A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.
Setting off on the path of freelancing offers freedom and adaptability, yet it presents challenges, particularly when seeking a mortgage. Lenders often hesitate due to income fluctuations.
Nonetheless, freelancers can secure a mortgage smoothly with the appropriate strategy. Let’s delve into all the essential details about obtaining a mortgage for freelancers!
How To Get a Mortgage As a Freelancer In The UK
Obtaining a mortgage as a freelancer in the UK requires meticulous financial groundwork and strategic measures. Firstly, keep meticulous records of your income, expenses, and tax returns. Aim to boost your credit score and save for a substantial deposit, which can influence mortgage terms positively.
Realistically evaluate your affordability, acknowledging the fluctuating nature of freelance income, and seek guidance from a seasoned mortgage advisor familiar with freelance scenarios to navigate through the process.
Criteria Needed to Apply For a Home Mortgage In The UK
Apart from income, upholding a favourable credit history is pivotal, significantly influencing the lender’s evaluation of creditworthiness. The importance of a significant deposit cannot be emphasised enough, affecting both mortgage terms and the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.
Here are a few criteria required to apply for a mortgage in the UK:
1. Stable Income
Lenders require evidence of a stable and verifiable income, whether through payslips for employed individuals or tax returns and business accounts for the self-employed.
2. Positive Credit History
Maintaining a positive credit history is crucial, as lenders assess credit scores to determine creditworthiness. A good credit score or history enhances your chances of mortgage approval.
3. Substantial Deposit
The size of the deposit is a significant factor. A larger deposit generally improves mortgage terms and influences the loan-to-value ratio.
4. Proof of Identity and Address
Essential documentation includes proof of identity (e.g., passport) and proof of address (e.g., utility bills) to verify your personal details.
5. Loan-to-Value Ratio
Lenders assess the loan-to-value ratio, which compares the property’s value to the loan amount requested. A lower ratio is generally more favourable.
6. Property Details
This includes information about the property you intend to purchase, including its value and condition.
7. Affordability Checks
Lenders conduct affordability checks, considering your income, existing debts, and other financial commitments to determine the amount you can borrow.
8. Age and Mortgage Term
Certain lenders impose age restrictions, and the selected mortgage term holds significant importance. Opting for longer terms might impact the borrowing amount available to you.
Which Lenders You Should Consider For The Mortgage?
To secure a mortgage as a freelancer, it’s vital to illustrate to the lender that your income is stable or increasing. Lenders often seek substantial evidence, and their selection process can be highly discerning.
Certain major and specialist lenders in the UK are recognised for their adaptable approach to freelancers. Here’s a list of them:
5. Metro Bank
Disadvantages Of Getting a Mortgage While Freelancer
As a freelancer, your income tends to fluctuate, varying between high, low, or even non-existent at times. Acquiring a mortgage as a freelancer in the UK can present particular drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages you might encounter:
1. Income Instability
Freelancers often experience irregular income, making it challenging to prove a consistent and stable financial position to lenders. This can raise concerns about the ability to meet mortgage repayments.
2. Stricter Eligibility Criteria
Lenders may impose more stringent criteria on freelancers, demanding a thorough assessment of income stability through multiple years of accounts or tax returns. So this might complicate the application process.
3. Higher Interest Rates
Due to the perceived risk associated with variable income, freelancers might face higher interest rates compared to those with steady employment. This can lead to increased overall loan costs.
4. Larger Deposit Requirements
Some lenders may require freelancers to provide a larger deposit to mitigate the perceived risk, potentially making it more challenging to accumulate the necessary funds.
5. Limited Mortgage Options
Freelancers may have a more restricted choice of mortgage products. Some lenders offer specific products tailored for self-employed individuals, but the range may be narrower compared to those available to traditional employees.
6. Complex Application Process
The documentation required for a freelance mortgage application can be extensive and time-consuming. Gathering several years’ worth of accounts and proving income stability adds complexity to the process.
7. Risk of Rejection
Freelancers may face a higher risk of mortgage rejection, especially if they are unable to provide sufficient evidence of income stability or if their financial situation is perceived as risky by lenders.
8. Varied Income Considerations
Lenders may assess freelance income differently, considering factors such as the consistency of contracts, the diversity of clients, and the overall reliability of income sources.
Is Your Current Freelance Work Going Well?
Actually, mortgages for freelancers are no different from a self-employed mortgage. And understanding the potential downsides can help freelancers better prepare for the mortgage application process.
There are some self-employed common mistakes when applying for a mortgage. These common mistakes include not considering the losses that will occur or the progress of freelancing. That’s why preparing for a self-employed mortgage is crucial.
Can freelancers qualify for a mortgage in the UK?
Yes, freelancers can qualify for a mortgage, but the process may be more complex. Lenders typically assess income stability and may require several years of accounts or tax returns.
How is freelance income evaluated by mortgage lenders?
Lenders evaluate freelance income based on its stability, consistency, and reliability. Providing multiple years of accounts, client contracts, and evidence of consistent work can strengthen the application.
Luca BertolinoMortgage Expert
Your Mortgage Experts is led by Luca Bertolino with 20 years experience in financial services and in the property market. Through Luca’s wealth of knowledge and expertise, Your Mortgage Experts have become a trusted adviser that clients have come to rely upon for all their mortgage and protection needs.