Self cert mortgages

Self certification mortgages, also known as ‘non status’ or ‘self cert’ mortgages, have shot to popularity thanks largely to changing work practices in the last couple of decades that have left a large number of people on short term or part time contracts, or dependent on bonuses for a sizeable portion of their income.


Self-certification mortgages are for people whose income is difficult to assess using the standard methods adopted by most conventional mortgage lenders. They allow you to ‘self declare’ your earnings.


Bonuses, commission and seasonal work can cause income to vary over time or be difficult to guarantee and this may not be considered acceptable in order to get a mainstream loan. Many customers who go on to be excellent mortgage customers with specialist lenders routinely fail credit scoring processes with mainstream lenders. While most self-certification mortgages are also available to the self-employed, they are not exclusive to them and some of the following groups also opt for this type of product:


  • Unsalaried company directors
  • Contract workers (increasingly common in technology-based industries)
  • Commission-based workers (often in sales, recruitment etc)
  • People with seasonal earnings
  • Those with more than one income
  • City workers or others who receive a high annual bonus
  • Employees from other sectors such as the airline industry, who have complicated systems of bonuses and allowances that make conventional documented proof of income problematic.
  • Borrowers on a low wage who have an inheritance fund or other family income
  • Freelance workers


Self-certification is the process by which the amount that a customer borrows is based on what they claim is their income as stated in a signed declaration in the application form, but where they don’t have to prove it on the basis of their accounts.



A better choice of ‘self cert mortgages’

There are dozens of mortgage lenders offering thousands of mortgage products. Even so, if you are one of the UK’s 3.3 million self employed, you may still have a problem finding a suitable mortgage on the high street. Mainstream banks and building societies will not necessarily offer the self employed borrower the best deal – if they offer anything at all. They prefer to cater for the needs of the majority who just happen to be in standard full time employment.

There is a sizeable number of workers either self employed or currently working on a short term contract. Whilst they are financially sound it is often difficult for these borrowers to prove a level of income to satisfy a mortgage lender. A handful of mortgage lenders have recognised this and look to welcome customers in these situations. These are the specialist lenders who understand the needs of the self employed borrower and continually look to improve the terms and features of their mortgage products to meet the needs of the market.

For example, whilst a mainstream lender will ask for up to three years audited accounts from a Chartered or Certified Accountant before considering a mortgage for the self employed, the specialist lender will be far more accommodating. Specialist lenders look to provide innovative solutions to individuals, appreciating that different working patterns require a more flexible approach.

It is with this in mind that some lenders offer flexible mortgages to take into account fluctuations in income from self employment allowing the borrower to ‘Self Declare’ their earnings without the need for audited accounts. However it is not only the self employed who can benefit from this type of mortgage. Employed customers who do not wish to prove their earnings by means of payslips or a P60 can take advantage of a ‘Self Cert’ mortgage.



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