It was back in 2007 that I started thinking about applying for a home loan. It seemed like everyone I knew, their babysitter, and the babysitter’s dog walker were buying a house. So why not give it a shot? I’d spent most of the year with my head down working, refraining from that side of guac at Chipotle and had consequently accumulated my largest chunk of change on record.
Plus, after years of waiting out ONE ding on my credit report a la a dentist bill for $38 that went to my dead father’s house (cue the sad trombone and the collection agency), my credit was a sparkling 800. So, I could cash out and roll around on a bed of Benjamins or I could invest in a property. I chose the latter, and quickly went to work finding a house.
Show Me the Money
Naively, I thought getting a home loan would be the easy part. I had proven myself creditworthy, was showing three back years of hearty, by-the-book tax returns and had close to six figures languishing in the bank. In spite of all that, my financial situation apparently wasn’t what most lenders considered ideal.
You see, I’m a freelance journalist. And being self-employed spooks a lot of mortgage lenders, even if you’re creditworthy and have the financials to back you up. Mortgage lenders prefer to stick with “safe” borrowers, AKA those with long histories of W2s. I, on the other hand, was packing 1099s.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
Working with a lender as a self-employed person can be challenging and frustrating, because you have so much more to “prove” than those with so-called traditional finances. For a while, it felt like an endless game of back and forth. But once I realized that questions about my past earnings weren’t character assassinations, and were just smart business on the lender’s part, things went more smoothly.
The thing is, I knew that I could pay a mortgage just as easily as I was paying rent. And I never lost sight of my end goal. I worked hard to sufficiently answer the lender’s questions, and provided all of the information they requested.
You Deserve a Lender Who Will Work for You
So, what does this mean for you? Find a lender that specializes in non-W2 borrowers. They exist. I found that by-the-book, T-crossers weren’t necessarily willing to work with “risks” like me. But it’s important to remember that just because you have non-traditional finances doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of a home loan. Your lender should be willing to work with your specific financial situation. And of course, be prepared for a full financial physical along the way.
Trust me, when you put that key in the door and your name on the mailbox, all the bending and heavy lifting will become a badge of honor. Best of all, you’ll finally be home.
At Eave, our unique technology allows us to underwrite creditworthy buyers with complex finances. Entrepreneurs, business owners, freelancers, and giggers welcome! Visit our website to get started.