‘There’s no flexibility’ – Finding a mortgage as a self-employed person 

Any freelancers or self-employed people trying to get a mortgage will quickly learn “there’s no flexibility”, according to comedian Julie Jay. 

Taking the soapbox on The Hard Shoulder this week, Ms Jay said it is a “nightmare” trying to get a mortgage if you’ve taken the less conventional job path. 

“Obviously no one wants to go back to the year 2006 when you’d go out on a Wednesday night and you’d wake up on a Thursday morning with approval for 120% mortgage,” she said. 

“Self-employed people understand it’s not going to be as straightforward as an employed person. 

“But honestly it is just so difficult to get a mortgage these days I really think is so inequitable.” 

Mortgages for the self-employed

Ms Jay said if someone is paying market rent and has savings, there should be no issue in getting a mortgage even if their salary isn’t fixed. 

She pointed out the last time she applied for a mortgage, the bank told her to wait a year to apply again because her income was too “volatile”. 

“If I could go back to my 2015 self, because I used to be a teacher, that was the time to get a gaff. 

“The reality is that my salary is probably the same as it would have been if I was still teaching. 

“It’s just that as a freelancer, you might do work this month in March and not get paid for three months.” 

‘Two professional clowns’

Ms Jay and her husband, also a comedian, have a stable flow of money into their household that should qualify them for a mortgage. 

“I know we’re basically two professional clowns, and it doesn’t look great,” she said. “It’s not like banks are going to be falling over themselves to lend money. 

“At the same time, I’ve had these conversations with so many friends of mine who are electricians, carpenters, barristers, self-employed people and it is frustrating. 

“They feel there’s no flexibility.” 

She said rent in particular should be taken into account far more in mortgage applications. 

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