Self Employed Mortgage Requirements: A Comprehensive Guide


Navigating through the mortgage landscape can be daunting, but it becomes even more complex when you’re self-employed. Self-employed individuals often face unique challenges when attempting to secure a mortgage. Understanding the self employed mortgage requirements is key to overcoming these hurdles and securing your dream home.

Income Verification

The first and most significant requirement for self-employed individuals seeking a mortgage is income verification. For those who are traditionally employed, this process is relatively straightforward – a few pay stubs or a W-2 form is usually sufficient. However, for self-employed individuals, lenders often require two years of tax returns, including all schedules. They use this information to calculate your average monthly income over the last 24 months. This approach can be a challenge if your income fluctuates significantly from year to year or if your business expenses are high, reducing your taxable income.

Credit Score

Your credit score is another essential factor in the self-employed mortgage requirements. Mortgage lenders see your credit score as a measure of risk – the higher your score, the less likely you are to default on your loan. Generally, a credit score of 740 or higher will get you the best mortgage rates. However, it’s still possible to get a mortgage with a lower score, but you may face higher interest rates. As a self-employed individual, it is crucial to maintain a high credit score to increase your chances of securing a mortgage.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

One of the most critical self-employed mortgage requirements is the debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. This ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying debts. Most lenders prefer a DTI of 43% or lower. However, some lenders may allow a higher DTI if you have compensating factors such as a high credit score or significant savings. As a self-employed individual, it’s important to keep your debts low and your income high to maintain a favorable DTI ratio.


Understanding the self-employed mortgage requirements can be the difference between securing your dream home or facing disappointment. By familiarizing yourself with these requirements – income verification, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio, you can better prepare for the mortgage application process. Remember, being self-employed doesn’t exclude you from owning a home. It only means you need to be more prepared and informed about the process.

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