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

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

Can I get a self-employed mortgage if I have bad credit?

You might’ve been told you’ve got no chance, but it’s definitely possible to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed and have a bad credit rating. You’ll have fewer options open to you, and most high street banks will probably turn you down. But there’s specialist mortgage companies out there that deal specifically with the more complex cases, including self-employed and bad credit mortgages. 

These specialist lenders won’t come up in your online searches, and your bank won’t tell you about them. Because their offering is more niche, you’ll usually need to work with a specialist mortgage broker to get access to their self-employed bad credit mortgages. That’s where we come in. Our Mortgage Experts only deal with the tricky stuff. They have a proven track record of getting bad credit-mortgages for self-employed borrowers. To find out your options, make an enquiry and one of our experts will call you back. 

Why is it hard to get a mortgage when self-employed?

Self-employed mortgages can be more complex than someone in full-time employment, purely because the way you prove your income is different. 

Lenders want reassurance you can meet the monthly repayments on your mortgage and that lending to you isn’t risky. Being self-employed means your income can fluctuate from month to month, which can make lenders see your income as less secure than employment. Some lenders aren’t set up to deal with the complexities that come with self-employed income and will just turn you down.

Adding bad credit into the mix adds another layer of complexity, and so this can scare off banks that have rigid guidelines for who they’ll lend to. You may even be told that a mortgage isn’t possible at all, but that’s not true. If your situation differs from the norm, it’s really important to get independent advice from a mortgage broker.

But not just any broker. You’ll need a specialist self-employed mortgage broker who understands the challenges that come with having bad credit. Our Mortgage Experts do this day in, day out, and will know which lenders and mortgages are most suitable for you. Make an enquiry to find out your self-employed bad credit mortgage options.

What deposit do I need for a bad credit self-employed mortgage?

Lenders don’t just look at income when deciding whether to give you a mortgage. They’ll weigh up how risky it could be to lend to you based on their previous experience of lending, and which type of borrower is most likely to default on their mortgage.

Because of this, if you have a history of bad credit on top of self-employed income, you might be asked to put down a bigger deposit. A bigger deposit means less risk for the lender, and can also open up more competitive interest rates. 

However, there are specialist lenders offering bespoke mortgages for self-employed people with bad credit scores. These mortgages are underwritten especially for you and your specific situation. Specialist lenders consider people on a case-by-case basis, and are experts in providing tailored mortgages for people with complex financial history.

A specialist mortgage broker can find the right mortgage for you, and prepare your application so it looks as good as possible to a lender. If you're worried about bad credit affecting your mortgage deposit, get in touch to find out your options.

Can I get a joint mortgage if one of us is self-employed with bad credit?

When lenders look at your application, your partner’s credit history will be viewed alongside your own. Most lenders will add your credit scores together, and you’ll need to meet their minimum score to be considered. So if one of you has a really good credit rating and/or is a full time employee, and is in then this can work in your favour. 

Whether or not your application is approved will depend on the severity of any issues on your credit file and how much proof you can provide of your income. Lenders will also want to know how long ago the issue was, how much money was involved, and what has been done since to improve. For example, bankruptcies and payday loans will be looked on less favourably than a few missed payments every now and then.

Remember, when it comes to joint mortgages, you’re not just responsible for half of the loan. You’re agreeing to pay off the whole debt if the other person can’t pay. You’re both liable for any joint debt.

It’s a good idea to let your mortgage broker know about any adverse credit history before starting your application. Our Mortgage Experts have seen it all, and aren’t judgemental. By being upfront about anything that could affect your application, they’ll be able to look through your options and find a lender who’s likely to accept you.

Read more in our Guide: Can I Get a Joint Mortgage With Bad Credit?

Can I remortgage if I’m self-employed with bad credit?

Yes, it’s definitely possible to remortgage if you have bad credit and are self-employed. The remortgage application process works pretty much the same as when you did it the first time round, so you’ll have to provide enough evidence of your income, and find a mortgage lender that accepts applicants with bad credit. 

Many high street lenders will look at a bad credit score as an indicator that you’re not great with credit, and when adding an income that isn't 'guaranteed' on top, they might decide they don’t want to take the risk. But it’s a big misconception that if you're self-employed and try to remortgage with bad credit then it’s an automatic "no". This isn’t the case - you'll probably just need to go a more specialist route.

Specialist lenders who’ll look at your mortgage application in detail, rather than automatically reject you based on your credit score or working pattern. The specialist mortgage market isn’t well known because often specialist lenders aren’t available directly to borrowers. They don’t advertise because they’re only available through specialist mortgage brokers who can help people that have a complex situation. 

Can I get a 100% mortgage if I’m self-employed with bad credit?

Probably not. There aren’t any 100% mortgages on the market at the moment, and if they ever did come back, you’d probably need a perfect credit score to get one. One of the only way you might be able to get a self-employed bad credit mortgage with no deposit is to look at getting a guarantor mortgage. A guarantor mortgage is when someone else legally agrees to pay your mortgage if you can’t. A guarantor doesn’t have any stake in your home, they’re just agreeing to make payments if you find yourself unable. Some mortgage providers might not need you to pay a deposit if you have a guarantor.

It’s not something to take lightly, as your mortgage will be secured against your guarantor’s home or savings. Guarantor mortgages require properly put-together applications, so you’ll need the help of an expert guarantor mortgage broker to find you a deal and make your case look as good as possible to lenders. 

Are self-employed bad credit mortgages as good?

You might be feeling sceptical about getting a mortgage from somewhere that’s not a high street bank, but specialist mortgages are regulated in exactly the same way as ones from mainstream lenders. They’re just not as well known because they’re more niche. 

When you apply for a self-employed mortgage with bad credit, any lender will thoroughly ‘stress test’ your ability to pay. They’ll look at hypothetical situations and see if you could still pay your mortgage if something unexpected happened. And as specialists use human underwriters, they’ll be looking even more closely to make sure you’re safe to lend to. 

There’s still a lot of stigma when it comes to credit issues. People can fall into bad credit for a number of reasons, whether it’s job loss, sickness, or even a forgotten parking ticket. Many of our customers have worked tirelessly to improve their financial situation and were still rejected from the high street before coming to us. We’re shining a light on specialist lenders and letting more people know that there are other options out there.

Self-employed bad credit mortgage brokers 

Mortgages for self-employed people with bad credit aren’t impossible. But the best way to find the right mortgage deal is to work with a specialist mortgage broker. Our Mortgage Experts live and breathe the mortgage market, and have great relationships with lenders. They’ll work hard to find the right deal at the right rate, and give your application the best chance of being accepted.

Make an enquiry and one of our friendly experts will call you back and explore your self-employed bad credit mortgage options. 


Our Mortgage Experts are fully-qualified with experience in bad credit, self-employed and complex mortgages. They have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve been rejected elsewhere.

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