Updated: December 14, 2021

Getting a Mortgage on a Temporary Work Contract

Are you an agency worker or on a temporary contract and looking for a mortgage? Read our in-depth guide for everything you need to know.

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Expert

Updated: December 14, 2021

It’s quite normal to think if you’re employed on a temporary contract or work through an agency then your irregular income patterns will make it difficult to get a mortgage, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. 

This guide looks at how you can get a mortgage if you work on a temporary basis and the steps you can take to make sure your application has the best chance of success.

Can you get a mortgage on a temporary contract?

Yes, of course you can. All mortgage lenders are looking for stability when they review applications. They want to be confident that you can afford the repayments. The more evidence you can provide, the better your chances will be.

This is true whether you’re a salaried employee or self-employed and it’s also the case if you’re employed on a temporary basis.

The challenge is finding the lenders who have experience dealing with applications from temporary contract workers and whose eligibility guidelines provide the best opportunity of getting the mortgage you need.

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What are the eligibility requirements?

The criteria mortgage lenders adopt when reviewing applications will vary depending on the type of temporary contract you’re currently working under.

These can range from:

  • Fixed-term contract
  • Seasonal contract
  • Agency work
  • Short-term renewable contract
  • Probationary contract
  • IT consultant

The table below provides a snapshot of what lenders tend to look for and the types of evidence you’ll be asked to produce when you submit an application, depending on your employment status.

Temporary contract basis Length of current contract:  Evidence of earnings required:  Employment history:  Bank statements required:  Other supporting evidence (that may be) required: 
Fixed-term 12 months continuous with same employer and at least 6 months remaining Latest full month’s payslip / Copy of existing contract 2 years continuous service in the same employment sector / No more than 4-6 week break between contracts Latest full month’s bank statement showing salary credited / Some lenders may ask for 3-6 months statements  Employer/ Agency written reference to confirm long-term employment

arrangements

Seasonal Typically 6 months to cover peak periods 3 months payslips / last 2 years P60s / Copies of previous contracts over three year period 2-3 years work experience Latest full month’s bank statement showing salary credited Some lenders may only accept seasonal work as a secondary income source
Agency Work 12 months continuous with same employer and at least 6 months remaining Latest 1-2 months Payslips / Last 2 years P60s 2-3 years continuous service in the same employment sector Latest full month’s bank statement showing salary credited Some lenders may require a written statement from Agency confirming future employment opportunities 
Short-term renewable 6-12 months continuous employment Latest full month’s payslip / Copy of existing and previous contracts 2-3 years continuous service in the same employment sector Latest full month’s bank statement showing salary credited Employer/ Agency written reference to confirm long-term employment

arrangements

Probationary 6 months continuous employment Latest 1-2 months Payslips / Last 2 years P60s 2 years work experience in a similar role Latest full month’s bank statement showing salary credited Some lenders may ask for 3 months payslips and employer reference*
IT consultant Usually one year in total (can be made up of two six months contracts or three four month contracts, for example) Latest 1-2 months payslip / Copy of existing and previous contracts 2 years work experience in a similar role Latest full month’s bank statement showing salary credited / Some lenders may ask for 3-6 months statements  Some lenders will treat as self-employed, particularly if working on multiple contracts at same time and/or set up as a LTD company

* = click the link to find out more about how probationary workers can secure a mortgage

How to get a mortgage if you’re an agency worker or on a temporary contract

As you can see from the information outlined in the table above, getting a mortgage if you’re employed on a temporary basis, whilst not completely straightforward, is certainly possible.

In addition to gathering together all the evidence you’ll need to support your earnings history, there’s a number of other steps you can take to boost your chances of success. 

1. Save as much deposit as you can

The higher your deposit, the less you’ll need to borrow. As a result, your application will likely attract a larger number of lenders and can make a real difference when they assess your ability to meet the repayments.

Anything approaching 15%-20% is a good starting point. Building up a large deposit does take time, so try and save up as much as you can, whenever possible.

 2. Speak to an experienced mortgage broker

Rather than trying to search for the lenders who will look at your application, the smarter move is to enlist the help of an experienced mortgage broker first.

They will already know which mortgage lenders are better placed to consider an application from someone who works on a temporary contract. Your broker will also know what supporting evidence you’ll need and help you collect this information together.

The advisor-matching service we use is designed to select a broker with the right experience and knowledge to help with your specific circumstances. If you get in touch we can arrange for an advisor to call you who has previously dealt with situations like this.

3. Check your credit history

Keeping a regular check on your credit score is good financial practice and is something everyone should do, regardless of your employment status. Making sure your credit history has a clean bill of health will add a lot of credence to your mortgage application.

You can receive regular credit report updates from websites such as Clearscore and Experian, normally on a fee-free basis.

4. Applying with a partner

If you have a partner, applying on a joint basis can usually add more strength to your overall application, depending on their employment status. This would certainly be the case if they have a solid employment history and healthy credit score.

Your broker will be able to advise both of you on what proof of income will be required and which lenders would look more favourably on your application.

 Get matched with a broker who specialises in mortgages for temporary workers

If you’re a temporary contract worker, getting a mortgage can be tricky. Trying to plough through the process on your own, with no help or guidance, can make it even harder. This is where we can help.

The advisors we work with have a rich and varied skill-set and can bring in-depth experience and knowledge to a range of different scenarios, including circumstances such as this. They can make a tough process much more straightforward.

If you get in touch we can arrange for a mortgage broker to speak with you who has previous experience of helping people in the exact same situation.

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. Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

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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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