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Self-employed mortgage guide

This guide was last updated 6 February 2024

How to get a mortgage when you or your partner are self employed

In this guide, we will talk you through some of the ways you can maximize your borrowing potential and get access to a wider range of lenders for your self-employed mortgage. The key thing to keep in mind in any mortgage application, is making yourself look like an attractive candidate to lenders. We will give you some tips on how to do this, but it is always recommended to seek professional advice.

What is a self-employed mortgage?

Firstly, let’s define what a self-employed mortgage is. In truth, a self-employed mortgage isn’t any different to a standard mortgage! The only real difference is in how we present your application to the lender to show that you are an attractive candidate. It is so important your advisor understands the self-employed market and how you are paid so that you have the same options to you as an employed applicant. We do this by showing that your self-employed business is as financially reliable as an employed applicant with a regular salary.

Examples of who lenders may class as self-employed

We always recommend that you speak to an advisor if you are unsure, as they will know which lenders best suit your business structure.

  • Company directors and shareholders usually with a 20%-25% plus Shareholding
  • Sole traders
  • Day rate contractors
  • CIS contractors and Umbrella companies
  • Freelancers

What documents may I need to provide for a self-employed mortgage?

We recommend that you provide the following documents when you are ready to speak to an adviser. Although they may not be required for your application, these will help your adviser to understand your business and find you the best possible lender.

All self-employed

  1. You or your accountant will need to complete a personal tax return and provide the adviser with the Tax Computation Forms (the old SA302) and Tax Year Overviews no older than 18 months. Don’t worry if you feel the income shown is not a true representation of your earnings, as we may be able to use some of the other documentation in this list to determine your affordability. If you have been trading for 1 year, then one year’s documentation may be enough. If you have 3 years or more then we recommend you have the 3 years to hand.
  2. Most lenders will want to see 3-6 months’ worth of bank statements to show that your income hasn’t changed since submitting your company figures. Please do not worry if for some reason your income has fluctuated due to circumstances such as seasonal work or maternity. In these instances, you may just be asked to provide an explanation and some further bank statements.
  3. You may be asked to provide a projection by your qualified accountant for your next year’s earnings. This is usually if you have only 1 year of self-employed income to evidence, if your accounts are almost 18 months old or if you have experienced any fluctuations.

Company directors

  1. You may need to provide full financial company accounts no older than 18 months, signed by yourself and your qualified accountant. Some lenders may only require you to have been trading for one year but if you have been trading for longer and have 3 years’ worth of accounts, we recommended you have then all to hand. It’s a common misconception that lenders need the average of your last two years of income, however this isn’t always the case. The good news is, we may be able to work from your latest years earnings.

Day rate contractors or umbrella companies

  1. You may need to provide a signed copy of a contract showing the day rate and hours worked. A previous contract along with your employment history could also be required. Some lenders, however, may work from your first contract so please don’t be concerned if you have only recently started contracting and become self-employed.
  2. You may also be required to provide a CV to confirm their employment history.

CIS contractors and Umbrella workers

  1. If you have recently started work, you may only have to provide one invoice or wage slip to obtain a mortgage. If possible, we recommend you gather 12 months’ worth of income slips.

The main thing to keep in mind is that you need to look as attractive as possible to mortgage lenders when you apply. As well as preparing and providing the above documents, here are some other key tips to improve your prospects!

Top Tips for getting a self-employed mortgage


Yup, you read that right! Keep your LinkedIn profile and history updated prior to your mortgage application, as we are seeing more and more underwriters checking the platform for information as well as checking CVs.

Check your credit report

Lenders will check your credit history as part of your application, so it’s a good idea to check your credit report. Don’t be alarmed if you have had some previous credit issues! We work with lenders who take a commonsense approach to applications and so don’t always factor in your credit score. Even so, it’s very important to disclose as much information as possible to your advisor to allow us to provide you with the best support.

Three common credit references agencies that allow you to check your report and offer some useful tips are ExperianEquifax and TransUnion. Checkmyfile cover all 3 of these credit reference agencies.

Have an emergency cash fund

If you have money in an emergency fund this can show lenders that even if your business has a bad month, you will be able to keep up with your mortgage payments but again it’s not essential.


The more deposit you put into the purchase up front, the less risk a lender will see in your application. There are currently 95% mortgages available for Employed and Self-Employed clients and even 100% with some lenders who offer family assisted mortgage options


Any existing credit may impact the level of borrowing; however, it is always important to seek expert advice before clearing any debts as this may not always be financially best for you.

You can also see our guide on how to get a contractor mortgage which has helpful advice on mortgages for freelancers.

Get expert advice now

It is never too soon to get advice. Whether you are considering buying now or in the next few years, your Coreco advisor can support you to ensure you are prepared and aware of the best possible options for your unique position. Even if you have only recently become self-employed or are considering going self-employed, speak to an advisor today to find out the next steps on your journey to becoming a homeowner.

The beauty of working with Coreco is that we have access to the market and work with clients from a range of circumstances. We have seen it all! Even if you aren’t sure, get in touch with us to discuss your self-employed mortgage options and fill out the form below to arrange a no-obligation appointment.

    Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

    There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

    Written by Lousie Stevens

    Louise has been a broker for over 14 years! She started her career off at Countrywide, worked at Coreco previously and then just returned in 2022 and we are glad to have her back! Louise specialises in mortgages for self-employed. She won best first-time buyer broker award at the British Mortgage Awards in 2018 and has both her CEMAP and CERER qualification. When she’s not doing mortgages, Louise is very active and loves going to the gym, playing netball and horse riding! She has also recently rediscovered her love for painting again and is currently learning Hebrew.

    Read more posts by Lousie