Mortgage crisis as self-employed incomes ‘hard hit’ – key steps to take

Martin Lewis gives advice on paying mortgage with savings

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mortgage is one of the most major financial responsibilities a person will take on in their lifetime, but is essential for many in getting onto – and subsequently climbing – the property ladder. But once a person has secured their mortgage, keeping up with payments will be important, and this could be difficult amid income changes. This is a situation being faced by self-employed people, many of whom have seen their income vastly altered by the ongoing pandemic. 

Research undertaken by The Mortgage Lender and shared with Express.co.uk has illustrated the depth of the issue.

It showed some 85 percent of self-employed people in their UK said their income has not yet bounced back to pre-pandemic levels.

The survey also showed some 28 percent of self-employed people have seen their income slashed by more than half over the last year due to COVID-19.

A further 16 percent recorded income losses of between a quarter and 50 percent.

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mortgage self employed

Mortgage crisis as self-employed incomes ‘hard hit’ – key steps to take (Image: Getty)

This has created an air of despondence for self-employed people when it comes to securing a mortgage, with 51 percent of those asked now believing the endeavour is more difficult.

A further 53 percent claim their self-employed status has deterred them from even applying for a mortgage.

Peter Beaumont, Chief Executive of The Mortgage Lender, commented on the matter to Express.co.uk.

He said: “Our research lays bare the struggles of the self-employed over the last year.

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“It has been hard for everyone, but the self-employed feel as if they have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic, increasing personal debt and deferring mortgage payments just to get by.

“Nearly 60 percent of the people we asked felt their experience of the pandemic was worse than an employee and the majority didn’t receive any financial support from the Government.”

Challenges have seemingly been exacerbated by some self-employed people being ineligible for Government support measures such as SEISS – designed to help this group.

Some 57 percent of those asked said they had no Government support in the last 12 months.

mortgage cheap house costs

Mortgage: Cheapest postcodes in the UK (Image: EXPRESS)

Only nine percent said they had used the furlough scheme for employees, with 28 percent receiving a grant.

When compared with financial support offered to employees, 58 percent of those questioned felt their experience of the pandemic was worse.

However, despite the financial struggles faced by many self-employed people, nine out of 10 said they are up to date, or have the funds available to pay their tax liabilities to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

There are, though, some self-employed individuals who bucked the trend, showing it is not all bad news for this group.

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Some 18 percent of those asked said they had not experienced any changes to income, with 14 percent saying their income had actually increased.

Mr Beaumont concluded: “Nevertheless, there are millions of self-employed people contributing to the economy and the economic recovery.

“It’s vitally important there is a thriving, competitive specialist mortgage sector able to provide criteria and products that meet the needs of this segment of the population.

“This will prevent them from being locked out of the housing market, or trapped in a home which no longer meets their needs.”

Self-employed people who are struggling to find or secure a mortgage are encouraged to speak to independent mortgage brokers who could offer specialist advice.

Furthermore, they could utilise tools such as Money Helper, the Government-backed website, which offers guidance on a wide range of financial issues. 

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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