A mortgage is one of the most important financial responsibilities a person will take on in their lifetime, but it is essential for many to access the property ladder and, subsequently, climb it. But once a person has secured their mortgage, it will be important to keep track of their payments, which could be difficult if their income changes. It’s a situation faced by the self-employed, many of whom have seen their incomes dramatically altered by the ongoing pandemic.
“It’s been difficult for everyone, but the self-employed feel like they’ve been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, increasing personal debt and deferring mortgage payments just to get by.
“Nearly 60% of respondents felt their experience of the pandemic was worse than an employee and the majority received no financial support from the government.”
The challenges have apparently been exacerbated by the fact that some self-employed people are not eligible for government support measures such as SEISS – designed to help this group.
Some 57% of respondents said they had received no support from the government in the past 12 months.
Only 9% said they had used the furlough scheme for employees, with 28% receiving a subsidy.
When it comes to financial support offered to employees, 58% of respondents felt their experience of the pandemic was worse.
However, despite the financial difficulties faced by many self-employed people, nine in 10 said they were current or had the funds to pay their tax obligations to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
There are some self-employed people who have bucked the trend, however, which shows that it’s not all bad news for this group.
Some 18% of respondents said they had experienced no change in income, with 14% saying their income had actually increased.
Mr. Beaumont concluded: “Nevertheless, millions of self-employed people are contributing to the economy and economic recovery.
“It is vitally important that there is a thriving and competitive specialist mortgage industry capable of providing criteria and products that meet the needs of this segment of the population.
“This will prevent them from being shut out of the housing market or trapped in a home that no longer meets their needs.”
Self-employed people who are having difficulty finding or obtaining a mortgage are encouraged to speak to independent mortgage brokers who may be able to offer specialist advice.
Also, they could use tools like Money Helper, the government-backed website that offers advice on a wide range of financial matters.