Navigating home financing as a self-employed individual or a gig worker can be a bit tricky. Lenders often prioritize stable, verifiable income, which can pose challenges for those without traditional paychecks or W-2 forms. However, being self-employed doesn’t automatically mean you’ll struggle to get a mortgage. Here’s what you need to know about securing a loan when you work for yourself, and how Lynx Mortgage Bank can help streamline the process.

Can You Get a Mortgage If You’re Self-Employed?

Absolutely, self-employed individuals can qualify for a mortgage. At Lynx Mortgage Bank, we understand the unique challenges you face and are committed to helping you navigate the approval process. The key is meeting the standard criteria for loan approval, such as having a solid credit history, sufficient assets, and a stable employment record.

Common Challenges for Self-Employed Borrowers

Self-employed individuals may face additional hurdles, especially if they haven’t been self-employed for long or if their reported income appears lower due to tax deductions and write-offs. These deductions can sometimes result in a low net income on tax returns, which may complicate the approval process. At Lynx Mortgage Bank, we specialize in understanding these complexities and working with you to present your financial situation in the best light.

Steps to Get a Mortgage When Self-Employed

1. Determine Your Employment Classification

If you own a business, are a partner in one, or receive 1099 forms instead of W-2s, you’re considered self-employed. This includes sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig workers, and those with significant business ownership.

2. Prepare Your Business Presentation

You need to demonstrate the stability and potential of your income. This can be done through various documents and data, such as industry reports, tax returns showing income growth, and any contracts or agreements that guarantee future income. Lynx Mortgage Bank can guide you through this preparation to ensure you have all necessary documentation.

3. Gather Necessary Documentation

Lenders will require extensive documentation to verify your income and the stability of your business. This might include:

  • Employment verification
  • Business licenses and insurance
  • Articles of incorporation or partnership agreements
  • Federal and state permits
  • Personal and business tax returns for the past two years
  • Recent business bank statements and profit-and-loss reports

At Lynx Mortgage Bank, we can help you compile and organize these documents to streamline the approval process.

Mortgage Types for Self-Employed Borrowers

Self-employed individuals can qualify for most traditional mortgage types. Lynx Mortgage Bank offers a variety of loan options to suit your needs:

  • Conventional Loans: These require a minimum down payment and have strict approval criteria. Success is more likely with a longer track record of self-employment.
  • FHA Loans: Backed by the Federal Housing Administration, these require a smaller down payment and may be easier to obtain.
  • VA Loans: Available to veterans and active service members, these can offer favorable terms, including no down payment.
  • Non-Qualified Mortgages: These loans have more flexible criteria, often considering bank statement balances rather than traditional income proofs.

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Approval

Boost Your Credit Score

Ensure you maintain a good credit score by making timely payments, reducing debt, and correcting any inaccuracies on your credit reports.

Lower Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Aim to keep your debt-to-income ratio below 43% by paying down existing debt and avoiding new debt.

Increase Your Down Payment

Offering a larger down payment can improve your chances of getting approved.

Consider a Co-Signer or Co-Borrower

If your income isn’t sufficient, a co-signer or co-borrower with a steady income and good credit can help you qualify for a mortgage.

Alternatives If You Don’t Qualify

If you’re denied a traditional mortgage, you might consider non-conforming loans, although these often come with higher costs. Alternatively, personal loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOC) might be options if you need to refinance and have sufficient equity in your home. Lynx Mortgage Bank can help you explore these alternatives and find the best solution for your needs.

By understanding these steps and preparing thoroughly, self-employed individuals can navigate the mortgage process and find a loan that suits their needs. At Lynx Mortgage Bank, we’re here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring you have the support and guidance needed to secure your dream home.

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