How are contractor mortgages different?

Contractor mortgages are mortgages designed for self-employed individuals, freelancers, or contractors who do not have a traditional employment contract. These individuals typically work on a project-by-project basis and may have fluctuating income, which can make it more challenging to secure a mortgage through more traditional channels.

In the UK, many mortgage lenders offer specialist contractor mortgages tailored to the unique needs of these types of workers.


Contractor mortgages can provide greater flexibility in terms of income and understanding how it is earnt, the working patterns and calculating lending multiples.

Without this bespoke knowledge and understanding a traditional mortgage wouldn’t be approved as contractors don’t receive a regular and consistent wage akin to that of a standard employee who earns via PAYE and can be evidenced via payslips.


When applying for a contractor mortgage, it’s important to work with a mortgage advisor such as Roots Mortgages who specialise in this type of mortgage to ensure that you find the best deal for your individual situation.

You’ll likely need to provide additional documentation and financial information to support your application, such as bank statements, tax returns, or contracts with clients.

A positive meeting between broker and applicant

Affordability – Getting an answer in the Affirmative

Mortgages can be complicated. We should know. We have been involved with that many since our formation that we implicitly understand the vagaries of the mortgage world.

But for all the terminology and complexity around them, it is possible to reduce a mortgage to pretty simple terms. 

A mortgage is a deal. It is a deal between you as an applicant, and a lender. In order to strike a deal, both sides need to benefit. But both sides also need to be confident that they are ‘good for it’.

On the part of the applicant, so much of being ‘good for it’ is to do with affordability.

A complex topic

Recent research has shown this is something many are struggling with at present. A survey from Mortgage Broker Tools has found that 43% of those brokers surveyed strongly agreed that affordability is more complex than ever. 

A further 43% answered that they agreed with that statement. This makes it clear a significant majority of brokers are of the opinion that affordability is proving to be a challenging part of what they do at present.

Means of support

With affordability being a tricky thing, finding a way to better clarify or understand affordability has been sought. 

A uniform approach is something that has been experimented with. The Bank of England’s Mortgage Affordability Test has been an attempt to provide a clearer picture of affordability around mortgage applications. However, this is edging ever closer to being withdrawn from service.

Instead, technological tools are becoming increasingly important when it comes to demonstrating affordability. The survey by Mortgage Broker Tools found that 76% of brokers are of the opinion that being able to access accurate affordability calculators is more important than it has ever been.

A familiar story

Something that has long affected contractors, freelancers and other self-employed workers is being felt across the wider industry. 

Contractors and freelancers have faced challenges around demonstrating affordability for eons. This has historically been down to a reluctance on the part of the lender to commit to a mortgage offer because of perceived instability of income.

This is despite this not being the case for most contractors and freelancers, who are generally more than capable of meeting mortgage repayments. But that hasn’t been reflected in quick decisions by lenders in the affirmative.

Many who are stuck in this situation turn to contractor mortgage brokers or freelancer mortgage brokers to help refine and review applications and give them the best chance of approval.

What is happening at present is a greater tendency for lenders to seek reassurance and evidence that applicants can meet their affordability regulations. This toll is being felt by brokers, who are finding themselves jumping through more hoops in order to land that perfect mortgage deal for their clients.

It appears the issue is no longer one faced predominantly by self-employed workers, but by applicants more generally.

Capitalising on expertise

Though we specialise in contractor mortgages and freelancer mortgages, here at Roots Mortgages we are very happy to work with people on the lookout for a classic residential mortgage too.

Our experience of working with clients who may face challenges around affordability stands us in good stead when it comes to dealing with your own application – regardless of your employment type.

Demonstrating affordability is our bread and butter. So if you are finding it difficult to do so yourself, or have concerns about this as you prepare to start applying for mortgages, then do not hesitate to bring in a partner that can help. 

With the right expertise in your corner, it is certainly possible to demonstrate affordability and strike the best deal for your situation.

Roots Partnerships

Why not partner with Roots?

Each business is likely to claim to be an expert in their field. Some without doubt will be. Others will be hoping to become that in time.

Wherever you are as a business, understanding the kind of opportunities that are out there and that could stand to benefit you is a positive trait. A keen sense of prospective positives for your overall business goal can make a big difference as to whether or not you reach the goals you set for yourself.

If you are a business that works directly with contractors, freelancers, self-employed workers, Limited Company directors or PAYE employees, then it is a high priority to keep these workers happy. 

With this in mind, being in a position to provide the right type of guidance, support and information for these clients can be highly beneficial.

As a specialist contractor mortgage broker and freelancer mortgage broker, but one that also serves regular PAYE employees, Roots Mortgages is in the optimal position to help you support your clients when it comes to mortgages and property.

As such, we have an exclusive introducers service. Let’s talk a little about how this works.

How does the introducers service work?

Contractors and freelancers, and in fact almost everyone has historically faced difficulties when it comes to securing a mortgage. Factors such as demonstrating affordability have long hindered this type of worker and stopped making the process of buying a house a smooth one.

Our introducers service is designed to benefit everybody involved – your business, our business, and most importantly, the end client.

If you work with a contractor, freelancer, umbrella company worker, Limited Company director or PAYE employee who has mentioned facing such a difficulty, putting them in touch with a recommended contractor mortgage specialist or freelancer mortgage specialist could make all the difference.

This will earn your business with brownie points in the first instance anyway, as advice of this nature is always appreciated. But the way our introducers partnership service works has further potential benefits for your business.

Why partner with Roots?

Roots Mortgages is a specialist in the field of contractor and freelancer mortgages. But you already knew that, or had at least guessed that to be the case, right? Not only that, but we also offer insurances to contractors, UK SME businesses as well as providing IR35 status products.

You want to know how partnering with us benefits you directly. Fair enough, the reasons are plentiful.

Firstly, using this service can create an additional revenue stream for your business. You and your clients can take advantage of our mortgage expertise and some of the perks we have as an industry leader.

It’s a fairly straightforward process. You promote our business, your clients use our services, and we reward you for recommending us to them. 

We do this on a commission basis, providing you with a financial reward if a client utilises one of our services. These services include mortgages, contractor insurance, business insurance, IR35 services and life insurance. 

What kind of businesses may this be beneficial to?

A partnership with Roots is something likely to appeal to a variety of businesses within the contractor world. 

We are particularly keen to partner with contractor accountants. You guys play a vital role in supporting contractors in staying on top of what can be complex financial situations, as well as assisting UK SME businesses with their accounting needs. When it comes to buying a home, this financial position is very important. Roots can be your go-to mortgage advisor and help give the insight you need to support clients in this area.

We are also very keen to work with umbrella companies. We would be happy to discuss requirements for your umbrella company.

Recruitment agencies also benefit from a partnership with us, and any other third party that provides services to contractors and freelancers stands to benefit from a partnership with Roots Mortgages.

Don’t hesitate 

If all of the above sounds good, then we would be delighted to discuss next steps with you. 

As well as being an expert partner for your business and offering you a potential additional revenue stream, we also can supply management information and reports, as well as co-branded literature for customers.

You can rest assured you will be in safe hands with Roots. Let’s work together to achieve something great for contractors, freelancers, umbrella workers, Limited Company directors and PAYE employees.

A Piggy Bank with coins scattered around

Small changes make a big difference when saving

For anybody who has cast their eye over a newspaper, news website or just the media in general over the past few weeks, it’s hard to not be a little down in the mouth.

It seems like everything is on the rise, with energy bills, mortgage rates and the cost of living in general. It unfortunately looks like things are starting to take a tricky path on the economic front.

It is likely that we will all be affected by this somewhat, and some frugality will certainly not go amiss in the current climate.

But if you are saving for a new home at the moment, these kinds of headlines are not what the doctor ordered. 

While your savings tactics may need a bit of a rethink, there are a number of small things you can do as a freelancer, contractor or traditional worker to push your money further this month.

In our latest blog, we give you a few handy tips on the small changes that can make a big difference when saving for a house.

Exhibit Extreme Vigilance

We are all different, and some of us are naturally going to be more conscientious when it comes to our money. In the current climate, this vigilance around your cashflow could pay real dividends. 

Having a keen awareness of incomings and outgoings, ensuring you put aside money for your house fund, and being careful with your spending can all stand you in good stead.

Furthermore, in the modern age, it is easier than ever to find the level of vigilance that can make a real difference. Having quick access to banking apps and saving apps on your phone can make managing your money a simple and straightforward process.

Working as a freelancer or contractor means that this level of vigilance about incomings and outgoings should be fairly standard anyway. But whatever you do, don’t let a casual approach to finance hold back your home-buying plans.

Review what you are spending

Speaking of outgoings, there is a decent chance that some of the things you spend your money on each month are not exactly falling into the ‘necessities’ bracket. 

Do you have a TV subscription you are not using? Or is your mobile phone bill through the roof when really you could cut back? Are you still buying the expensive cheese at the supermarket? If so, reviewing how you do things could be worthwhile given the current climate.

We’re not saying deny yourself of all luxury and live in the most stringent and frugal way you can. But if you are regularly seeing things on your bank statement that make you think ‘did I really need that?’, then now is as good a time as any to reevaluate and potentially make a change.

How are you moving?

Any car owner will have noticed that those big signs outside petrol stations are showing increasingly higher numbers. The cost of fuel is on the up, and if you are somebody who drives a lot, that will inevitably hit your bank balance hard.

Avoiding the car for certain things, like commuting or when doing leisure activities, can really help you stretch your petrol tank and stop you having to splash out at the pumps as often.

A lot of us are working from home at the moment, but if you are commuting, consider whether getting on your bike, walking or getting public transport is an option. It may well prove cheaper over time and mix up your day somewhat. And exercising to and from work will work wonders for your waistline as well!

Also look to cut down on unnecessary trips, and anything that you save can go into the house-saving fund.

Search for the right deal for you

Even amidst the economic doom and gloom we are seeing at the moment, there are always reasons to be optimistic.

If you are a freelancer or contractor looking to get onto the property ladder for the first time, there are initiatives out there that can help make things simpler for you.

Deposit Unlock is an example of such a scheme, enabling first-time buyers and second steppers to get the keys to a newly-built home with just a 5% deposit. That means the amount you need to save up becomes all the more achievable, even in the face of all the other economic uncertainties swirling around at present.

There has also been examples of mortgages specifically designed for self-employed workers hitting the market in recent months, with Kensington Mortgages being an example of a lender offering such an option.

Be sure to keep an eye out for deals that align with your requirements and could work for you.

Get some guidance!

Regardless of the economic outlook, the mortgage market can be a tricky place. For self-employed workers, it can be even more complicated.

We advise anybody seeking a contractor mortgage broker or a freelancer mortgage broker in order to get the right support and guidance. This can help remove pain points, make applications easier and pave a clearer path towards your housing goals.

We at Roots Mortgages offer free mortgage advice, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We will be happy to offer our support.

Hopefully the current economic difficulties and rising costs won’t last for too long, and we can start to enjoy the fancy cheese in the supermarket sooner rather than later.

Until then though, getting on top of your money could be the difference between securing your dream home this year and having to wait that bit longer.

Stamp Duty Holiday Extended

Majority of brokers want stamp duty holiday extended

They say you can have too much of a good thing. Most people who have looked to buy a home in the past year or so would say that the stamp duty holiday has been a good thing. But according to new research, the majority of brokers in the mortgage industry are keen for this good thing to carry on.

Read More