Self Employed Mortgage Loans - A Survival Guide
Written by: Fabio Marcell
When you're self employed you have numerous advantages. As you are a free agent, you will write off every deduction you can on your tax return. You acquire the potential to earn extra income much more so than someone who is employed by someone else. The best part is that you are the gaffer, the boss! On rare occasions, being freelance has some drawbacks. One is when you go to get finance for a property or a large purchase. However, here are some items to know that could help you prepare for the mortgage loan process. A self-employed mortgage loan survival guide, if you will.
While confirming your income - the average lender will need to be made aware of at least 2 years of self employment history, occasionally they will request 3 years. They will ask to see this history verified in tax returns, generally. Occasionally the lenders may figure your income as being the average income you claimed on your income taxes as profits, not your gross business income. Another time the lender may figure your income as the lowest of the two years and every now and again as the highest of the two years. Talk to your mortgage professional or lender and find out their verification criteria. For instance, some lenders may calculate a part of your write-offs or deductions and work it back into your income. There are ideas of additional ways that a lender may be able to verify your income and if you are a free agent it may help you to be able to show a supplementary of your income.
If you can, compile a profit & loss statement , accurately quoting your expenses & profits for the last couple of years. You may find this tedious, but it could be used as proof of income for a mortgage provider. If you can get it signed or verified by your accountant, more's the better.
If you can, it's always best to provide your bank statements to prove your income - search for a lender who might accept as little as 2 years of statements as sufficient proof. These days, you'll find that many lenders confirm your income in this fashion. This is normally a more favourable method of proving your income than lifting the figures from your tax returns. The reason being that you can, more often than not, show that you have a lot more additional cash flow than your tax returns might indicate. When completing your tax returns you generally subtract every single business expense prior to your claim of any profits. By employing bank statements, you are still proving income, this reduces the importance of your credit score or deposit during the application process - while a "self-cert" or "self-certification" mortgage will place more emphasis on your credit score.
If you cannot provide statements, apply for a "self cert", or "stated income" mortgage. This type of loan is very common these days. You actually need no proof of income, you simply state on the application form, the level of your income. It doesn't require verification on your part! This might help if you are freelance and need to specify your income as it currently stands. This method means that you don't have to worry about having the lender take your last two years worth of income and average them out. Whilst many people do abuse this feature, it's best to be accurate when self-certifying your income. Sometimes the lender will be able to obtain proof from your tax office to confirm your self-cert amount. Whenever you choose a self-cert loan, this will put more weight on the importance of your deposit and/or credit score. So, you might normally need one or both of these elements to be strong if you want to pursue this avenue. More often than not, when you do a self-cert, you could well be charged a marginally higher rate of interest because the lender will see this as more "high-risk".
Lenders make money by lending it to so they are always looking for ways to make it easier for you. There are several ways that lenders may work with you if you are freelance. The advice of a good, independent financial advisor is recommended and there are a proliferation of programs available to help you. If you can lay your hands on a deposit or you have good credit, you are halfway there! You're almost guaranteed to find a lender somewhere so don't despair!
About The Author
Fabio Marcell is a seasoned contributor to many online and offline journals specialising in the financial sector. He has many years experience in the loans industry and is currently sponsoring the following website:
(for web reprints please ensure this URL is hyperlinked)
(c) 2005 Fabio Marcell - All Rights Reserved
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