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Self-Employed Mortgage with Bad Credit

Affordability assessments for self-employed mortgage applicants are a little different than for employed people – how does a bad credit score impact your eligibility, and what can you do to improve your mortgage approval prospects?

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-06-15
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Getting a self-employed mortgage with a bad credit

Self-employed mortgage applications are always a little trickier than for employed people since there is the added challenge of proving your average income. If you also have a bad credit history, it can feel impossible to find mortgage approval.

In this guide, the mortgage brokers team explains how your credit file impacts your ability to find a mortgage as a self-employed applicant - and what you can do to improve your chances!

For assistance with your bad credit mortgage as a self-employed person, give us a call on 0330 304 3040 or email us at [email protected].

Are There Bad Credit Mortgages for Self-Employed Applicants?

There are indeed, although we'd always recommend applying with the help of an experienced broker. Your application will be assessed depending on:

  • Your self-employment history.
  • The deposit you have available.
  • When and why the bad credit issues occurred.
  • Whether you meet the other lending criteria.

Using a whole-of-market broker is critical since we can independently assess your circumstances and ensure you only apply to a lender whose eligibility criteria you meet.

If you apply directly, you run a high risk of being rejected or offered uncompetitive interest rates. Being turned down will rack up more hard credit searches on your file and further damage your mortgage approval chances.

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Based on your yearly income,
you may be able to borrow


Most lenders will let you borrow 4.5 times your annual salary so, as long as you have a standard 10% deposit, you should be able to borrow this much.


Depending on your personal circumstances, some lenders may let you borrow 5 times your salary.


Lenders usually cap the amount they lend at 5.5 times your salary, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to borrow more than this.

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What are the Criteria for a Self-Employed Bad Credit Mortgage?

The criteria depend on the lender and their individual policies. For example:

  • Most lenders will require two to three years of self-employed accounts, although some will accept less.
  • The lender will analyse the reasons for your credit problems - if these occurred due to a life event rather than ongoing bad credit management, you are more likely to be approved.
  • When your credit problems happened, and whether they are due to expire from your credit file shortly.
  • What sort of credit issues exist in your report. Some lenders will reject even minor credit problems, whereas others will accept even severe flags, provided you have the deposit to offset the increased risk.

Can I Improve my Chances of Getting a Bad Credit Mortgage as a Self-Employed Person?

This scenario hits two major risk profiles, and so if you can do anything to mitigate that risk and make your mortgage application more appealing, it can help.

For example:

  • A larger deposit will immediately boost your approval chances. There are mortgages from 5% deposits, but if you can offer at least 10% to 15%, it would be beneficial.
  • Produce three years of trading accounts or tax returns - the longer your trading history, the better.
  • Use an experienced broker who can negotiate with the lender and perhaps recommend other solutions (such as indemnity policies) to help them feel comfortable with your application.

There are also things you can do before applying:

  • Pay off any remaining short-term debts, or as much as you can.
  • Check your credit report and ensure it is up to date and any queries have been rectified.

Is There a Maximum Bad Credit Mortgage for Self-employed People?

Not as such, no. The lender will usually place a cap on what they are willing to lend you, depending on the average of how much you earn a year.

The standard multiple is around 4.5 times, although some lenders will offer more generous calculations.

If you are applying for a joint mortgage, then the maximum will be based on both of your annual salaries.

Expert Support with Self-Employed Mortgages for Bad Credit Applicants

Being self-employed and having a poor credit record may make it seem extremely difficult to find a mortgage - but with the help of an independent, whole-of-market broker, you have the best possible chances of success!

Give the Revolution team a call on 0330 304 3040, or email us at [email protected] for more help with self-employed bad credit mortgages.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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