Finance advice

Securing finance as a self-employed borrower

By webmaster

Obtaining a loan if you’re self-employed is rarely without its challenges, but it certainly can be done.


Self-employed borrowers are a minority, but a significant one. There are many out there, from tradesmen to freelance writers, from contractors to small business owners and so on.

One in 10 working Australians is their own boss (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics), and the number grows every day. But applying for a loan as a self-employed borrower in the post-GFC lending environment can be an arduous task – especially if your recordkeeping isn’t up to scratch.

Because a self-employed borrower will probably have more hurdles to overcome than a PAYG borrower, knowing what it takes and preparing ahead of time is essential.

The borrower and the process Cautious lending policies introduced in the wake of the global financial crisis have certainly taken their toll on self-employed borrowers.

In today’s climate, while there are different loan options available for self-employed borrowers, an individual applicant will not necessarily have access to all of them. Applying for the right loan with the right lender is therefore crucial.

For those who can produce documentation covering their income and assets, a full documentation (‘full doc’) loan will generally be the most straightforward way to secure finance.

To qualify for a full doc loan, you will need to provide your lender with your past two tax returns. These will be used to verify your income as you won’t have upfront pay slips or group certificates like a PAYG employee, if you have been self-employed for at least two years.

The lender will generally use the lowest taxable income from the two, the current year’s income, or an average of the two plus a percentage change between the two years, to calculate your assessable income and determine whether your application is approved.

Before you apply for a full doc loan, however, you should also ensure you are able to produce some additional records, including profit and loss statements, a list of all investments and their market value, and information on any debts, as your lender will most likely ask for these too.

Even though producing these documents will be time consuming and will call for you to be organised long before you apply for a mortgage, a full doc loan is generally the best option for a self-employed borrower.

This is especially so when compared to the rigmarole of applying for a low doc loan.

The lowdown on low docs As a self-employed borrower, if you think you are unlikely to meet the stringent requirements of most lenders, you will almost certainly have to resort to option B – the low documentation loan – as a means to secure finance.

A low doc loan can be a great alternative if you can’t provide up-to-date tax returns or financial statements as you will have several options, other than those required for a full doc loan, to confirm your income.

Requirements vary depending on the lender but generally, self-employed borrowers will need both to have been in business and to have held an ABN for at least two years to be considered.

It’s also worth noting that a low doc loan application will still require some form of income statement, usually a signed declaration.

Some lenders may even require your Business Activity Statements as further evidence of income, while others may ask for trading statements or a letter from your accountant.

Another thing to consider before applying for a low doc loan is that in many cases the interest rate charged may be higher because lack of income verification is perceived to heighten a lender’s risk.

This is not the case with all lenders, however, and often there will be no difference between the interest rates charged for a low doc and for a full doc loan.

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  string(334) "

Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
object(stdClass)#1213 (52) {
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  ["title"]=>
  string(38) "From pirouettes to property investment"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(38) "from-pirouettes-to-property-investment"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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