People think that contractors get the best of both worlds; the freedom to move between jobs/locations and the income that makes sure you can pay your bills and live a great lifestyle. However, when it comes to standard life events like applying for a mortgage, contractors are certainly not getting the good end of the bargain.
Most high street banks apply certain criteria to mortgage applicants concerning their employment status, requiring proof of long term contracts. Depending on the line of work you are in, long term contracts might not be an option and might not be the type of contract that you would want to take on.
Your type of job may involve working on one short term contract and moving straight onto the next. Whilst this is still bringing you a steady income that is as guaranteed as people in permanent work who could face redundancy, for example, applying for a mortgage is much more difficult. As a contractor, your accountant will advise you on the most tax efficient way to operate, which means your accounts aren’t as straight forward as someone with one monthly payment from their employer.
Due to this, some banks will decline contractor applications, or they will provide it at higher interest rates or offer you a smaller maximum lending limit than you can afford. Whilst you can spend time trying to debate this with them, such is the nature of high street banks these days, if the computer says no, then there is no room for discussion.
Don’t expect standard banks to see you as a hard working individual with a good income over many years, the see you as a high risk due to what they call the unpredictability of your employment status. Given the number of redundancies that have been made over the last few years in the UK, you’d think that the banks would adjust their approach to contractors who arguably have a better than average chance of getting future employment.
If you have struggled to find good mortgages for contractors, then stop looking at high street banks and speak to a company that specialises in mortgages for contractors. Not only will you find that it can save you a lot of hassle trying to negotiate and prove your income, it could also save you lots of money in the long run ad you won’t be penalised with higher interest rates.