There was a time where the majority of employed adults worked a typical 9-5 job. But now, more so than ever, significant numbers of people work in different, and often more flexible, ways. The reality is that UK society is moving away from traditional ways of working, and this trend has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
These changes have led to more innovation, creativity and, for many, a better work/life balance but it also can make it harder to access finance. High street lenders tend to favour those who work regular hours and receive regular pay because they fit into their ‘vanilla’ affordability assessments. Prospective borrowers, who don’t have a standard working pattern, can find it a struggle to access a mortgage from these main stream lenders.
On top of this, Covid-19 continues to have a far reaching economic impact, with many people feeling the effects of financial uncertainty which can lead to even greater complexities when applying for a mortgage.
The many sources of income
Over the last few years there has been a noticeable shift towards alternative employment. For example, recent figures shows 14.9% of UK workers were self-employed during February to April. This has increased by 2.9% since 2000, and this trend is set to continue. These include contractors, sole traders, gig economy workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs.
We’re also a nation of business innovators with 2018-19 recording the highest level of new incorporations, and 2019-20 saw the second highest since 2009-10 when the figures were first documented.
However, those classed as self-employed, particularly freelancers or gig economy workers, can have volatile incomes. With many unable to predict their wage over the next month, they can be a risk to lenders looking for certainty.
Other professions can also have complex incomes. For example, certain sectors receive a significant proportion of their total compensation via an annual bonus or commission from sales. Beyond this, others earn income from investment dividends, pensions and other government benefits.
More recently, those impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic have seen their incomes take a hit with many workers relying on government support.
The opportunity for brokers
Considering the large proportion of the UK workforce that receives ‘complicated’ income, there is a niche opportunity here for brokers to help place these cases. Indeed, as non-typical working patterns and lifestyles become the norm, brokers with the specialist knowledge to assist can future proof their own income by ensuring repeat business from those clients and their referrals.
Those brokers with a strength in specialist cases are well placed to not only guide the buyer on the most suitable mortgage products and the best deals, but they are also best suited to communicating with the lender on their client’s behalf. It is of course worth noting that building a relationship with key lenders can be crucial for brokers as they help clients with complex income.
Kent Reliance for Intermediaries works with its intermediary partners to support clients with complex income and has a great track record of factoring in flexibility of credit criteria, bonuses, commission and overtime in its underwriting.
Because Kent Reliance for Intermediaries has a wide criteria, each case is reviewed on an individual 'look to lend' basis and all underwriting is completed manually. The knowledgeable sales team are always on hand to support brokers new to the specialist lending space as well as share their experience and expertise, so why not give us a call today and get your client cases on track.