Getting a Mortgage with a Self Employed Partner


If you’re looking for a mortgage, and either you or your partner are self-employed, you may be worried about your eligibility.

Our guide runs through the process of getting a ‘self-employed mortgage’ and how our expert advisors can help you.

Can I get a mortgage if my partner is self-employed?

Yes, you can get a mortgage if your partner is self-employed.

There are a few things to consider for self-employed applicants, such as how long they have been trading and the levels of profit shown on the accounts, but generally, it should not cause an issue just for being self-employed.

Is it harder to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed?

There are different rules for evidencing your income for self-employed applicants, but as long as you can meet these, it should be no harder to get a mortgage than for an employed applicant.

What is a joint mortgage?

A joint mortgage is one with usually 2 applicants, although it could potentially be more – they are very common if you are buying a property with a partner.

Both applicants income and credit status will be taken into consideration and both will be what is known as “joint and severally” liable for the mortgage. 

This means that both parties are liable for the whole debt, so if one party does not make a payment, the other has to cover the whole amount, not just a 50% share.

Does a mortgage have to be in joint names?

Mortgages don’t have to be in joint names; however, if a property is owned by more than 1 person, then they all have to be named on the mortgage. 

Some lenders will also insist that, in the case of married couples, both partners are named on the mortgage. 

How are self-employed mortgages assessed?

Self-employed applicants are usually assessed on their share of the profits of their business, unless the business is a limited company. 

In that case, most lenders will use the directors salary paid and also the dividends received from the company. There are a few lenders who will look at the profits of the limited company, rather than dividends and you should take expert advice if this is your situation.

Most lenders will also need to see that the business has been trading for at least 2 years, although again there are exceptions that will look at 1 years trading history, and they will typically assess your income as an average of the last 2 years profits. 

In terms of credit scoring, there is no difference for self-employed applicants against employed applicants.

What documents do you need if one mortgage applicant is self-employed?

Lenders will normally want to see your last 2 years tax computations and Tax Year Overviews. These should be available from your accountant if you use one, or alternatively from your Inland Revenue account. 

They may also ask to see your business accounts and bank statements to show your current turnover. 

How many years do you need to be self-employed to get a joint mortgage?

Generally, lenders will want to see 2 years history of being self-employed and will normally take an average of your profit over those 2 years to calculate the income they will use in the affordability calculation.

There are a limited number of mortgage lenders that will allow just 1 full year of trading if you have only recently become self-employed.

How much can you borrow if one mortgage applicant is self-employed?

This is calculated in the same way as for employed applicants, with the exception that most lenders will work on an average of your last 2 years income for the calculation, rather than simply the annual salary they use for employed applicants. 

There are a limited number of lenders who will use the latest year’s profit figure, rather than an average of the last 2 years, but this is not the norm.

FAQs about Self Employed Mortgages

Do I need to put down a bigger deposit if one applicant is self-employed?

Not usually. Most lenders do not restrict the loan to value for self-employed applicants.

Can sole traders get a mortgage?

Yes, a sole trader can get a mortgage as their income will be based on their net profit declared on their tax return.

Will I need a specific sole trader mortgage?

No, you can apply for a standard mortgage, you will just need to provide some additional documentation to show your income.

About the author 

Gary Oxborough

Gary is the Founder and Director of Barlow Irvin Financial Services Ltd. He has been in the Finance industry for over 20 years and has specialised in Mortgages since 2003. As well as running the firm, he is still actively involved in advising clients.

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