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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.
Mortgages For Newly Self-Employed People
When searching for a mortgage as a newly self-employed person, you may find that many mainstream providers are reluctant to make an offer.
It can be tough to find a competitive mortgage if you have less than two or three years worth of accounts to demonstrate your income.
That happens because self-employed mortgages are based on your average income over the last few years - so if you don't have two or three sets of accounts, a lender can't always be confident they can assess whether you can afford the repayments.
However, business finance broker work with specialist lenders who are happy to support applications from:
- Company Directors who have been trading for between 9-12 months.
- Sole traders who have been in business for under a year.
- Businesses that have changed their trading style or have recently incorporated.
- Contractors who have been working on their existing contract for under one year.
- Self-employed people who have bad credit and have traded for less than a year.
- Buy-to-let investors who do not have a separate income stream.
- Help to Buy applicants looking for up to 95% Loan to Value mortgages.
Here we've listed some of the most commonly asked questions and things to look out for when seeking a self-employed mortgage under any of these circumstances.
If you would like more personal support, help with finding the right mortgage for you, or advice about which mortgage lenders can accept your application, then contact the Revolution Finance Brokers team on 0330 304 3040 or send us a message to [email protected].
How to Get a Mortgage When Self-Employed for 12 Months?
The Revolution Brokers team regularly works with clients who have been self employed mortgages for under a year and therefore have been rejected by their bank or mainstream lenders who require a minimum number of years worth of accounts.
Likewise, we hear from clients who are reluctant to apply without having a long trading history and feel that their application is likely to be turned down or are uncertain about what sort of information they might be asked to provide.
There is no doubt that a mortgage for a self-employed person with less than two years of accounts is more challenging - however, it is by no means impossible.
Revolution Brokers specialises in niche mortgages and works with lenders who take different approaches to assess each application and can even lend to newly self-employed people who have an adverse credit history.
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How Long Self-Employed to Get Mortgage Products Do I Need to Be?
Typically, mainstream lenders will require three years of accounts. That is because they need to know what your income looks like and use this information to calculate affordability.
Some lenders will accept two years of accounts.
A minimal number will accept an application with statements showing one year of trading - however, the less time you have been trading, the more specialist a product your mortgage becomes.
Suppose you have been trading for as little as nine months.
In that case, Revolution Brokers can negotiate mortgage offers provided you have an anticipated timescale for your first years' accounts to be drawn up.
It may require working with a qualified accountant to verify the figures so your self-employed mortgage lender is comfortable that they'd got a realistic picture of your income.
Can I get a mortgage in my first year of self-employed trading?
The majority of lenders cannot offer a mortgage if you haven't yet filed your first tax return as a self-employed person.
However, specialist lenders can, and the Revolution Brokers team works with several niche mortgage providers who have the flexibility to consider less simple applications.
In the past, it was almost impossible to secure such lending because mortgage providers must lend responsibly.
If they didn't have a filed set of accounts or returns, they couldn't verify your income, and therefore couldn't offer assurances that they knew you would be able to keep up with the repayments.
In essence, mainstream lenders need to have 'official' figures showing your income and your paid tax.
Even if you have been trading extremely profitably for the first six months, they need to check that the mortgage is affordable long-term.
However, as the lending landscape evolves, some lenders can now consider applications from self-employed people within their first year of trading, usually from nine to ten months.
How Do Self-Employed Mortgage Applications Work?
The structure of the application depends on the lender:
- Lenders can assess an application, offer an agreement in principle, and then formally offer to lend once they have the first year's figures available.
- Other lenders can make a complete offer on the strength of preliminary figures.
- Different lenders will approve an initial agreement and base this on trading thus far but won't complete the mortgage until the year ends.
Most mortgage offers have a three month expiry date, so you can make the application in advance, use the agreement in principle to support an offer made on a property, and then proceed with the application once the first year of trading is complete.
Revolution brokers will usually look at your anticipated net profit, plus any other income, including salary and dividend payments, and use this as the affordability basis.
For example - if you anticipate earning £20,000, then the decision about how much you can borrow will be based on this.
Credit scoring usually remains unchanged, provided your income doesn't end up being dramatically different from your estimate, so often, the projected lending offer doesn't vary significantly once actual figures are known.
If You're Self-Employed Can You Get a Mortgage After Two Years?
You can, and the same conditions usually apply for applicants who have been trading for less than one year since there will be only one complete set of accounts available for a lender to review.
Some lenders will accept projected figures.
For example, if you have one year's worth of accounts, are nine months into your second year, and can provide draft figures projected to the end of the trading period, a lender can use this to calculate how much they can offer to lend.
Am I Eligible to Apply for a Self-Employed Mortgage After One Year?
Every lender has different criteria, but generally speaking, there isn't any restriction on what sector or industry you work in or a particular area of work that would make your application more or less likely to succeed.
The critical criteria for a self-employed mortgage where you have less than three years of accounts are that:
- The business is viable.
- It is trading as a going concern.
- You have a sustainable income.
Some of the most common applicants for self-employed mortgages include:
- Taxi drivers
- Investment landlords
- Builders and contractors
- Tradespeople, such as plumbers, electricians and painters
- Musicians and those in creative industries
- Financial sector professionals
- Independent retailers
- Online traders and businesses
- Investors and other professionals
Why Are Self-Employed Mortgages More Challenging After a Short Trading Period?
Self-employed mortgages are more specialist because it isn't as clear how much you earn and how much you can expect to make in the future, as it is with salaried permanent employment.
After three years of self-employed trading, you have a track record and a financial history, which means a lender can usually apply the same criteria to somebody employed.
However, after one or two years, lenders consider a self-employed applicant higher risk because they have less financial history to go on.
In the past, many self-employed people used self-certified mortgages. They bore the responsibility of declaring their income without needing evidence and could then borrow whatever amount they wished to against those declarations.
However, this caused widespread issues when declared values were far higher than actual earnings, resulting in unpaid mortgages and properties repossessed in the worst-case scenarios.
Now, lenders must perform affordability assessments and use tangible evidence of your income before they can offer to lend.
This situation has made it much more complicated for self-employed people to secure a mortgage. Revolution regularly works with tradespeople who have found it very difficult to find lending.
Like freelance work, start-up businesses and self-employment continue to increase in popularity. It is ever more essential to work with a broker with experience in this area of the mortgage market who can help you find the right deal.
If You're Self-Employed Can You Get a Mortgage After 12 Months?
Most lenders will use similar criteria to calculate the maximum they can lend you. This decision depends on:
- Your credit score
- Your income
Typically, the maximum offer will be up to five times your annual earnings. Some specialist lenders can offer a higher multiple, depending on your wage, and demonstrate that you can afford the repayments.
In some cases, a lender will consider projected income. This estimate is used where trading hasn't yet finished or accounts haven't yet been filed.
For example, if you have been self-employed for 20 months, you will have one set of filed accounts plus nine months of the current year.
Say the current year is going well, and you can show that your income is much higher than in year one.
In that case, if you are applying to borrow over the five times multiple of your income in year one, an underwriter might be happy to use an accounting projection to calculate your affordability.
As an illustration:
- Year One: net profit of £22,000 over 12 months.
- Year Two: net profit £25,000 so far after nine months of business.
Suppose your accountant agrees that trading is expected to continue earning a similar value for the remaining three months of the year. In that situation, they may provide a projection stating anticipated net profit of £33,300, a significant increase on £22,000 net profit in year one.
In this scenario, a lender might:
- Consider only year one, with a maximum being five times £22,000, or a maximum mortgage of £110,000.
- Consider the projected figures from your accountant for year two, with the five times maximum based on £33,300 net profit, or a maximum mortgage of £166,500.
In any mortgage application where you wish to use projected figures, the process will be more complex and involve more negotiations with your lender.
Still, if you have been self-employed for less than two years, it is worth noting that a broker can work with you to secure a higher value mortgage than a mainstream lender might be able to lend.
How can I prove my income as a self-employed mortgage applicant?
Each lender might have different requirements, but usually, you will be asked for:
- A reference from a qualified accountant.
- Copies of final accounts.
- Your self-assessment tax return (SA302)
The net profit shown on those figures is used to arrive at the five-times multiple of your income to indicate the maximum they can lend.
How Do Mortgage Lenders Calculate Self-Employed Income?
By and large, the calculations are the same, whether you have just started trading or have been in business for a decade.
The same calculations are used for sole trade mortgages as for partnerships, and the figure a lender will consider is usually:
- Your share of net profit, as shown in the accounts.
- The total income received from your business.
- The income declared on your self-assessment tax return (SA302).
Suppose you are a director of a limited company. In that case, lenders will consider your salary received and the dividend paid to you as shown on the company accounts or the reference from your accountant.
The lenders who can consider these applications will usually accept between one and three years of accounts - three years is typically the maximum a lender will request.
The right lender for you depends on multiple circumstances.
The Revolution team can assess this with you to recommend the right mortgage providers to apply to, whose criteria we know you are most likely to meet.
- How much you earn.
- The Loan to Value (LTV) ratio - i.e. how much you want to borrow against the value of the property.
- The total amount you wish to borrow.
- Location of the property.
- What type of residence you wish to buy.
- Your credit history and credit score.
There are mainstream banks and high street lenders who may consider self-employed mortgage applications. Still, the more unique your circumstances, the more critical it becomes to work with a specialist lender.
Every mortgage provider that Revolution Finance recommends is a trusted lender regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
How to Get a Mortgage When Self-Employed For One Year With Bad Credit?
Although it may be more challenging, yes, you can secure a mortgage after trading as self-employed for one year, even if you have a bad credit history.
The lender who can consider this application will be a specialist and will usually have a few conditions before they can offer to lend. These terms are always negotiated by the Revolution team but typically will include requirements such as:
- Minimum 15% deposit, or 15% equity for a remortgage.
- Credit history clear of defaults, CCJs or mortgage arrears in the last two years.
Often, these can be overlooked if you have minor credit issues such as a missed or late payment in the last year or late payment to a mobile phone provider.
Can I use Help to Buy for a self-employed mortgage after one year?
You can, yes, if you have a 5% deposit and pass the other eligibility checks, such as credit scoring, you can apply for a Help to Buy mortgage.
Usually, only niche lenders will consider a self-employed Help to Buy mortgage, but those that do offer highly competitive rates.
How Long Self-Employed to Get Mortgage Approval - Is One Year Sufficient?
It is - and usually, the same conditions will apply.
Suppose you have been self-employed for one year and have filed accounts either verified by an accountant for a limited company or have filed a self-assessment tax return with HMRC as a self-employed person.
In that scenario, you can apply for a remortgage.
Professional Support Understanding How to Get a Mortgage When Your Self-Employed
Contact the Revolution Finance team if you have been self-employed for less than three years, have struggled to find a self-employment mortgage, or have been turned down for a mortgage.
While a mainstream bank may have rigid rules that mean they can't lend a mortgage to anyone with a shorter trading history, there are lenders with more relaxed policies who will consider each application on its merit.
Contact the team today on 0330 304 3040 or drop us a message at [email protected].
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As specialist mortgage brokers for a huge variety of applicants, the whole-of-market consultants at Revolution provide access to an exceptional range of lenders, products and mortgage deals. That means you get the advantage of professional negotiation and broker-exclusives through an established lending network to ensure we always find you the most competitive mortgage available.
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.