Can I get a self-employed mortgage with bad credit?

It is entirely possible to get a bad credit self-employed mortgage.

It’s all about having a deep knowledge of the market. You must understand all the processes and criteria of lenders, as well as their products. It also helps to know exactly who to approach in every circumstance to find the most suitable product.

Do you qualify?


Author's Avatar
Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 30 May 2024

Getting a bad credit mortgage if you are self-employed

Applying for a mortgage when you are self-employed can be challenging, because you need to provide several documents to lenders for them to assess your affordability. If, for example, you’ve suffered bankruptcyCounty Court Judgments or IVAs, you may unfortunately be turned down by lenders – which can make the task seem impossible.

But, in these circumstances, all is not lost. There are indeed mortgages available for self-employed people with credit issues. You will need to know who to approach, and what they will be looking for in an applicant.

Even though mainstream lenders shy away from bad credit applications, there is a sector of the market that is not accessible to the public. It contains smaller lending companies that specialise in lending to individuals with bad credit history.

These mortgages are geared to meet the borrower’s individual needs, and they come with criteria that looks beyond the usual credit rating. Often, these mortgages are underwritten manually, rather than being dictated by a computer algorithm.

An introduction to Bad Credit Mortgages

Self-employed topics

No matter your income, if you're self-employed, contracting or a sole trader or partnership - we can help you.

Useful Information

How long after a bad credit event can I get a mortgage?

The amount of time that has passed since the infringement can greatly influence a lender’s decision. An event in the last 6–12 months is likely to be too recent for lenders to consider a mortgage.

However, if it has been over 12 months, you should find it a bit easier. Furthermore, if it has been 6 years since the event(s), then you are likely to have few issues. This is because, after 6 years, any bad credit event is cleared from your file.

If you want to let some time pass before you apply then don’t worry – you can still prepare for an application. Specialist market lenders focus on what you’ve done in the meantime to improve your credit rating. Our complete guide has many tips that can help you improve yours.

If you’re the opposite, and want to get a mortgage as soon as possible, you may have to endure slightly higher interest rates.

At Just Mortgage Brokers, we have helped obtain many mortgages for the self-employed with bad credit. If you want to get started on your journey or just have a question, reach out today.

Speak to our advisers

Mortgage lenders if you’re self-employed with bad credit

As mentioned, mainstream lenders tend to shy away from any individual with a bad credit history. Due to the narrow lending criteria they impose, you are instantly seen as a potential risk.

This is where specialist bad credit lenders come in. Instead of using strict criteria that instantly declines you, they listen and will assess your application individually, taking a much wider view of your current and past situation.

An issue with these specialist lenders is that they aren’t always easy to find. A good amount of them can only be accessed through a third-party broker or an intermediary.

Don’t let this deter you, because a broker will give you the best chance of finding a competitive deal. By identifying these deals, you could save thousands of pounds overall due to things like reduced interest rates.

A specialist lender will typically look at the following when considering an application:

  • Projected business accounts
  • Dividend income
  • Confirmed contracts
  • Employment status
  • The nature of your bad credit
  • The length of time since it occurred
  • How you have managed your borrowing in the interim

Bad credit mortgage rates if you’re self-employed

As discussed, bad credit items on your file deem you a higher risk to any mortgage lender. This, combined with a self-employed status, can further sway their judgement and your options for a mortgage deal are therefore going to be limited.

To counter the increased risk, many lenders may be willing to extend a mortgage at a higher interest rate than normal. This is especially true if the bad credit event(s) occurred within the past 12 months.

This said, rates for mortgages for self-employed people with bad credit are often shifting. As well as each individual application being different, it can be difficult to give a precise guide on rates.

To improve your chances of getting a good rate, you can often use other factors to offset your adverse credit and self-employed status. If possible, supply three years’ worth of full, certified accounts. Ensure that the accounts clearly show a regular income as well as evidence of ongoing work.

A clean recent credit file will also carry weight, as most lenders are more concerned with your current position than the past. Finally, having a larger-than-usual deposit will also go a long way.

Using a broker for your bad credit self-employed mortgage

Doing your own research into all the lenders and products that might be available to you can take a huge amount of time. Furthermore, you will only be limited to the lenders who work with the general public.

As experienced experts, we understand all the challenges involved in both self-employment and bad credit. With our in-depth knowledge of the market, we can match you with the most suitable lender. This will ensure that you are offered the most competitive product based on your circumstances.

If you’re self-employed and are looking to obtain a mortgage, get in touch. You’ll be paired with one of our expert advisers, who will listen to your situation and advise you accordingly.

Share useful information

Frequently asked questions

There is no set minimum or maximum amount that you could borrow. Instead, lenders will look at a wide range of things to determine this.

The largest factor will be your income. The more you earn, the more you can borrow. However, if you have a larger than average deposit, your chances of borrowing more increase.

The type of bad credit event(s) and the time that has passed since will also contribute. The less severe the event and the longer ago that it happened, the more likely you will be allowed to borrow more, and vice-versa if you have suffered something like a recent repossession.

On average, these types of mortgages can allow you to borrow up to 4.5x your income . If you want to get an understanding of your borrowing capabilities, you can try our bad credit calculator.


Yes, it is entirely possible to remortgage if you are self-employed with bad credit.

However, as with searching for a mortgage, you may have to use a specialist lender. This is due to the risk that is perceived by lenders. Factors like the severity of credit event and the time since it happened may influence how much of a risk you are perceived to be.

A few missed credit card payments will be a lot less detrimental compared with declaring bankruptcy, for example.

If you want to discuss your remortgaging options, get in touch today.

Contact us

Request a call back from our team by entering your details below and we’ll be in touch soon.

Alternatively phone us on 01473 356 284.

All required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Contact us

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.