Welsh Homes: Where Are the Mortgages When You're Working on Your Own?; BORROWING: Many Lenders Now Offer a Specialist Deal for Britain's Growing Number of Self-Employed Workers

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID NORMAN

THERE was a time not too far in the past where the job you walked into after school or college was the one you retired from with a handshake and an attractive watch.

Today however, it is unusual for employees to remain with the same firm until the day they draw their pension.

Employment is now more fluid with people no longer having jobs for life, but considering alternative employment options such as temporary work, working as contractors or even becoming fully self-employed. In fact, there are now over three million self-employed adults in the UK, accounting for almost 11pc of the total working population. The self-employed make a vital contribution to the UK's economy, estimated to be some pounds 93bn each year. And this market is growing; a report produced in 2000 predicts that the self-employed market will rise to around four million by 2005.

But where can the self-employed turn to when looking for a mortgage?

Many self-employed borrowers are still confused about the breadth of the non-standard mortgage market - many assuming that should they have been turned away from the high street their options would be somewhat limited. But many lenders now offer a specialist self-certification mortgage which is ideal for the self-employed as proof of income is not required.

Borrowers state their income figure on the application form and, following the usual credit and electoral roll checks, this is then accepted by the lender.

A recent Self-Employed Borrowers Survey conducted by the specialist lender, Birmingham Midshires, underlined the growth in the self-employed market and the need for high quality and informed advice to borrowers. …