Are Self-Cert Mortgages Still Available?

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Are Self-Cert Mortgages Still Available? 

Perhaps you have heard of self-certified mortgages but are unsure what they are or if they are still available – if so, read on. Fancy a Mortgage explains self-cert mortgages and how they work.

What are self-cert mortgages?

With most mortgages you have to provide evidence of your annual income to a lender – but not with self-cert mortgages. 

Rather than providing payslips or tax documents to prove your income, a self-cert mortgage simply involves signing a document to ‘certify’ that you earn the amount stated in your mortgage application.

At one time, self-cert mortgages were the only option for the self-employed to buy a home.

Why aren’t they available?

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) banned self-cert mortgages over a decade ago following the credit crunch, as there were no checks on whether applicants really had the means to repay their mortgage loans. 

Poor mortgage practices were a major cause of the financial crisis in 2007-2008, and regulators have since introduced strict guidelines for mortgage lenders. They now have to assess every customer’s affordability – which is why we must all prove our incomes to get a mortgage. 

Getting a self-cert mortgage from overseas 

You may find certain overseas lenders offering ‘self-certification mortgages’, where you can get a mortgage with no proof of income. This is a risky approach and the FCA has warned British residents against such loans. Interest rates tend to be higher than average and there are often hidden fees and costs. 

Speak to a UK Mortgage Broker before exploring risky options like this. Some mortgage lenders are surprisingly flexible and offer loans to the self-employed, people in older age, those with poor credit and many other situations. A broker like Fancy a Mortgage can explain all the options and recommend a suitable way to achieve your property plans.

What are the alternatives?

The main alternative to a self-cert mortgage is to look at ‘traditional’ mortgage products. UK lenders are quite adaptable and even the main high street brands lend to the self-employed all the time. 

Mortgage lenders will accept all kinds of income as part of the affordability assessment, including:

  • Rental income

  • Pension income

  • Investment income

  • Small business salary and dividends

  • Share of net profit

  • Contractor day rates

The self-employed usually need to submit two to three years’ accounts, or recent self-assessment forms plus bank statements. Some lenders will allow just a single year’s accounts.

How can Fancy a Mortgage help?

Mortgage Brokers like the team at Fancy a Mortgage are here to help you find a suitable mortgage product for your situation. We compare hundreds of products across dozens of lenders to find the most appropriate options for every client – including self-employed mortgages, Interest Only mortgages and borrowing for small business owners.

Our mortgage advisors will support you every step of the way, contact us today to start your journey.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.