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Self Employed Mortgages

how to get a mortgage when self employed
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If you are self-employed, a freelancer or a contractor you can still successfully get a mortgage if you can meet the lenders criteria. 

There’s no actual product called a ‘self employed mortgage’ and so you will have the same mortgage choices as someone who is employed with similar circumstances to your own. The difference is the way that the lender looks at your income and you will have to provide more evidence about your self-employed status.

With the right broker helping you, it’s absolutely possible to get a self employed mortgage, even if you have limited accounts.

How does a self-employed mortgage work?

The main difference is the way that your income is assessed by the lender. Unlike a salaried person your income is likely to vary from month month and year to year.

Because of this lenders take an average of your earnings over the last two or three years. They will ask for proof of your income and also copies of your bank statements.

You will have the full choice of fixed or variable rates and the repayment term.

The mainstream lenders have set criteria when it comes to who they will lend to. Many people are ditching the traditional 9-5, but these lenders have yet to embrace this new way of freelance working.

There are some mortgage lenders that understand freelancers and sole traders better than others. So by using a broker such as ourselves we can guide you through to a lender that wants to give you a mortgage!

Eligibility criteria

The broad criteria is:

Proof of income

To get the best choice and the best interest rates you will need two or three years of accounts or SA302s. Even if you only have one year there are lenders we can approach.


Normally 10-15% will be the minimum deposit for residential mortgages.


Actually a self-employed person should have an advantage here as only you can decide when you will retire! There are always maximum age limits, most will not want to go beyond age 75.

Credit history

If you have a bad credit history then mortgages are available. But there will be fewer lenders looking for this business. If you know that you have some adverse credit then take advice from a broker before applying for a mortgage. Every application leaves a mark on your credit file.

The different types of self-employment

You will be classed as self employed if you are a:

  • Limited company director
  • Shareholding partner
  • Sole trader
  • Freelancer
  • Agency worker
  • Contractor
  • Gig worker


You only have 12 months accounts

You have picked up some bad credit

You have received a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) covid grant

What qualifies as self-employed income?

This differs depending on the nature of your self employment.

sole trader / freelancer

Net profit or total income showing on your SA302


Your % share of the net profit or total income from your SA302

limited company director

Your PAYE salary and dividends received. We have lenders that will also look at profits made but yet to be distributed (retained profit)

Self-employed mortgage top tips

Although your income is the most important aspect of applying for a mortgage, lenders look at other factors when assessing your application.

Here’s a few tips on how to improve your chances:

get a mortgage broker

Brokers are experts at dealing with freelancers and the self employed. A whole of market broker will have a large choice of potential lenders and can guide you to the right one. They will also provide help in getting all of your paperwork in order.

get an accountant

If you can show a lender that your accounts have been prepared by a qualified accountant then they will carry more weight and are less likely to be questioned. Accountants are paid to minimise your tax bill but this can also directly affect your mortgage application so speak with them for some advice.

proof of income

Don’t leave this until the last moment. An SA302 form is created by HMRC when you submit your tax return. This formal document shows your declared income and tax payable for that tax year. Lenders will want to see these so get them ready in good time. If you need to provide accounts then make sure the last one has been filed in good time.


Get the biggest one you can! Each lender has their own criteria but most have better deals for higher deposits.

loans and credit cards

Get these in order and make sure no payments are overdue or you have exceeded your credit limit. These will affect your credit rating, if funds allow then repaying these debts may help. Take advice from your mortgage advisor.

boost your credit status

Firstly you will need to check your credit file to see if there are any entries for late payments or unpaid bills. All lenders undertake a credit search so they will see this straight away. A good credit score is essential to giving you the best opportunity with a lender.

electoral register

Make sure that you are listed on the Electoral Register. If not you should speak to your local Council.


For more information please read our Getting a Mortgage When Self Employed BIG Guide.