Self-employed mortgage borrower? Here are the rules

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One of the potential challenges of being self-employed, though, is getting a mortgage. For one, tax write-offs reduce the amount of income that the mortgage underwriter can consider. And, self-employed mortgage applicants must prove stability of employment and income, usually going back two years.

The benefit here is that using one year of income tax returns in order to qualify for financing is a radically simplified way for a self-employed individual to successfully procure mortgage financing. Where before there were more obstacles for a self-employed borrower, now there are fewer hoops for many of you to jump through.

The mortgage process can be confusing, but it’s especially daunting for self-employed borrowers. In an industry where W-2 employees are often viewed as ideal candidates by traditional lenders, self-employed individuals don’t fit into the conventional financial mold that the mortgage process was originally designed to accommodate.

Fannie Mae, a trusted GSE among borrowers, is one of the first organizations that have loosened their mortgage application rules for self-employed borrowers. Their employment and income verification rules are one of the major changes that they’ve implemented.

Self-employed borrowers are involved in a completely different income tax structure than employees paid in W-2 wages, and because of this they have more challenges in qualifying for a mortgage loan. For an employee, income is almost as simple as taking the latest W-2 statement and dividing it by 12.

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