Complex income mortgages

Getting a mortgage when you have one employer and an income that can be verified with payslips can prove to be difficult at times. But what if your income is more complex than that?

More people than ever before are in the position of not having just a single regular source of income. The so-called gig economy has had an effect on how people earn their living, with many working freelance or jumping from contract to contract.

No matter how your income is derived, the chances are you will still require a mortgage at some time throughout your lifetime. But what are your chances if you do not fit the standard tick-box assessment criteria?

Do you qualify?

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Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 21 Jun 2024

What is a Complex Income Mortgage?

A complex income mortgage is where a borrower’s income is seen as different to the average person. There are several reasons why someone’s income could be seen as “complex”.

You could have investments that earn you a bit of extra cash each month, or you could be a freelancer.

Either way, this can make obtaining a mortgage difficult due to how lenders view your situation. Therefore you could be limited on what you could borrow, or you may be charged a higher interest rate.

However, don’t let this deter you! Using a mortgage broker can allow you to access specialist lenders in the market. These lenders have a better understanding of complex income individuals, meaning you may be offered a more favourable product.

At Just Mortgage Brokers we have a specialist team that works hard to help all our clients secure the right possible mortgage. We understand the need for people with complex incomes to access a lender prepared to assess them individually. Get in touch today for free initial advice and no-obligation quotes from our team of experienced mortgage brokers.

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What is a complex income?

Income is classed as complex if it is made up of several different sources and/or can be variable. This could include, for example, someone with a full-time 9–5 job who also works in a pub on evenings and weekends. Or it could be someone with two (or more) part-time jobs, someone who is self-employed, or someone with income in the form of a pension plus investment dividends.

When applying for a mortgage it can be important that all sources of revenue are considered, as this gives a prospective lender a clear picture of your financial situation. This can also be beneficial if you are looking for an amount that is deemed at the height of your affordability limit.

The kinds of income you might receive – and would hope to have taken into account – can include (but are not limited to):

  • Full-time wages
  • Part-time wages
  • Overtime payments
  • Sales commission
  • Annual (or other) bonuses
  • Pension
  • Investment income
  • Dividends
  • Interest on savings or investments
  • Freelance earnings
  • Rental income from buy-to-let
  • Royalty payments
  • Maintenance payments
  • Government benefits

If you’re unsure if your income sources class as complex income, reach out today. Our advisors will be able to discuss and assess your situation, then give you an idea of your next steps.

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Why a complex income can be an issue for mortgage lenders

Most high-street lenders like things to be nice and neat and easy to assess. They prefer clients with no gaps or marks on their credit history, and a regular income from a good employer.

That is why, ironically, it can sometimes be harder for an entrepreneur running a business to get a mortgage!

However, many people derive income from multiple sources or from self-employment, and while that income might be regular, it can also be variable. This makes it harder to assess risk when it comes to lending money, which makes some lenders cautious.

How to get a Complex Income Mortgage

As mentioned, a great starting point is to get in touch with a mortgage broker. They will have experience in dealing with complex income individuals and can advise you on the most suitable plan of action.

They are also likely to have connections to specialist lenders designed to deal with complex income individuals.

Another crucial thing to have prepared is your credit history. Having a good credit history will instantly make you more attractive to lenders. This is because it shows them you are able to borrow and repay money.

There are various steps you can take to improve your credit score before you apply. Our complete guide highlights some top tips to improve your credit in preparation for your mortgage application.

One final thing you can do to improve your chances is by providing a larger deposit. We know this is easier said than done, but it can greatly help you. By putting down a larger amount, lenders will see you as less of a risk, in turn offering you a more favourable deal.

So if you can, save up a few extra thousand pounds as it could save you even more money in interest over time.

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