4 Tips for Self-Employed Homebuyers

Getting a mortgage can be challenging when you don’t have a 9-to-5 job — or at least one that offers consistent pay stubs.

Don’t fret, though. If you’re a freelancer, gig worker, business owner or another type of independent contractor, it’s still possible to buy a home — it just takes a proactive approach and some planning to make it happen.

Are you a nontraditional worker hoping to get a mortgage? Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Focus on consistency. It’s vital to show lenders that you have regular income when applying for a mortgage. Try to work steadily in the lead-up to your home purchase — and be sure all your income is documented with invoices, deposit slips and bank statements.
  2. Make your financial picture appealing. Lenders often see nontraditional workers as a risk because their income isn’t as consistent as that of a salaried worker. You can offset this risk by improving your credit score, paying off some debts or increasing your income if possible. (Maybe you can take on a side hustle or an extra project in the months before applying.)
  3. Keep financial paperwork organized. Since you won’t have pay stubs to verify your income, other forms of documentation will be key in your application. Make sure you have the following on hand: your bank statements; your business’s profit-and-loss statements; proof of past invoices, deposits and contracts; and any other important paperwork.
  4. Get creative with your financing. Conventional and FHA loans aren’t the only options. Non-QM mortgages can be smart for self-employed borrowers, and bringing in a co-buyer can help, too. Talk to a loan officer for more recommendations based on your situation.

Get in touch if you’re ready to start your home search or need a referral to a trusted lender.

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