Self-Employed During COVID-19 – Can I Get a Mortgage?

If you are self-employed and you’re in the market to get a mortgage, this is for you. In this video, Autumn is joined by Arjun “AJ” Jani, Loan Officer in our Tampa, FL branch, who shares everything you need to know to get a mortgage as a self-employed borrower.

Autumn: First of all, who is considered a self-employed borrower?

AJ: Anybody that has 25% or more ownership interest in a company, we would consider them to be self-employed.

Autumn: And what about independent contractors?

AJ: So, we saw a lot of folks within the last year or so become independent contractors and start picking up some freelance work. These are usually 1099 employees that are paid on a contract basis for work that they do.

Autumn: How would the income be calculated?

AJ: For a self-employed borrower, if you’ve owned your business for more than 5 years, we go off of your last year’s tax returns to calculate your income. If you have owned your business for less than 5 years, we take the last two years of your tax returns to calculate your income. Now, for independent contractors, it’s a little bit different. If you are doing freelance work or independent contractor work in the same product or service that you had experience in the past, we can use one year of your new income to qualify for your pre-approval. If you have taken an independent contracting position in a new product or service, we’re going to need two years of income in order to qualify for a mortgage.

Autumn: So, for example, what if I had worked in an office environment for 20 years, and because of Covid, my office shut down, and so I decided to pick up work doing a ride share program like Uber or Lyft. And I’ve been doing that since Covid started, so it’s only been a year. What does that mean for me?

AJ: A lot of people have supplemented their income with something like this, with ride sharing. Now, it’s important to note that you may have come from an industry that wasn’t ride sharing. And if that’s the case, we need to see at least two years of income for qualifying for a mortgage.

Autumn: Okay, so I’ll need to wait until I’ve been in that industry for two years before I can apply for a mortgage?

AJ: Yes, absolutely.

Autumn: This is a very timely question: What if my business was affected by Covid?

AJ: There are so many businesses – small businesses, large businesses – that were adversely affected by this global pandemic. And the most important thing, if your business was negatively affected, document document document. We just want to see what happened, what the plans are, and it’s very important just to be upfront with your Loan Officer when you’re starting the conversation through your pre-approval.

A big THANK YOU to AJ for sharing his mortgage wisdom with us. If you have questions about buying a home as a self-employed borrower, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Visit to find a Homespire Loan Officer in your area.