Ever since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, banks and other lenders have become very picky about who they approve loans to.
As a result, securing a loan when you’re self-employed can definitely be very tricky and difficult.
Today, I’ll be discussing how to look for loans if you’re self-employed and some advice that could help you get your loan application approved.
What is a Secured Loan?
A secured loan is a loan that is backed up by some form of collateral. This collateral could be any valuable asset that you have such as your home or your car.
In the event that you fail to pay back your loan, your creditor has the right to take the asset you offered as collateral from you in order to make up for your debt.
The idea behind a secured loan is simple: The collateral you offer acts as a motivator for you to make your payments on time. After all, you don’t want to lose your home or car, thus, you’ll do all you can to ensure that your debt repayments are made on time and in full.
Secondly, this collateral also offers some sort of security and assurance to the creditor by implying that even if you fail to pay back your debt, they will still be able to repossess your asset(s) and get their money back.
There are several examples of secured loans such as mortgage loans and vehicle loans. If you default on your mortgage loan, then your house is repossessed and if you default on your vehicle loan, then your vehicle is repossessed.
There also exist secured credit cards, In the case of secured credit cards, you need to provide an initial cash deposit as your collateral.
You can definitely get a high amount of money lent to you if you apply for a secured loan. Not to mention that secured loans also typically have lower interest rates.
That being said, it can definitely be harder to get approved for a secured loan.
You typically need to have a good credit record to get approved for one. Furthermore, you need to provide significant proof of income. This is where being self-employed can really be a hurdle.
Do Lenders even Offer Loans to Self-Employed People?
|Yes. You can definitely find lenders that give out loans to self-employed individuals. However, you may find that your options may be a little more limited.|
With a little research, you’ll definitely stumble upon lenders who will approve your secured loan as long as you have a satisfactory credit history, you can satisfy the lender’s requirements for payment and you provide the documents that he/she asks for.
It’s actually much easier to get approved for a secured loan if you’re self-employed than it is for an unsecured loan if you’re self-employed.
This is simply because of the collateral that is involved as security for the creditor in a secured loan.
How do I apply for a Secured Self-Employed Loan?
The initial procedure you need to follow when you’re applying for a secured self-employed loan is pretty much the same as it would be for any other loan.
Here’s what you need to before applying for a secured self-employed loan:
- Gather all documents pertaining to your finances. As a self-employed individual, it’s essential for you to have documents related to your financial affairs at hand as these will be needed by the lender to assess your eligibility for the loan.
- Check your eligibility for different secured loans. There are many lenders now which offer you the ability to assess your eligibility for their loans before you even apply to them. It’s a good idea to assess yourself in this way before applying for a loan to a certain lender as it can save you time and effort.
- Compare different secured loans. It’s always a good idea to compare all the options you have to ensure you’re getting the best possible loan that suits your needs and budget.
What Documents Do I Need to have on Hand when Applying for a Self-Employed Loan?
Different lenders can have different requirements for documents they need to assess your eligibility.
However, some of the documents should absolutely always have on hand when applying to lenders authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, are the following:
- Proof of Identification: This can be any document that proves you are who you say you are. A driver’s licence or a passport can suffice for this.
- Proof of address/residence: This is to prove you live where you say you live. Typically, a copy of your recent council tax bill or a copy of a recent utility bill is enough to act as a proof of address.
- Tax returns (SA302): Self-employed people are required to self-file and submit their tax returns. This is something that most, if not all, lenders will ask you for. You need to be able to submit copies of your SA302 calculation for at least the last two years. This will help to prove the income you have stated as part of your loan application. You can get a copy of your SA302 calculations by logging into your HMRC online account.
- Bank statements: These will most likely be requested by your lender as proof of income so that they can cross-check your earnings with your SA302 calculation. It is also needed by the vendor to get a sense of your financial situation as well as your monthly expenditures.
- Proof of rental income (if any): This needs to be declared when applying for a loan and you also need to provide evidence for it. This could be in the form of copies of bank statements, mortgage or lease/tenancy agreements.
- Company/business details: This could be any documents that detail the status of your business (sole trader, partnership, limited company, etc.) If there are other individuals that have a financial interest or stake in your business, you need to declare this as well.
Are Loans for Self-Employed Individuals More Costly?
If you have a good credit history, can provide all the documents that the lender asks for, fulfil all of their eligibility requirements and can satisfactorily afford the repayment plan, then there’s no reason for it to cost more than any other regular personal loan you may have.
Is it Possible to Get Approved for a Secured Self-Employed Loan with Bad Credit?
While it’s not difficult to find loans for self-employed individuals with bad credit, you may find you’ll have a harder time getting approved for them.
You may also find that these loans may be for a lower amount than what you need or they may be at a much higher interest rate than loans that are offered to individuals with a good credit score.
That being said, when you’re looking for a lender, you should always ensure that they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. You don’t want to get caught up with a loan shark who is operating illegally.
They will charge you criminally high interest rates and may even threaten you with physical violence if you can’t pay it back.
Can I Use My Secured Self-Employed Loan for Debt Consolidation?
While this is definitely something that you can do, you have to be very cautious about it.
It’s true that debt consolidation loans can make life easier for you by merging all of your debt so you’re answerable to only one creditor. It’s also true that secured loans offer lower interest rates so your debt could even effectively be shrunk if you opt to do this.
However, you must also keep in mind that you will be required to put up a valuable asset of yours as collateral for this loan.
This may not have been the case with the multiple debts you had before.
Thus, you should only opt for this if you know for sure that you can reliably pay back the debt because if you default on it, then you could lose whatever asset you had put up as collateral.
While secured loans for self-employed individuals can definitely be difficult to come by, they do exist and you can definitely get approved for one as long as you fulfill their requirements.
If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us.