In 2004, over £41.2bn was lent to the self employed or those with poor credit history but even with the more relaxed approach of banks these days, nine million people are still refused loans each year.
For people who are self employed or working on a contract to contract basis, banks may be concerned about your long term income status and ability to maintain you repayments for the loan. Therefore, making it difficult for them to be able to grant you a loan.
Some lenders may be happy if you can prove that your contract has been renewed by the same employer while others may want to see a pattern of renewals over a one or even a two-year period.
If you've just started your job lenders will usually look at your case individually and first jobbers may find themselves being asked to wait entirely. But essentially, what lenders are most interested in is seeing how employable you are, such as, if you have long term experience in that particular industry.
Using a middleman, such as a broker, can help you with your research as a broker will know exactly what sorts of people the various lenders will consider and under what circumstances. A broker may also have access to special deals which may not generally be available.
Because in many cases the granting of loans is decided by computerised credit scoring and recorded on a central database, if you are turned down by one lender that fact will show up at the next lender you approach.
A second lender might then turn you down just because the check will show you were turned down elsewhere, using a broker can also help you get around this. But people who have a poor credit history or are self employed are finding it easier to borrow money to buy a home, market analyst Datamonitor has said.
Banks are becoming increasingly willing to relax their rules and restrictions due to the mainstream market becoming saturated. However, the process still will not be easy. If you are self-employed, you will probably be asked to show three years' statements of your total earnings. If that is not possible, the lender may also accept a letter from your accountant.
If you've just begun as self-employment, a lot will depend on what you were doing before as well as previous earnings. If you have a track record in the industry in which you are self employed, you're probably a good risk. However, if you are you new to it, you will find it very hard to get a loan until you have established yourself with a promising forecast of earnings.
Unfortunately a common problem for the self-employed is that the accounts can often underestimate your earnings. Lenders assess you on how much profit you're getting from the business, yet this is quite legally being understated by your accountants, which has the effect of cutting down the amount you are able borrow.
One solution is to opt for a self-certification loan, offered by subsidiaries of many of the major lenders and high street banks. With these, you certify what your income is, but do not have to actually prove it.
The downside however, is a higher interest rate, and you may not be able to borrow as large as an amount as you would with a conventional loan.
Flexible mortgages are another option and are ideal for self-employed people. The idea is that you can miss payments for a while, or cut them when times get hard.
This gap is paid for by paying over the odds in the good times, so you build up a bank of credit on which to draw. Flexible mortgages can also help you to see the back of your loan more quickly.
Problems have been emerging, however, and in recent months several High Street banks have warned that levels of bad debt are on the increase due to lending to people who simply canít afford to pay their loans back.
However, lending to people who work for themselves or have trouble with credit ratings is set to continue to grow. The number of credit cards issued to the self employed or those with a poor credit history is set to rise from 9.5m to 13m by 2009 according to Datamonitor.
Getting a loan, of any type, is expectably difficult if you do have a poor credit rating or are self employed. The most important thing to remember, when ever you take out any sort of loan, is to think whether or not you will be able to pay it back. You may fight to get our loan but donít fight to keep it Ė itíll be decidedly more difficult.
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