3 Jan, 2023
woman thinking how to prove income as self employed

Are you self-employed in BC, Canada and ready to apply for a home loan but don’t know how to prove your income? Keep reading to learn what your lender will need from you.

Does being self-employed make it harder to get a mortgage? Yes, and No. It used to be that the only way to prove your income was through tax returns, but there are now other documents a self-employed person could use as proof of earnings.

If you are self-employed and are wondering how to prove income, here is a list of tips we have compiled over the years that should help you get ready for your mortgage application.

Keep All Of Your Records Organized And Up To Date

Whenever one of our clients asks us how to prove income as self-employed, we tell them to start by keeping all of their records organized and up to date so that when they do apply for financing, everything is ready for review. Do not wait until the last minute! The more organized you are now, the less stressful it will be to start your application process.

Include All Sources Of Income

When looking for how to prove income as self-employed, you must include all income sources. This entails all contract work, side gigs or even just cash flow from your business that is not reported on tax returns. If you are unsure how much money is coming in, ask your accountant or a financial planner.

Document Your Income With Letters From Clients/Customers

If possible, ask your clients/customers to write letters confirming the work they’ve done with you in the past year. 

This should be done before applying for financing so that they can include any additional details about their work relationship with you  — i.e., how long you’ve been doing business together. These letters can also help us verify how much money was earned during those periods when there were no tax returns filed — i.e. because business was done under the table.

Have Your Business Accounts Audited By a Chartered Accountant

This is the most important tip we can give to any person interested in how to prove income as self-employed. Have your business accounts audited by a chartered accountant, preferably one specialized in small businesses and self-employed individuals. The audit will ensure that your books are up-to-date and accurate. It will also help determine what type of financial statements you’ll need to provide during the mortgage application process.

You should also have your personal accounts audited by the same professional who did your business audit. This is another step to take before applying for a mortgage because it will ensure there are no discrepancies between the two sets of books.

Show The Lender a Copy Of Your Most Recent Tax Return Showing All Income And Expenses

If you are a sole proprietor, the lender will need to see your business income tax return. If you have more than one business or are self-employed, provide the lender copies of additional tax returns showing all income and expenses.

use tax return to prove income as self employed

Check that your bank statements show a consistent pattern of credit card payments on time and in full each month. 

If you have a large balance on your credit cards, or if there is any indication that you do not pay them off in full each month, the lender may require that you get rid of this debt before they will approve your mortgage application.

Create a Business Plan

If you have been self-employed for less than two years, the lender may require additional documentation such as a business plan showing how much income you expect over the next few years. This is unless they can verify this from other sources.

If there is anything unusual about your application — i.e., you have a large income — the lender may require additional documentation to prove the legitimacy of the income, and ensure it’s not from illegal activity.

Book an Appointment With Your Mortgage Broker 

It is important to note that some banks may charge higher interest rates to self-employed borrowers than they do to employees who are getting a mortgage through their employer’s benefits package. Private lenders, on the other hand, can be more flexible when approving a loan for self-employed individuals.

If you are tormented about how to prove income as self-employed and have a mortgage broker, book an appointment with them ASAP.

They will assist you in preparing the paperwork required for your mortgage application and can help negotiate your interest rate. They also have close connections with both traditional and private lenders and can help you find the one that suits you best.

A mortgage broker works for you, not the bank or other financial institution. They are independent agents who work with multiple lenders to find the best deal for your situation. 

If you’re self-employed, they will help you determine how much income is needed to qualify for a conventional loan and what documentation your lender requires.

A good mortgage broker will also be able to find lenders that offer better terms for self-employed borrowers. They have access to a network of lenders who specialize in financing for the self-employed, don’t require as much income documentation as traditional banks do and don’t ask for proof of income.

Final Thoughts

Flexibility and a riskier lending process are exactly what you need to get approved for that specialized, self-employed mortgage in Vancouver. Our experienced lenders have successfully processed hundreds of applications for self-employed borrowers. 

So if you are self-employed and are ready to apply for a mortgage in Vancouver, BC, get in touch with us online or by calling 778-839-3963.

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