If you’re self-employed, you may be reeling a little from the changes in your tax fortunes as last week’s budget rise in national insurance contributions for the self-employed was reversed this week.
A Growing Trend
However, what was never in dispute was the fact that the self-employed sector has swung onto the government radar because self-employment has become much more widespread.
Speaking just after the budget on Radio 4, Norman Lamont talked about the way in which the UK has benefited from the rise in the number of self-employed people. And his sentiments are robustly supported by the Office for National Statistics’ most recent report on self-employment (July 2016) which shows that the level of self-employment in the UK increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015 and states that this strong performance is among the defining characteristics of the UK’s economic recovery.
So, in a week when self-employed people may be feeling a little buffeted by the political winds, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight that we have always recognised the economic influence of the burgeoning self-employed sector and that their needs have always been at the core of our product development strategies.
How Castlight Can Help You
Our Affordability Passport for instance is a tool which can help self-employed people get a mortgage. And that’s a big deal for a lot of sole traders and freelancers. Historically, lenders require a great deal more paperwork from self-employed people, including three years of accounts or two years of accounts and an accountant’s statement confirming the likelihood of earnings remaining the same or increasing.
And then, there are lenders who just aren’t interested in their business at all – they simply don’t want to deal with all the additional paperwork that can be involved in assessing someone who is self-employed for a mortgage.
We are currently rolling out our Affordability Passport to major banks and brokers across the UK, providing a platform for prospective borrowers to share their transactional data in real time with a lender. This puts self-employed and employed people on a level playing field. Lenders don’t need to see any paperwork at all as the Affordability Passport will tell them the whole story of a prospective borrower’s earnings over the last 12 months. It will reveal the borrower’s pattern of meeting obligations and a continuity of commitment that demonstrates their ability to afford a mortgage at the touch of a button.
The Affordability Passport means lenders can provide a 10 minute mortgage – whether you’re employed or self-employed. And that’s very good news for self-employed people who know exactly what it costs them to take time out of their business to sort out a mortgage.
And it will the same good news next week – I promise!