Updated: December 10, 2021

How Your Employment Type Affects Your Mortgage Prospects

Want to know how to get the best mortgage based on your employment type? Find out exactly what to do next in our in-depth guide!

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: December 10, 2021

When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will take a keen interest in your type of employment to assess how much and how regularly you’re paid. If you’re in what’s deemed ‘non standard’ employment – for example you’re self-employed, you work part-time or you’re a contractor – it could be trickier to get your application approved, but it’s far from impossible. 

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how your employment type could affect your odds of getting a mortgage, what you can do to improve your chances, and how a broker can help you. 

Read on for more information or jump to the section that’s relevant to you via the links below…

Does employment type matter to a mortgage lender?

The short answer is yes. Before giving a mortgage application the green light, lenders go to great lengths to ensure an applicant can afford their monthly repayments. After all, they’re lending out big sums and want to make sure they’ll get their money back at the end of the term.

To do this, they ask all applicants for proof of income. This is usually pretty straightforward if you’re in a full-time, employed role. You can provide recent payslips and bank statements to show a fixed amount of money going into your account on a regular basis.

Things start to get a bit trickier, however, if you’re in non-standard employment – that’s anything other than a full-time, employed job. That’s not to say you can’t get a mortgage if your employment type is considered ‘non standard’. You most likely can. It just means you may need to provide the lender with more detailed information about your experience and your financials, and you’ll probably require the services of an experienced broker.

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Lender appetite for different employment types

The type of employment you’re in will affect the number of lenders and quality of deals available to you. If you’re in a full-time, employed job – and you meet all other eligibility criteria – you should have access to a wide range of products from various providers.

If you’re in non-standard employment, the choice will be more limited. How limited will depend on your employment status. People who work in the following capacities are advised to seek professional advice before applying for a mortgage…

  • Self-employed with less than two years’ income proof
  • Sole traders
  • Limited company directors
  • Contractors
  • Temp and part-time workers
  • Anyone who’s just started a new job

For example, if you’re self-employed, but can prove that you bring in a regular income, you should still have plenty of options from several lenders. However, if you’re a part-time worker in your probationary period, your choice will be more narrow.

A broker who specialises in your specific employment type will be able to tell you which lenders to approach and which are likely to turn you down.

Eligibility criteria

If your job falls into the category of ‘non-standard’ employment, you should still be able to get a mortgage. Lenders will, however, ask you for more detailed information about your employment history and how and when you get paid.

Each lender will have its own criteria, but in general, this is what they’ll be looking for:

Sole traders

You’ll typically need to have been trading for a minimum of 12 months to be considered for a mortgage. However, lenders will look back over your entire financial history to assess whether you can afford the loan, so the more income you can declare the better.

Lenders will ask to see your latest tax returns, usually in the form of an SA302, as evidence of earnings. This can be obtained online or by phone from HMRC.

You can read more about sole trader mortgages on our sister website, Online Mortgage Advisor.

Limited company directors

Many lenders will require you to have been trading for at least two or three years, but there are a handful of specialists who’ll lend to you if you’ve been in business for just 12 months.

You’ll need to provide evidence of your earnings via an SA302 tax return, which you can obtain from HMRC. You may also be asked to supply your last three months’ business and personal bank statements.

Some specialist lenders will consider lending to you based on your overall financial situation, including profit you’ve retained in the business, rather than just your salary.

Read more about limited company mortgages in our guide.

Contractors

The definition of contractor is broad and can vary from lender to lender, but it’s generally anyone who temporarily works for a business for a set period of time. They can be either employed by the company for the duration of the contract or be self-employed.

When it comes to getting a contractor mortgage, if you’re employed, you’ll need to supply payslips and bank statements as proof of income. If you’re self-employed, you’ll be asked to provide an SA302 tax return as evidence of earnings.

Read more about contractor mortgages in our guide.

Professionals

These are a special category of mortgage offered by some lenders to people who work in specific professions such as doctors, teachers, accountants, solicitors, surveyors and investment bankers. Borrowers who fall into this category tend to be deemed less risky so some lenders tend to offer them exclusive deals.

As people in these professions can see their pay significantly increase as they progress through their career, some lenders will take future earnings into account when considering their mortgage application.

Read more about mortgages for professionals on our sister website, Online Mortgage Advisor.

Temporary workers

Several lenders will consider offering you a mortgage if you have a temporary job or you’re an agency worker, but they’ll probably ask you to produce evidence of consistent income earned within your field.

The type of job you do will also be an important factor in their decision-making process. For example, you may have more options available to you if you’re a higher-skilled temporary worker, such as a locum doctor or teacher.

Lenders will also consider the length of your contract. You’ll typically find it easier to get approved if you’re on a longer-term contract. Some lenders may reject your application outright if your contract is less than 12 months, while others will still consider you. An experienced advisor can guide you on this.

Read more about  mortgages for temp workers in our guide.

Part-time workers

If you’re in a permanent, part-time job, and can make your monthly repayments, you shouldn’t have much of an issue getting a mortgage. The only caveats are some lenders will reject you straight out if you earn under a certain amount a year – £20,000, for example. And the amount you’re able to borrow may be limited, particularly if you have a lot of monthly outgoings.

If you have more than one part-time job, some lenders will take your second income into consideration too, while others will ignore it. Each lender will have its own policy.

Read more about getting a mortgage with a part-time job in our guide.

Zero-hour contract workers

It can be tricky to get a mortgage but not impossible. Most lenders require evidence of a stable, guaranteed income before accepting an application but if you approach the right provider, there’s a chance you’ll be approved if you’re on a zero-hours contract. If you fall into this category, seeking advice from a specialist broker is a non-negotiable.

Lenders will typically demand you’ve been in your current role for at least 12 months and they’ll also ask for evidence of prior experience working in your current field. You’ll probably be deemed lower risk if you work in a certain sector, for example, you’re a doctor or a barrister.

Read more about getting a mortgage on a zero-hour contract in our guide.

Those who recently started a new job

Most lenders will require you to be in your job for at least three or six months. However, there are some lenders who’ll consider your application with no minimum time in employment. They may require evidence that your new role is permanent and it will help if you can prove you were in continuous employment before starting your new job.

If you’re in your probationary period, some lenders will reject you straightaway. Some, however, will consider your application, especially if you can show you have a track record of employment in your current sector.

Read more about getting a mortgage with a new job in our guide

Fixed-income mortgages

There are many people on fixed income, including those on pensions and disability benefits, and there are a number of lenders who will look at these as acceptable income.

Other fixed income sources could come from –

How a broker can help people with your employment type

Whatever type of employment you’re in, a broker will be able to save you time and money as well as guide you through the mortgage application process.

However, if you work in a non-standard employment type, a broker can be even more valuable. They can assess your situation and match you to the best lender for your circumstances saving you the stress and expense of wasted applications.

We have brokers in our network specialising in all employment types. If, for example, you’re on a zero-hours contract, we have experienced brokers who can tell you which lenders will consider your application and which will turn you away.

A broker will also be able to negotiate bespoke rates on your behalf and can get access to exclusive deals. They can give you tailored advice and be on hand throughout your journey to make sure any issues are dealt with quickly.

Does your employment type affect the deposit requirements?

Working in non-standard employment doesn’t automatically mean you’ll need a large deposit. The deposit requirement set by your lender will depend on various risk factors including your credit history and the type of property you’re buying.

In fact, most self-employed mortgages require similar deposits to other residential agreements, so you’ll typically be expected to put down at least 10%. However, as with all mortgages, if you’re deemed to be a higher risk borrower, you may be required to put down a bigger lump sum.

Can you get a mortgage with no income?

A small handful of lenders will consider your application if you have no income at all. However, you’ll have to prove you have an income stream looming or a large amount of savings you’ll be able to use to make your repayments.

Get matched with a specialist broker today

Whether you’re buying your first property or you’re an experienced homebuyer, if your employment type is considered ‘non standard’, you should always talk to a mortgage broker before making any decisions.

A broker can assess your situation and offer bespoke advice that will ultimately save you time, money and stress. We have a network of specialist brokers who help people in non-standard employment get mortgages approved everyday.

Give us a call on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and get matched with a broker who specialises in your employment type today for free. We hand-pick all the advisors in our network and rigorously vet them so you know you’re getting the best possible advice.

Ask a quick question

We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects. 
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Pete Mugleston

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Expert

About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for OMA of course!

FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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