Mortgage Lending Freeze Makes It Difficult For Self Employed To Get Home Loans

While there are many proposals in the works to help the ailing mortgage industry, one group seems to still be struggling to get into a decent home loan even with good credit. That is the self employed. Mortgage loans have always been somewhat difficult to get if you do not have a standard job, but the current trends seem to make it a bit harder.

Are You Self Employed?

The credit markets are starting to thaw and that means that more people are able to qualify for home loans. Those that are self-employed are still struggling to get the same treatment.

Self employed individuals, such as doctors, attorneys, small business owners and even accountants, may have good or better credit and a sizable back account, but without that steady paycheck, many lenders have shied away from loaning to these individuals. The problem is the lack of a W-2, the document that most people get in the mail at the end of the year stating that they worked for a company and earned a set amount of money. Rather, self employed individuals seeking a home loan will need to use an income tax return instead. Tax deductions that many of the self-employed receive often lessen the income, too, making it harder to prove that they do make enough to afford a home loan.

What Can You Do?

If you are in this position, where you are struggling to get a home loan because you are self employed, you may qualify for FHA financing. The FHA provides more flexible terms for borrowers. There are still specific goals that need to be met, including minimal down payments on the home and a decent credit score. Yet, the FHA loans are often easier to obtain for those who have trouble proving their income. These loans can be the best opportunity for individuals who may struggle to qualify for other types of loans.

According to some lenders, credit is the most important factor in obtaining a home loan. Yet, for the self employed, even high credit scores (in one case a woman was denied a home loan even though her net worth was three times that which she was requesting and her credit score ranked in the high 700’s) can hold you back. Proving to lenders that you are a good credit risk can be tricky, but it is something you must do.

FHA lenders can help you to avoid some of those obstacles. You still need to show income proof and you will need to be qualified for the home loan. FHA requirements are much lower. You will still need to meet qualifications including:

  • 2 years worth of income tax returns
  • If you have less than one year of self employment income to prove, you may not be eligible without some other proof of employment prior to this
  • Federal business income tax returns for the last two years, for all corporations of “S” corporations and all partnerships
  • Profit and loss statement and balance sheet showing your income
  • A credit report from your business, in some cases

The FHA lender will need to take your income over the last two years (which you need to have proof of,) and will average it over that time. Provide them with additional information, such as income growth patterns over the last months. A detailed letter explaining expenses as well as any fluctuations in income is important.

With a good credit score, there is help for those who do have the need for a home loan even if they are self-employed.  FHA specialists can help you to qualify for these loans.

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