Documents required for a self-employed mortgage

When applying for a mortgage as a self-employed professional, you may need to provide additional documents to prove your affordability compared to a salaried employee. Lenders typically require more evidence of income and financial stability from self-employed individuals. It is important to understand what you may be asked to provide and preparing early, as some documents can take time and effort to produce. If you’re curious about what documents are needed for a self-employed mortgage, we will answer that for you here.

Why do lenders need to see more documentation if you are self-employed?

Mortgage lenders typically request additional documentation from self-employed individuals due to the less predictable nature of their income.  This unpredictable income can make it harder for a lender to assess the finances of a self-employed applicant, and whether they would be able to afford a mortgage payment.

Lenders may also require more evidence to evaluate the long-term viability of a self-employed individual's business and ensure that they can meet mortgage repayments consistently. This extra scrutiny is considered necessary as self-employed professionals are perceived as higher risk borrowers compared to those with stable, salaried incomes.

Documents needed for a mortgage if self-employed.

There are certain documents that all self-employed mortgage applicants will need to produce, regardless of role.

No two lenders carry out their risk assessment in exactly the same way, so there may be more emphasis on bank statements, for example, if there is a shorter trading history than two years. The precise documentation required will also depend on the type of self-employed business, examples of which are summarised below.

Sole traders

A sole trader is a self-employed individual who works on their own and is responsible for paying their own tax, and they can keep all of the business’ profits once the tax is paid. The documents typically needed to prove income for a sole trader mortgage application are:

  • Latest 2-3 years’ tax calculations and tax year overviews (also known as ‘SA302’ documents)
  • Latest 3 months’ bank statements for the business account
  • Latest 3 months’ personal bank statements
  • Sole trader company trading accounts (depending on the lender)

Limited company directors

A company director is responsible for the management of a limited company. They can draw a salary and dividends from the profits of the business for their own income needs. To prove income for a mortgage application they need to provide the following documents:

  • Latest 2-3 years’ limited company trading accounts for the company
  • Latest 3 months’ bank statements for the business account
  • Latest 3 months’ personal bank statements
  • Director’s latest 2-3 years tax calculations and tax year overview (depending on the lender)


A partnership is a business that has two or more partners who share responsibility for the running of the business. The partners also share the business profits and pay their own tax. Documents required for a mortgage application from a partner in a partnership are similar to those of a sole trader:

  • Latest 2-3 years’ tax calculations and tax year overviews (also known as ‘SA302’ documents)
  • Latest 3 months’ bank statements for the business account
  • Latest 3 months’ personal bank statements
  • Partnership trading accounts (depending on the lender)


Freelancing can cover a broad variety of working styles, but typically a freelancer is a person who is often working for multiple clients at one time and earning income per project. Freelancers are usually self-employed, but they may also be ‘’ by umbrella companies who look after their tax. As a result, the list of typical documents for a mortgage is longer:

  • Latest 2-3 years’ tax calculations and tax year overviews (if self-employed)
  • Latest year’s P60 (if employed by an umbrella company)
  • Latest 3 months’ payslips (if employed by an umbrella company)
  • Latest 3 months’ bank statements for the business account
  • Latest 3 months’ personal bank statements

Sometimes the underlying contracts can be used to define the income, but this is only if the contracts number no more than two consecutive assignments, and the contract term is long enough.


Similar to freelancers, ‘can mean self-employed (usually via the contractor’s own limited company rather than as a sole trader) or employed (via an umbrella company). Again, the document list depends on the tax mechanism utilised, but there is some common documentation typically required for both:

  • Current contract (sometimes previous contracts too, showing minimal gaps)
  • Up to date CV
  • Latest 3 months’ business bank statements (limited company contractors)
  • Latest 3 months’ personal bank statements
  • Latest 3 months’ payslips (umbrella company contractors)

What other documents may be needed for a self-employed mortgage?

Depending on a few factors, there are additional documents that can be requested by lenders. Some of the scenarios and resulting documents are:

  • Accountant’s projection (sole traders, limited companies or partnerships with only one year’s trading history)
  • Interim/management accounts (sole traders, limited companies or partnerships where there is a short trading history and the last accounts were prepared over six months ago)
  • Letter confirming contract extension (contractors and freelancers where the contract is being used for income proof, and it has a short expiry date)
  • Last 12 months’ contracts (contractors who are relatively new to contracting)

How do I increase my chances of being accepted by a lender?

To enhance your chances of securing a mortgage as a self-employed individual, there are several steps you can take, and equally, certain things that are best avoided! The following ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ will help put you in the best position for being accepted by a lender:


  • Ensure your credit score is good by paying bills on time and reducing outstanding debts
  • Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll so you can be traced by a mortgage lender when they conduct a credit search.
  • Save up for a larger deposit to demonstrate financial discipline (and get lower rates!)
  • Keep bank statements and account conduct looking tidy in the months leading up to an application
  • Any personal tax calculations or trading accounts should not be any older than 18 months (you may need to submit them earlier than the deadline to get the mortgage)
  • If you are a contractor or freelancer, make sure you have contracts in place for your assignments, and ensure the contracts are signed
  • Speak with your accountant upfront and tell them you are applying for a mortgage and need them to complete your books promptly. You don’t want to be waiting once you have an offer accepted.
  • Speak with your and be prepared with all documents you will need for an application.




  • Miss any payments on any debts, which includes utility and communications bills (these show on your credit report)
  • Take on new debts in the lead-up to a new mortgage application.
  • File tax returns late for you individually or for your partnership/company
  • Become a big spender so your personal bank statements look untidy or show signs of large lifestyle costs. This also applies to credit card usage.
  • Be coming to the end of a contract as a freelancer or contractor with no renewal or new contract with a different client.



Are you self-employed and need help with your mortgage application?

The list of documents needed for a self-employed mortgage can appear endless, but Cleerly’s team of specialist mortgage consultants are on hand to help you collate all the documentation before and during the application process. If you’re still wondering what documents the self-employed need based on your own situation, speak with a Cleerly mortgage consultant today to discuss your individual requirements.

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