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Three Things to Know About Mortgages as a Self-Employed Person

January 28, 2015 | Posted by Nathan Zacharias | Tagged in

Having your personal finances be assessed for a mortgage application can be difficult. Even more so for those who are self-employed. Lenders can often bring concerns that a self-employed person won’t be making a regular income that will let them meet their monthly mortgage payments.

Mortgages for the Self-Employed

However, hope is not lost, as the self-employed can still receive a mortgage loan on favourable terms. Depending on the conditions, you may be able to obtain an interest rate in line with other applicants. In other instances, self-employed applicants pay higher interest rates on a mortgage in return for more forgiving guidelines and higher risk on thepart of the lender.

To increase their chances of getting the best deal, business owners should take the following key factors into account.

Get the key documentation ready

Proving that you’re in good financial shape for a mortgage as a self-employed person means getting your paperwork sorted out, and preferable BEFORE you commit to buying a home. A lender will want to see your personal tax notice of assessment for the two most recent years to validate and prove the income on your mortgage application. They’ll also want to check out:

  • Credit scores for you and your business
  • Business financial statements for the most recent year end
  • Evidence showing you as the principal owner of your business
  • Proof that you – and not someone else – are paying for your down payment
  • Documents showing your HST/GST is fully paid off
  • Contracts for the next few years showing expected business revenue
  • Proof of operation via a copy of your Articles of Incorporation and/or Certificate of Incorporation, GST return, registered trade name or business bank statements which all help show you are a legitimate business

Get ready to shop around more than other people

Self-employed mortgage seekers should get used to the idea of shopping around with different lenders more than other applicants do. In some eyes, self-employed people aren’t ideal mortgage candidates, so you’ll have to get ready to work a bit harder to find a lender who is willing to work with you and your financial situation, or in some cases with a lender who will have a look at your deal with the documentation you possess and are capable of providing.

Get your financial ducks in a row

Taking charge of your financial profile to ensure it’s as attractive as possible is one of the best things you can do to secure a mortgage. Make sure you’ve considered the following factors.

  • #1 and before you even attempt to get a mortgage, PAY all your provincial and federal tax arrears
  • Paying off or minimizing any consumer debt – such as credit card debt and car loans
  • If consumer debt and/or tax arrears are what brings you shopping for a mortgage it is very important to document and explain up front exactly what needs to be paid out to avoid wasting time
  • Put down as large a down payment as you can afford, as this will make you seem less risky
  • Set aside a large cash reserve as an emergency fund in case you enter business trouble
  • Get your credit score as healthy as possible by regularly using credit cards and paying them off