How to get a mortgage when you’re a freelancer

There are many misconceptions about how to get a mortgage if you’re a freelancer, mainly that it’s not possible. Thankfully, this isn’t true, which is just because more people in the UK are choosing to become self-employed. In fact, according to Online Mortgage Advisor, an estimated 14.8% of the working population, nearly 5 million people, are now freelancers and a large percentage of them certainly haven’t let it stop them from buying their dream home.

The mortgage rates for freelancers are significantly different from those for employees. Freelancers often have to pay more because they are not eligible for the same discounts as employees. They also have to pay higher interest rates. Navigating the realm of mortgages as a freelancer can be daunting, but exploring all avenues to get mortgage rate information tailored to your unique circumstances is crucial. Understanding the nuances of freelance income and how it impacts mortgage rates is key to making informed decisions on your homeownership journey.

Work out how much you can afford

Budget finances
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You’ll need to start by doing the sums! The basic principle is that you’ll be taking out a mortgage proportionate to your ‘salary’, so it may be a mortgage that’s 3x, 4x, 4.5x, or 5x your salary. Work out how much you earn and multiply it by these different multiples to see what you can afford – though it’s just an indication. Interest rates and your monthly outgoings will also matter. A mortgage calculator can give you a more accurate estimation.

Save for a deposit

The bigger the deposit you have, the stronger your case is to the lender, so you must have a decent deposit as a freelancer. For a start, it shows a lender that you’re careful with money, which proves you’re capable of managing a mortgage.

Speak to a freelance mortgage specialist

Mortgage Advice
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Friends and family may recommend mortgage brokers that have assisted them, but it doesn’t mean they’re right for you. It would help if you had someone who’s experienced in freelance mortgages. An easy way is to use a service like Online Mortgage Advisor, who specialises in matching people with mortgage experts.

Know your financial history

It will take you at least six months to know how much you’re earning. On the other hand, lenders may want to see three years of accounts – but that’s a ‘may want.’ Though it’s common, some lenders will accept a minimum of a year and maybe less. The key thing you need to show is that you have a steady monthly income that doesn’t fluctuate too much so you can afford the payments.

Understand the criteria

All mortgage applications are assessed on criteria. Alongside deposit and earnings, there are other criteria that lenders will be looking for: here are some of them:


Lenders will look at whether you’re a Sole Trader, Contractor or Ltd company owner. What you choose to freelance in is your choice, but lenders like to see solid income from specific sources rather than jumping between short contracts.

Breaks in earning

Lenders will notice if you take breaks from work, for example, if you have a history of illness or maternity leave coming up, they will class these as times, you’ll be earning less (or nothing), which makes the mortgage high risk. So you’ll need to show them how you’ll cover your mortgage during these times.

Considering a joint mortgage?

Joint mortgage
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If you’re a freelancer and you’re applying with someone who’s employed, you need to show you’re not a dependent and will be paying your share of the mortgage, in which case all the above considerations apply.

What if you get turned down?

Try again! Getting turned down isn’t an indication that you won’t ever get approved, it could just be that the lender’s criteria didn’t match your situation, in which case apply to another one. Freelancers are considered riskier to lenders, but as long as you can prove to them you can pay back their loan, you should find a lender that says yes.

If you know you want to take out a mortgage soon or start taking the appropriate measures now in the next couple of years. Try improving your credit score, get saving for a deposit and organise your accounts as it all helps further down the line…and there’s no time like the present to get cracking!

How to get a mortgage when you're a freelancer

18 thoughts on “How to get a mortgage when you’re a freelancer”

  1. Ahh this is really interesting! I am a freelancer and we would ideally like to move soon, so this is exactly what I need to know more about 🙂

  2. We’ve still to get onto the property ladder which seems so far away from us at the moment. We’re heading the right way so hopefully we’ll get there soon x

  3. It’s good to know that there are specialist who can help freelancers get a mortgage, as you say there are more and more people working with their own business now so these tips are a great idea.

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