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It’s all about income

Every lender has different employment requirements for a mortgage. We can match you with the ideal lender for your income type

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Employment requirements for a mortgage

Lenders consider many elements when they assess your mortgage application. However, income from employment is one of the biggest deciding factors. Working out your employment requirements for a mortgage isn’t as straightforward as showing your most recent payslips, either!

You’ll need to show mortgage providers that your income is reliable – and that you can pass affordability tests. For example, if interest rates rocket, your repayments could, too. This type of ‘stress test’ on your application helps lenders decide if you could weather different financial scenarios.

It’s easy to assume your regular monthly income is enough to satisfy lending requirements. However, changes to your income, such as bonuses and commission, or salary sacrifice schemes, all impact how lenders look at your ability to afford repayments.

If you’ve taken or will soon take maternity leave, have been on long-term furlough, or you’re still on your probationary period at work, lenders will take this into account, too.

We’re experts in helping you navigate the complex job criteria for mortgage applications. Our broad market access means we know which providers best suit your personal circumstances, too. That means it’s possible to get a mortgage while you’re still on probation, on maternity leave, or you’ve got a fluctuating income. We’ll help you determine how much you can realistically apply for – and walk you through the process, to make sure you get the mortgage.

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Lenders accept most income types


Getting a mortgage as an employee can be a straightforward or a complex task. The good news is that lenders accept most employee income types including part-time jobs, overtime, commission and bonuses.

Lenders can also accept applicants during their probationary period or maternity leave. So, structuring your mortgage application to take into account all of your income is key to securing the best mortgage deal.

Click through for more details, then get in touch and we will be happy to help you further.

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As self-employed, lenders assess your mortgage affordability based on your income before tax, just as they do for a salaried employee. The only difference is your income doesn’t have a guaranteed basic salary and may fluctuate more.

Besides, many lenders do accept 1 or 2 years self-employment accounts and you don’t normally need more deposit than as if you were in salaried employment.

What you need are a good accountant and one of our expert mortgage brokers to structure your mortgage application the best way that guarantees a successful outcome.

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Contractors have an advantage: Lenders can assess their income in more ways than anyone else, which opens up more options for them. This is still the case despite new IR35 rules looming on the horizon.

You can get a mortgage if you are a contractor on a daily rate, work through an umbrella or limited company, even if you only recently started contracting.

Our expert contractor mortgage brokers have helped numerous contractors secure the best deal even for those who were turned down by their high street bank.

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Limited company director

Not all lenders take the average of the last 3 years salary and dividends when assessing mortgage affordability for a limited company director. Some may only use the latest year figure!

Additionally, even if you only have 1-year accounts or recently switched from being a sole trader to a limited company director, you could still get a mortgage.

How about buying a buy to let property through a limited company? It may be possible using your already existing company or via a newly set up limited company.

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    All about employment requirements

    Some people regard mortgages for employees as vanilla cases without the complexity of self-employment. While in some cases it may be true, allowances, overtime, commission, bonuses and various deductions appearing on the payslips can make things a little complicated.

    The good news is that lenders can accept various employment types, not just income from permanent employment. For example, if you are employed through a fixed-term contract or short term contracts, a zero-hour contract or via an umbrella company, there will be lender options for you.

    Maternity (or paternity) leave can also be accepted, so having a baby shouldn’t stop you from getting a mortgage either.

    All the above come with terms and conditions, so based on your circumstances, we can find the right lender for you.

    Minimum 1, preferably 2 and ideally 3.

    Most lenders require 2 to 3 years’ self-employed history to see that the business is sustainable and how it is doing year-on-year.

    However, there are lenders, who can lend even after 1 year of self-employment – whether you are a sole trader or a limited company director. This is true for both residential and buy to let mortgages.

    You will find more information on our page dedicated to self-employed people, but we are also happy to talk through your situation and calculate how much you could borrow.

    Absolutely! Either based on your daily rate, your limited company accounting figures or umbrella pay.

    It doesn’t matter if you are inside or outside IR35, we can find lenders who accept your income.

    We have a whole page and some articles dedicated to contractors, but we’re also happy to talk things through with you to see what your best option is and how much you could borrow.

    The short answer is yes.

    Most lenders can give a mortgage up to age 70, although many can go to age 75 or 80 as well, even for a mortgage on the property where you live.

    There are also alternatives, like Retirement Interest Only (RIO) mortgages, Lifetime mortgages and Home Reversion Plans.

    In case of a buy to let mortgage, going up to age 85 is normal, although several lenders can go beyond it.

    For further information, and to find the right solution for you, please contact us for a free assessment.

    Some lenders are more flexible than others when it comes to accepting various income types. However, if you receive any of the following, then you may be able to borrow more than you thought!

    • Rental income
    • Maintenance income
    • Child benefit and child tax credit
    • Universal credit
    • Disability benefits like Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
    • Carer allowance
    • Stipend
    • Tronc
    • Income received in cash

    This list is not exhaustive, so for further information, get in touch and we’ll confirm your maximum borrowing and the best mortgage deal for you!

    Lenders understand that sometimes a contractor takes an employed role or someone doing a salaried job for years decides to become self-employed and run their own business instead.

    These changes are acceptable, but how long lenders expect you to be in the new employment type will depend on your specific situation. For example, if you are newly self-employed, you would likely have to wait until your first-year accounts or tax return are done, but if you’ve just become a permanent employee, you may be accepted on day 1 of your new job.

    Everyone’s situation is slightly different, so the best mortgage for you will likely be different from your colleague’s, even if you both changed at the same time.

    Building insurance

    If you buy a house, then building insurance will be mandatory to ensure that in case the structure is damaged (e.g. by fire, flood or movement), the insurance will cover at least the mortgage amount.

    Nothing else is compulsory, but of course, it makes sense to cover costly unexpected events.

    Contents insurance

    Contents insurance can pay for replacing your personal belongings if someone burgles your home, there is fire, you accidentally drop your new flat screen TV…and the list goes on.

    Landlord insurance

    If you’re planning to rent out your property then you should consider getting landlord insurance. Landlord insurance protects you as a landlord from risks associated with your rental property. It usually includes buildings and contents insurance, but can also include rental-property specific covers such as protection against loss of rent, and tenant default. It can also cover legal fees and compensation for damage or injury to the tenant due to the property.

    Life insurance

    Life insurance is a one-off payment if you were to die during the mortgage term, so the insurance can settle your mortgage. This would allow your family to stay in the property without worrying about mortgage payments at an already stressful time.

    Critical illness cover

    Critical illness cover would give you a lump-sum if you had a serious illness like cancer, heart attack or stroke as well as dozens of other conditions. This payment may or may not settle the mortgage, but it can help pay for treatment, let you take time off work while recovering or alter your home, if necessary.

    Income protection

    Income protection is designed to give you a monthly income for some time in case you can’t work due to an accident or a long term illness. This covers mental health issues as well.

    Of course, all the insurances come with terms and conditions, optional features and your medical history can influence your options.

    To find the right insurance cover that fits within your budget, speak to our team today. We can compare the whole market, find the most suitable cover and apply on your behalf free of charge.

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