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Solve Your Contractor Mortgage Journey

As a contractor, we know you don’t fit the standard criteria or tick the usual boxes required for a mortgage. However, please do not fear, The Mortgage Broker has a panel of lenders that offer mortgages for contractors and we have a team of mortgage advisers that have plenty of experience in this area. Just get in touch and let us help you today.

There are thousands of mortgages successfully provided to contractors every year. The Mortgage Broker has the relationships with specific lenders who offer contractor mortgages and understand the criteria required for each one. With many years experience of placing mortgages for contractors, we can help you get passed the frustrations you may be facing with some standard lenders.

Been told that your pay is irregular or you don’t have normal payslips? or even your business hasn’t traded long enough? Don’t worry.

Yes, the application process is slightly different… but this is why it is important you get the right advice to ensure you have the best opportunity to search the market and get the right product for your circumstances. There are various considerations, but don’t worry, our team will guide you from start to finish.

Further down the page, we have a full in-depth guide to everything you need to know about getting a mortgage as a contractor, however, here are some quick fire bullets to help you understand your position.

Types of Contractor Mortgage

The Mortgage Broker has many lenders that offer mortgages for contractors. The types of contractor mortgages available:

  • Fixed-Term Contractor: Fixed-term contracts are the closest that a contractor comes to being considered employed, and lenders see it the same way. Depending on which lender, criteria can vary, but lenders will often insist on a certain time period still remaining on the fixed term contract.
  • Professional Contractors: Contractors, including general contractors, independent and subcontractors, will be assessed on a couple of factors such as rate of pay and length of the project. Essentially though, it comes down to the daily rate and the multiples of that.
  • Limited Company Directors (and umbrella): These can fall under this specialist mortgage area, and it is crucial to package up the income effectively as salary and dividends being drawn can qualify you for affordability, or the profit of the business can be included in certain structures.
  • Agency Workers: Lenders vary considerably for agency workers, but absolutely mortgages can be successfully applied for. Length of time in roles, consistency of pay and continuity are all considered. Lenders will often require more payslips to show earnings over a period of time and assess your affordability.

Types of Contractor Accepted by our Lenders

  • Umbrella
  • Fixed Term Contractors
  • Professional Contractors
  • Freelancers
  • Agency Workers
  • Ltd Company

Checking Eligibility

  • ID Verification and current address
  • Latest 3 month bank statements
  • Proof of deposit funds
  • Contracts

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Mortgage Deals for Contractors

If you are a contractor on a daily rate there are many mortgage options to consider. Our guide will help you with the options available.

As specialist mortgage brokers for contractors, our dedicated team are dealing with the best mortgage lenders for contractors on a daily basis. We understand the issues, questions and criteria lenders rely on to approve a contractor mortgage application. This guide will hopefully go some way in clarifying the details you need to understand to ensure a successful application.

Contracting work is common in several industries. An independent contractor works for companies or businesses as needed, under the terms of an agreed contract.

Mortgage lenders generally classify Contractors under one of the following descriptions and treat them differently in regard to how they view their income and what proof of income they will accept in their mortgage underwriting process:

  • Daily Rate Contractor – Daily rate in excess of £220 per day
  • Daily Rate Contractor – Daily rate less than £220 per day
  • Fixed Term Contractor
  • CIS Contractor

Once a contract is nearing its end date it one tends to start discussing new contract terms with the existing company, or a new one, to ensure there is little or no break between income sources.

For mortgage purposes, there needs to be no more than a week gap between a contract, and no more than 8 weeks total in a year otherwise this makes obtaining a mortgage that much more difficult. Your income must be in sterling, subject to UK tax and your experience in the industry needs to be in the UK.

Contracting work can make applying for a home loan quite challenging. This article tells you everything you need to know on this topic.

Quick Fire Questions- Getting a mortgage as a Contractor!

Can I get a mortgage as a contractor?

Yes, absolutely. They are available across the market and a mortgage for a contractor really is quite normal now. Of course a little more tricky, but with the growing number of contractors across the UK, there is an increasing number of lenders that are changing their criteria and contractor mortgages are becoming more normal.

What are the key factors to getting a contractor mortgage?

The type of contract in which you are working will be critical in dictating the type of contractor mortgage available. A lender will usually determine the type of contract you are on through your taxable income and how this is paid. For example, if you are paid via a limited company you could be classed as employed unless you own the requisite % of this company, and complete a self-assessment, determining you as self-employed.

Getting a mortgage while contracting?

You can get a mortgage when working under many types of contracts.

  • Fixed Term Contractors
  • Short-Term Renewable Contractor
  • Self Employed Contractors
  • Limited Company Directors
  • Professional Contractors
  • Umbrella Company Contractors
  • Sub-Contractors
  • Zero Hour Contracts

What is the process of getting a mortgage as a contractor?

Whilst your income is different and the lenders you need to go to may be different, the process is pretty much the same. However, it of course can be far more challenging to get the mortgage placed and the income fairly considered. It is much less complicated using a mortgage adviser as they can package up your application more effectively and will know what the mortgage lenders are looking out for when considering a mortgage for a contractor.

Therefore, if you come to The Mortgage Broker as a contractor, we can support you from the start right through to completion and beyond. Or simply contact a mortgage adviser of your choice, provide the details of your income and the contracts, and the mortgage broker will do the rest. Search the market for the best rates, and find the right solution for you. During this, you can upload the required documentation so that your broker can submit the application effectively and accurately. Please do note, that success rates are lower for contractors as it is more complicated.

What contractor mortgage rates are available?

The market is changing every day, and more and more lenders are entering the contractor mortgage space. This will only ever help you get better rates, but as we know the market is always unpredictable. The rates you can get though are just as competitive to normal income residential mortgage rates to employees. The value of your contractors and the consistency of your work will always make your application more competitive when looking for the best mortgage rate for a contractor, but generally speaking, the playing field is the same.

What documents do I need to provide to get a mortgage when contracting?

As mentioned above, you will require the following documentation:

  • ID Verification and current living address
  • Latest 3 month bank statements
  • Proof of deposit funds
  • Contracts – The history of your contracts will help the application. The more consistency on show, the better.

What type of mortgage can I apply for as a contractor?

The type of mortgage is the same. Whether you are a first-time buyer, moving home, looking for a second property or a landlord looking to increase your portfolio, it does not matter. There are a series of Lenders on The Mortgage Broker panel, that can place different mortgage types for different circumstances.

Can I get a mortgage as a new contractor?

Yes, you can. There are some lenders that will consider your application if you have been contracting for less than 2 years. However, this could see higher rates with lower amounts available to borrow for the mortgage.

I am buying a property with someone employed, does that help my application for a mortgage as a contractor?

Yes, it definitely does. The lender can take the consistency of the employed salary as extra confidence that the mortgage can be covered on a monthly basis. The amounts you can borrow will depend on your income amounts, however, this will most certainly reassure lenders.

Why use a mortgage broker to get a mortgage as a contractor?

Simply put, you are much more likely to be successful as our advisers know the lenders that have certain criteria for different contractors, and we can package your case accordingly.

The 4 types of Contractor Mortgage deals

The Daily Rate Contractor – In excess of £220 per day

Where you are a day rate contractor earning in excess of £220 per day lenders will assess your income based on this daily rate. Most lenders will use the following calculation to assess the annual income they will use in their affordability calculations:

Daily rate X number of days a week worked X 46 weeks per year

So, if you were on £220 per day this would equal:

£220 x 5 x 46 = £50,600 (The income used by the mortgage lender)

  • With this type of contract, no accounts or tax returns will be needed.
  • Invoices and corresponding bank statements will be required.
  • No umbrella companies accepted
  • You would need to have at least 2 years’ experience in that specific job role, not specifically contracting.
  • If you have less than 2 years experience lender may require your daily rate to be more than £325 per day
Actual Case Study:

Anna was a previous client and sold her house in London to relocate, with her partner Mark to Scotland. Mark had a relationship with a major High Street Bank, so they went there first.

Mark had only started work as an IT contractor in the previous 4 weeks and was earning £675 per day. Mark had 4 years in his previous employed role in the same line of work and 12 years in the industry.

They were finally declined a mortgage, after dragging them through a 2-week ordeal stating that they could help, as this bank does not accept contract workers as they classify them as self-employed and required 2 years accounts which obviously couldn’t be produced.

They approached one of our specialist advisers at The Mortgage Broker Ltd and we had a mortgage offered for them within 5 weeks and completed within 8 weeks from the time of application.

Is it always that easy?

However, if you were employed for 2 years as above, but before starting your new career as a contractor you decide to take 3 months off for some well-deserved rest and recuperation – Once your holiday period has ended, you secure a new 3-month contract at £350 per day and work until the contract finishes.

If at the end of this 3 months’ contract, you decide to take another few weeks off (because you deserve it and why not, this is the lifestyle of working hard, earning good money and receiving the flexibility and free time that you desire) Obtaining a mortgage in this scenario will prove much harder and near impossible as lenders do not like such large gaps in your contracting history.

Daily Rate Contractor – Less than £220 per day

On the basis of this type of contract, lenders will NOT lend to you based on your daily rate and will look to use the income from your Ltd company accounts / tax returns to assess affordability and your borrowing capacity.

You will need to have been registered as self-employed for at least 14 months (ready to have at least one year’s accounts and tax returns finalised) and with this, you would only have a limited selection of lenders to choose from. However, with 2 years accounts/tax returns there will be a much larger choice of lenders and mortgage deals to choose from.

Once lenders have the proof of income as described above, they will use their normal underwriting criteria to assess how much you can borrow.

Fixed term contractor

This is a contract where you are paid a salary and your tax and NI is deducted at source, these contracts generally run for a period of 3 – 6 months.

Lenders will want you to have previous experience in the industry you are now contracting in. Having two years’ experience in a role and being offered your very first 3- or 6-month contract (within the same type of industry/role) a mortgage would / should be possible albeit from a small selection of lenders and this would be available up to 95% loan to value.

Lenders don’t like large gaps in between contracts, you may get away with a 6-week gap in a 12-month period but try to limit this where possible for the sake of securing a new mortgage. There are of course exceptions to every rule and some lenders may consider something outside of this scenario if they have good reasons to lend – Such as proof that you were on long-term sick or other exceptional circumstances.

There would be a much larger selection of Contractor mortgage deals available to you if you have 12- or 24-months contractor experience.

Can CIS contractors get a loan?

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) requires you to fill in a self-assessment tax return while working for a construction firm as the tax deducted at source is not always the full amount. Many such contractors have trouble trying to find a lender who will grant them the home loan they need to buy their own property. Oftentimes, the lender works out how much they are willing to lend on your net profit rather than your day rate or total income.

You may, however, find you have fewer options to choose from than someone in a regular job. Experience in the job would be needed, no accounts would be requested, and invoices and contract terms would be the main requirements.

I just started contracting one month ago – can I get a mortgage?

Potentially yes, although this would depend on the job role, your experience in the industry, and contract day rate amongst other things. Most lenders will need to see the last six months’ worth of income. If you have only been contracting for a month, this does not provide ample proof of stability. The longer you work in this manner for, the better the odds are of being accepted for a home loan – and the more options you could choose from too.

I have a limited company but no accounts, but I have a contract

Proof that you are on a contract is a good start. However, while limited company directors can apply for mortgages, you should expect any lender to request accounts to back up your figures. They are also likely to focus on your salary and the dividends you receive from your company, rather than the earnings you are bringing in.

How long do I have to be contracting before I am eligible for a mortgage?

The longer your contracting history goes back the easier it is to get a mortgage as the choice of lenders available to you is far greater.

Where this is not the case, you should be able to demonstrate you have experience in the sector you are working in. For example, you may have years of experience working in that sector, but you have only started contracting in the past year or so. Lenders will want to be sure you are in a good working position when assessing your suitability for a loan to buy a property.

In some circumstances it is possible to get a mortgage even on your 1st day of contracting but as you can imagine the terms and conditions behind approval for this are more demanding than for someone who has been contracting for two years plus.

Can I get a home loan if I am fixed-term contracting?

Yes, you can. You should be able to prove you have a reliable history of fixed-term contracts in the past. Going from one contract smoothly into the next with no break will help, too. You should also make sure you have several months left on your current contract, possibly with plans for your next move as well. Experience in the job itself could also be required by some lenders.

It is worth remembering contracting is far more common in some industries than others. If you work in an industry where most people work on contract terms, it is likely to be better received than if you are the exception. In the latter case, the lender will have little history or knowledge to go on to help them decide.

Can I get a loan with big gaps in contracts?

Some contractors move from one job to the next with little or no gap in between. However, in other cases, there could be gaps of several weeks or months when no income is being received. This question is commonly asked by contractors. We would advise you to seek advice from a specialist adviser dealing with contracting and associated loans on a regular basis. Lenders will consider job experience, contact experience, day rate and the reason for the gap in contracts when underwriting a mortgage for you.

Can I be accepted for a home loan with borrowing based on a daily rate?

Yes, a lot of contractors are paid a daily rate for their work. If this is true of your own situation, you will find you are limited in the lenders that will consider you for a loan. However, don’t despair – it is not impossible to achieve your aim. The amount of your daily rate of pay will determine how lenders view you as a contractor.

If you are earning over £325 per day, the lender will work out how many days and weeks you work each year, using the daily rate to calculate your income. The likely holidays you will take each year will be considered too, so your day rate might be worked out as five days every week for, perhaps, 46 – 48 weeks of the year, for instance.

I have a small deposit of 5% – can I get a home advance?

There are many rumours and supposed ‘truths’ flying around about mortgages for contractors. Some believe that while the rest of the working population can get a loan with a 5% deposit paid upfront and that this would not apply to contractors – this is not true.

You may find you have limited options among lenders who will accept a deposit of just 5%. However, those options are out there. Specialist lenders or brokers dealing with contractors on a regular basis are more likely to find potential sources of these loans.

It is also prudent to try and save as much as possible towards your deposit (again, this applies to everyone). The more you can put down upfront, the more you are reducing the risk you present to a lender. You’ll likely find the interest rate on your loan will be lower too, saving you considerable money over the medium and long term.

Can I get a Help to Buy mortgage as a contractor?

Yes, contractors are not excluded from the Government-run scheme. This should also be your main home – as the scheme does not provide for those looking to purchase a second home anywhere in the country.

It is wise to seek advice from specialist brokers experienced in helping contractors find the right home loans for them. Anyone who is unfamiliar with contractor income and how it is paid could decide you are not earning enough to qualify for the home loan you would still need under this scheme.

Can I get a Buy to Let mortgage as a contractor?

Yes. Similar elements come into play here that we have already seen above. Depending on which ‘Contractor’ category you fall under, a lender will consider you for a buy-to-let loan. Depending on the lender chosen, your contractor status and the amount of income you earn, a buy-to-let mortgage should be possible, although you would still have to meet the other buy-to-let criteria that the lender may require such as a deposit of at least 25% and a rental figure that exceeds the mortgage payment by at least 145% and beyond.

The complexity of this scenario points to the importance of seeking expert advice from those who are familiar with the unique challenges met by those who work as contractors.

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