How to Get a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed

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Everyone who applies for a mortgage needs to look good on paper. Self-employed people need to look like a miracle.

I've been self-employed for five years, and I've applied for a mortgage three times. I was "accepted" the first time, but the loan wouldn't have been enough to buy any home, in any location. The second time, I was rejected. The third time, I was preapproved for more than I needed, and I bought my first home in March 2020. (Yeah, that March 2020.)

When I finally did qualify, I did not have a six-figure income. I did not have an accountant. I did not have bookkeeping software that could spit out a profit and loss statement. I did not marry rich. I married another self-employed person. Oops!

I spent more than four years learning everything I share in this presentation the hard way. There is no easy way. But by God, there are shortcuts.

If you're self-employed and you're starting to think about buying your first home, I hope my story can give you at least one strategic advantage you didn't have before. I'm not an accountant, or a lawyer, or a realtor, or a loan underwriter. But I'm not a traditional employee, either — and I prequalified for a mortgage anyway.

This is a maddening process that most people never experience or understand. It's demoralizing, it's byzantine, and I've been there. I've recovered enough to be able to laugh about how challenging this was, and I've made peace with sharing sensitive stories about my financial history if it means I can spare someone else from going through the same misery.

What This Covers

Mortgage Bingo

🎲 What the rules of Self-Employed Mortgage Bingo are, and how to win

🧐 Why Google results won't address your unique situation (and who can)

👥 Why no mortgage applicant has the same advantages or disadvantages

🙊 Why self-employed homebuyers are reluctant to tell you about theirs

Key Strategies

🧾 How to adopt a new tax strategy if you're planning to apply for a mortgage

🔎 What line to look at on last year's tax return, and how to improve it

➗ Which ratio you should ask lenders to explain to you like you're five

📂 What to line up in advance if you haven't done your taxes yet


💔 How to do this without straining personal relationships (or strings attached)

🤝 What the pros and cons are when you apply for mortgages with a partner

🙋🏻‍♀️ Why you should always keep an eye on what you'd need to qualify alone

🔑 Why strong relationships are the key to achieving new life milestones

Resources and Trends

🇺🇸 Why the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help you

🏦 How joining a credit union changed my whole trajectory

📈 Which workforce trends are accelerating (and inevitable)

👔 What the Great Resignation means for the mortgage industry

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How to Get a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed

6 ratings
I want this!