will need to verify the source and money trail to be accepted


Many clients are self-employed and want to remortgage their current property. You can remortgage to raise capital, to consolidate your debts by remortgaging. Or just trying to get a better deal from a new or your current lender. Our REMORTGAGE GUIDE will give you all the help and guidance in finding the right lenders to remortgage your residential or buy to let property. We will find you the perfect Remortgage Specialist Broker who can source the whole of market lenders to find the best possible rates for you.

Self Employed and Buy To Let Mortgage

If you already own your own home and want to purchase a Buy to let Property, speak to a specialist today who has the expert knowledge about self-employed clients and the Buy to let Market. See our BUY TO LET MORTGAGE GUIDE for all the help and guidance into purchasing your first Buy to let property and becoming a landlord. Our BUY TO LET MORTGAGE GUIDE details.


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Free, Quick & Easy, No credit check

  • Proof of ID
- A Valid passport or driving licence showing your full name and date of birth,
Non-European citizens must provide passport and residency card / visa. Visa must have another 2 years remaining. Non-European citizens also must have lived
In the UK for 3yrs or have indefinite leave to remain.

  • Proof of address
These documents must be dated in last 3 months: utility bill (gas electric, water bill, council tax, TV Licence, credit card statement and driving licence. It’s important to point out no lenders accept mobile phone bills.

(min 3 years or how long you have been trading)

  • 3 Months Business bank statements
– whilst the lenders does not always require this the more information our broker has they can speed up your application process.

  • 3 years Business Accounts
( Self Employed Applicants only, not all lenders will request)

  • Proof of deposit
(bank or ISA savings statement or gifted family deposit letter which our specialist brokers will provide the lenders template)

  • Latest personal 3 months bank statements:
for ALL active accounts, our specialist brokers will need to show the lenders your daily and weekly spending and your salary going into your account. So if you have two or more bank accounts please provide based on the above info
Bank statements Criteria- lenders now request all bank statements to meet the following criteria:
  1. A full 3 months – This must not have any pages missing and they require the statements to be from the 1st of the month to the end. So if up the application is on 01/04/2020, then back dated from 01/01/2020 to 31/03/2020.
  2. Identifiable to you or partner (if joint bank account) – must have your name(s), address, account number and bank name on statement.
  3. Online statements – must have identifiable information and ideally the web URL on the bottom. Bank prints – must have identifiable information and a branch stamp and signature, ideally on every page

  • Credit report:
This is very important if you have a history of adverse credit then Experian, Equifax, check my file or clear score will be needed so the bad credit mortgage brokers can assess your history to get the right mortgage for you.

  • Estate agent details:
name, address, email, contact number for valuation, again providing this to the broker will allow them to process your application efficiently.

  • New / existing property details:
address, construction material, approximate year of build, detachment type, garage or number of parking spaces, number of bedrooms/bathrooms/kitchens/other rooms. The details can be very important when applying for a mortgage as for example there are certain restrictions with lenders accepting particular construction property types, certain flats in high rises, or floor space which means details such as these can affect the application process and so the more our specialist brokers know about the property the greater chances they have of getting the right lender and having your mortgage approved.

  • Solicitor details:
Name of solicitor, name of acting solicitor, email address , phone number With any mortgage transaction you will need a solicitor / conveyancer. They are the legal entity who help customers conduct searches on the property and comply with the instructions of the mortgage company when the offer is produced. They request the money from the lenders and distribute to the seller or mortgage lender depending on a purchase or remortgage application.


  • Fixed Rate -
This is the most common rate in the UK today. Most people prefer this rate because it’s easy to budget. Fixed rate mortgage means your payment will be fixed for the duration of your mortgage product offered by the lender. Taking out this rate you will know your monthly payments every month for the duration of your mortgage. This Fixed Rate Mortgage also protects you from the increase or decrease of the Bank of England base rate.

  • Tracker Rate -
This rate tracks the Bank of England (B.O.E) base rate. Your interest payment is normally above the B.O.E rate. If the Bank of England decide to move the rates up or down your payments will change with it. As the Bank of England meet each month to discuss whether to move the interest rates up or down its important to note your payments will fluctuate each month depending on B.O.E.

Example – Current Bank of England Base rate 0.1% and the lender would offer a rate of 0.9% above base so your total interest rate is 1% a month

  • Term of the Mortgage -
This impacts the mortgage depending on which mortgage type the client chooses - Repayment or Interest Only. For residential mortgages the customer often takes out repayment mortgage and therefore a long term mortgage of 25 years plus allows Self Employed buyers to spread the payments over a longer term and allowing the monthly payment to be affordable.


Mortgage lenders breakdown monthly payments into two different options - repayment or Interest Only mortgage.

  • Repayment Mortgage -
When taking out this method of payment you are paying off the loan and the interest charged. This will effectively pay off the mortgage over the term you have selected, more often being 25 years. A repayment mortgage will reduce the loan you have borrowed but can often be a lot higher monthly payments and because of this people increase the term of the mortgage so that they can have affordable payments. The mortgage term can then be spread over 25 plus years to compensate manageable payments.

  • Interest only -
This is a payment method, where the customer only pays back the interest charged for the Loan they have borrowed. The amount owed will stay the same at the end of the specific deal or term. The reason customers take out this payment option is because the payment method is considerably cheaper, affordable and helps people get on the property ladder. Buy To Let clients tend to go onto this type of payment for a number of years until their circumstances are a lot better and they have more disposable income to pay the mortgage comfortably. Landlords prefer this payment method as the rent can easily cover the mortgage payments and still have some disposable income. Interest Only Payment option is very limited to first time buyers on a residential mortgage.


All mortgage lenders and banks when offering products will give deals between 2 years and 5 years. 2 year Products are the most common mortgage products taken out by first time buyers. This means you are with the Mortgage lender for a minimum of 2 years. For example if you chose a 2 year FIXED product, you are in a contract with the mortgage lender for 2 years and your monthly payments are fixed at the same price for the 2 year duration.

Sometimes a FTB client’s income does not allow them to borrow as much for a 2 year product. Lenders have a flexible lending approach if lending over 5 years and will normally allow you to borrow more on a 5 year product, as the income affordably is more flexible. One thing to point out from Our Self Employed expert broker is that although you can borrow more money on 5yrs deal the rate tends to be a little higher.


There are various schemes set up by the government to help first time buyers purchasing their first home.

  • Help to Buy
  • In England and Wales the Government will lend you up to 20% towards your deposit to purchase a New Build Property. You must provide a 5% cash deposit and take out 75% mortgage to make up the rest. The Mortgage Taken our must be a Repayment Mortgage.
    You won’t be charged loan fees on the 20% loan for the first five years of owning your home.

HELP TO BUY Financial Example Table

For a Property Worth £125,000 Amount Percentage
Your Cash Deposit £6,250 5%
Government Shared Equity Loan £25,000 20%
Your Mortgage Loan £93,750 75%>
  • Shared Ownership
  • Shared Ownership scheme in England and Wales offers you the chance to buy shares of your home usually between 25% and 75% of the property value. You would then pay rent on the remaining share. At a Later date, you could buy more shares in the property only when you can afford to.

    With Shared Ownership you can buy a New build home or through resale properties from housing associations.

    You’ll need to take out a mortgage to pay for your share of the properties purchase price, or fund this through your savings. Shared Ownership properties in England are leasehold.

    Speaking to an Expert broker today can help and can advise you on the best Government Scheme suited to your individual circumstances.


  • Shared Ownership
  • Lenders are changing criteria to help with the ageing population and more importantly the ever changing government retirement age. Applicants can start a new application at the age of 18, however we are seeing huge number of new applications with customers being a lot older. Our specialist brokers have lenders who are happy to accept clients at the start of the application between 50 – 65 years old.

    Maximum age limits for clients to have a mortgage term for would be the age of 75 but there are lenders who would consider 85 dependent on the clients retirement income – Pension, Rental income, or continued work.

  • Start up Business Less than a Year
  • Unfortunately not. Mortgage Lenders have strict guidelines to follow from the FCA which prohibit it from Lending without concrete evidence of earned income especially with residential mortgages. So a minimum 1yrs accounts will be the base some specialist lenders can work from, while other will use one year’s account but may need the accountant’s projection for the following year.

    To provide company accountants as well as your Tax Returns. Our experts are finding it becoming more common that lenders are requesting the Tax Returns for the applicant.


  • Check your credit score regularly
  • Register your home address on the electoral role
  • Use your credit and loans responsibly
  • Don’t apply to many credit searches in one month
  • Don’t miss repayments
  • Don’t keep unused credit cards
  • Don’t Over use your unarranged bank overdraft


  • Home insurance -
Lenders require you must take this out prior to your mortgage completion. Home insurance is slip into two categories, Buildings and Contents insurance.

The Buildings insurance covers the actual bricks and mortar of your property including fixtures and fittings, you’ll need to have buildings insurance in place before you exchange contracts.

The contents insurance covers your possessions in your home, in event of theft, loss or damage and including fires or floods, although content insurance is not a requirement by the mortgage lenders, but most people opt to add contents insurance as well.

  • Life insurance -
Nobody knows what lies ahead of us or want to think the unthinkable, but if the unthinkable happens and we take precautions. Life insurance is very important in protecting your loved ones and protecting your home and mortgage from unforeseen events. The life insurance will help pay for funeral costs, your mortgage and other financial costs.


If you are self-employed and looking to purchase or remortgage your home, or if you think you may have some credit issues that an affect your application.

There is no need to worry, you can speak to a specialist mortgage adviser, it is important that you get the correct advice and support.

A specialist adviser who has whole of market knowledge and products can help you find the right mortgage for you, saving you the hassle and stress.

Free, Quick & Easy, No credit check

FCA disclaimer

The information written is a relevant and comprehensive guide for visitors to read about the mortgage industry. The information collated is based on current mortgage lending criteria and polices. We endeavour to keep the website up to date but the information may vary from time to time as lenders change their criteria based on evolving financial climate. Please be aware the information and guidance written is not specific to an individual and does not constitute advice or guarantee a mortgage. The industry experts we introduce are qualifiedto give mortgage advice and are regulated by Financial Conduct Authority. All advice given by the advisors will be based on your specific requirements and circumstances.Your Home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. Thinkcarefully before you secure any debts against your property. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of buy to let mortgages.