Rise in newly self-employed borrowers as lenders relax criteria 

Recent research from Knowledge Bank revealed that brokers are working with an increased number of self-employed borrowers with just one year’s worth of accounts.

The surge could be explained by a number of lenders, including Halifax and NatWest, relaxing their self-employed criteria to accept borrowers who have used the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

These results were generated from Knowledge Bank’s industry-leading criteria checker for September. The tracker identifies trends in broker searches, revealing ‘self-employed – one year’s accounts' as a strong focus for brokers last month.

September’s tracker also showed that brokers were working with a number of clients with chequered financial histories. ‘Defaults’ featured twice in the five most-searched terms, including ‘Defaults registered in the past three years’ and ‘Defaults registered over three years ago’.

As we transition back towards normality following the COVID-19 lockdowns, it is not surprising that financial difficulties have been a trend on the tracker for the last six months. As a result, terms such as ‘missed payments’ or ‘defaults’ have featured in the most-searched terms in the residential market since March 2021.

Overall, the softening of lenders’ criteria for freelancers is positive news for those who have recently become self-employed.

Although some banks and building societies have upped the amount of money that self-employed workers need for a deposit, the relaxed criteria may mean one less challenge for freelancers and the self-employed.

If you’re self-employed and looking to purchase a new property, check out our expert top tips for securing a mortgage.