How to get a mortgage if you’re self employed

If you run a business or work for yourself, getting a mortgage can be tricky. Here’s how to secure a mortgage when you’re self-employed in Ireland.

Why can it be difficult to get a self employed mortgage?

Whether you’re a first time buyer or switching your mortgage, there are a few extra hoops to jump through when you’re self-employed.

Be prepared to provide more information about your income, trading accounts and business performance.

Issues tend to arise around:

  • Showing lenders that you have a stable income
  • Proving that you can afford the borrowing
  • Supplying lenders with all the documentation to support your application

While this can make it harder to get the mortgage you want when you’re self employed, it’s still possible.

What counts as self employed?

Being classed as self employed for lending purposes usually includes being:

  1. Self employed e.g. freelance
  2. A sole trader
  3. A Director of a Company
  4. A Director of a Partnership

These are all roles where your income is more directly related to the performance of your business, unlike employees who have a contract that states an income.

self employed mortgage

What do you need to give lenders?

The information you’ll need to supply varies depending on the mortgage lender you choose, but it usually includes:

  • Your financial accounts: These will need to be certified by an accountant and most lenders ask for at least two years of accounts.
  • Your bank statements: This usually needs to cover at least the last six months, and include your current accounts, credit cards and business accounts.
  • Your Revenue documents: You’ll usually need two or three years of Revenue Notices of Assessment, together with your Tax Clearance confirmation.
  • Other business information: If you have copies of larger business contracts you may be able to submit these as evidence to support your application.

You’ll also need to supply the usual identification documents to prove your identity during your application.

What documents different lenders in Ireland ask for:

Lender Business accounts Bank statements Revenue forms
AIB 2 years, certified by accountant* 6 months 3 years
Bank of Ireland 2 years, certified by accountant Not stated Not stated
EBS 2 years, certified by accountant* 6 months 3 years
Finance Ireland 2 years, certified by accountant 3 months 2 years
Haven 3 years, certified by accountant** 6 months 3 years
ICS Mortgages 2 years, certified by accountant 6 months 2 years
PTSB 2 years, certified by accountant 6 months Not stated

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*3 Years most recentaAudited accounts or trading accounts certified by your accountant may be required in certain circumstances. **Not required for a director/sole-trader if turnover is below 3 million.

Most lenders will also ask for confirmation of your tax position from your accountant.

How to make it easier to get a self employed mortgage

The best way to increase your chances of being approved for a mortgage is to be prepared, especially if you’re self employed.

Some of the steps you should take include:

  1. Preparing your documentation: Speak to your bank to request bank statements and check how long they’ll take so you’re not left waiting at the last minute.
  2. Getting the right accountant: An experienced accountant can make a big difference. They’ll guide you through the application and ensure you’ve got all the right documentation. Most lenders also require an accountant to certify your accounts and confirm you’re tax compliant.
  3. Reducing your debts: Paying off your loans and credit cards can improve your affordability in the eyes of potential lenders. This can be more important if you’re self employed as proving your income is harder.
  4. Investigating mortgage protection insurance early: This is arguably more important if you’re self-employed. You’ll also need to consider what other insurance you need with your mortgage and how much stamp duty you’ll need to pay as well.
  5. Saving a larger deposit: Being able to put down a bigger mortgage deposit makes you less of a risk and also means you’ll need to borrow less.

For more tips, read our guide: How to prepare for a mortgage application.

What’s next?

Once you’ve done these steps you could then apply for a mortgage approval in principle.

This shows you’ve passed lenders initial checks and gives you a better idea of how much you can borrow when looking for a property.

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Find a range of first time buyer and home mover mortgage deals in Ireland using our comparison.

Self employed mortgage FAQs

Can I get a joint mortgage if one of us is self employed?

Yes, the same rules apply if you are borrowing with another person. Whoever is self employed will still need to be able to provide the documents the lender requests to prove their income.

The income of the person who is employed will be included in the affordability calculations as normal.

Can I get a mortgage with one year self employment?

It’s likely to be difficult because most lenders ask for a minimum of 2 years of accounts.

Can I self certify my accounts?

This depends on the lender. Most require a qualified accountant to certify your audited accounts.

Some lenders may allow you to self certify your accounts, if you can supply a revenue balancing statement. If that’s the case, it’s best to check what else they need to support your application before you apply.

How long do I need to have been self employed to get a mortgage?

You’ll need to be able to show a consistent income to any potential mortgage lender. Exactly how long you’ll need to have been self employed will vary, but the absolute minimum is usually one year. Many lenders ask for at least three years of audited accounts.

How much can I borrow if I’m self employed?

You can find out more about how much you could borrow by reading our guide: How much can I borrow?

What banks offer self employed mortgages in Ireland?

Most of the mortgage lenders in Ireland will offer mortgages to self employed borrowers, however their lending requirements will vary so always carefully check before you proceed.

You can find a full list of the latest mortgage deals here.

Warning: If you do not keep up your repayments you may lose your home. Warning: The cost of your monthly repayments may increase. Warning: You may have to pay charges if you pay off a fixed rate loan early. Warning: If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating, which may limit your ability to access credit in the future. Warning: The entire amount that you have borrowed will still be outstanding at the end of the interest-only period. The payment rates on this housing loan may be adjusted by the lender from time to time. (applies to variable rate loans only) Information provided and Interest rates quoted valid at 17/06/2024