Umbrella Company Mortgages

Everything you need to know about getting a Mortgage as a contractor under an umbrella company and how to secure the best rate

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: December 1, 2023

In this article, we’ll explain how to get a mortgage through an umbrella company, highlight which mortgage lenders will consider this type of application and why speaking to a specialist broker would be a smart first step to take.

Can you get a mortgage in an umbrella company?

Yes, being in an umbrella company doesn’t make getting a mortgage impossible, but it will likely reduce your pool of potential mortgage lenders.

A significant number of lenders will not accept applications at all from contractors working through umbrella companies. Those who do will assess your situation on a case-by-case basis which may involve complex affordability calculations and terms.

Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in umbrella company mortgages

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Eligibility criteria for umbrella contractors

The criteria will vary depending on each mortgage lender. The usual basic criteria around income, age, and credit history will apply, every lender will have their own additional, specific requirements, and researching them all can take considerable time and expertise.

Some lenders may require you to have been a contractor for a minimum length of time, for example, 6 months, 12 months, or even longer. Others will specify terms around the maximum time allowed between contracts, or an amount of time that must still be left to run on your current contract. Some lenders will calculate affordability based on payslip averages, and others will look at day rates multiplied up to annual salary, but based on different assumptions about the weeks worked in any given year.

How to start your application

The first step to take is to make an enquiry with us and we’ll arrange for a specialist mortgage broker to contact you who can help with:

  • Gathering together all the necessary documentary evidence and proof of income you’ll need – such as payslips from the last 3, 6, or 12 months, bank statements, and CIS vouchers
  • Guidance on how to download and optimise your credit reports to identify any inaccuracies and outdated information that can be removed before you apply
  • Identifying the best mortgage lenders with the most competitive rates for these types of applications

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Benefits and drawbacks of using an umbrella company

The key pros and cons to be aware of when applying for a mortgage using an umbrella company are as follows:


  • Being classed as an employee rather than self-employed reduces the need for producing any tax return evidence and documentation
  • Mainstream lenders such as HSBC, Halifax and Barclays will consider applications of this type
  • Potential to borrow more than if you were self-employed as borrowing calculations will be based on gross income rather than just profit


  • Overall pool of lenders will be lower than if you were a typical salaried employee
  • Some lenders won’t consider your application of you’re working for multiple firms at the same time
  • If you also have bad credit this will further reduce the number of lenders you can approach

Which lenders offer these mortgages?

Not all lenders will offer mortgages for contractors working under umbrella companies, which is why it’s so valuable to have a mortgage broker who understands this way of working.

To give you an idea of which lenders might be open to applications and how criteria can vary between them, we’ve pulled a few possibilities:

  • Halifax will consider umbrella company mortgages. The income they use is the lower of the gross value of the contract or income calculated from the payslip/bank statement. Both calculations are based on 46 working weeks per year.
  • Barclays will use the average of the last 3 months’ taxable pay for affordability purposes, less any holiday pay and after any pre-tax deductions made by the umbrella company such as the agency fee and employers NI. You must have been contracting for a minimum of 12 months and there can be no more than a 6-week gap between contracts in this period.
  • The Bank of Ireland will assess income based on the gross pay received from the umbrella company and not the original contract value. They will want to see:
    • The contract between the end client and the umbrella company
    • The contract between you and the umbrella company
    • 3 months payslips from the umbrella company and the corresponding umbrella invoice reconciliation statements

Work out your maximum borrowing

Affordability for contractors using umbrella companies can be tricky, as different lenders will apply different calculations when working out how much they think you can afford to borrow.

As a broad rule of thumb, most will limit borrowing at 4.5 times your annual salary equivalent, although it is possible to get higher income multiples in some circumstances, such as 5 times your salary. Other regular financial commitments such as loans, credit cards and car finance may also be factored in.

Our mortgage calculator can give you a rough idea of what you might be able to borrow, but keep in mind these figures are for illustration only. Your broker will be able to provide you with more bespoke calculations.

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Contractor Mortgage Calculator

Our mortgage calculator will tell you how much you can borrow, whether you work in an employed or self-employed capacity. Select your trading style below, enter the relevant details about your income and our calculator will do the rest.

You’re self-employed if you run your business for yourself and take responsibility for its success or failure

You could borrow up to 

Most lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on a multiple of 3-4.5 times your income, a standard calculation used by the majority of UK mortgage lenders. You should speak to a mortgage broker for bespoke calculations if you have been contracting for less than 12 months, your contract is coming to an end, or there is uncertainty around your long-term employment.

This is based on a multiple of 3-4.5 times your income, a standard calculation used by the majority of UK mortgage lenders. You should speak to a broker for bespoke calculations if you’ve been self-employed for less than 2-3 years, have declining profits or fluctuating income.

Some lenders would consider letting you borrow

This is based on 5 times your income, a calculation only some lenders are willing to offer. You may struggle to find a lender who will offer this income multiple to an employed contractor without the help of a broker, and you should seek advice from one regardless if there is any uncertainty around your employment situation.

This is based on 5 times your income, a calculation only some lenders offer. You might need a broker to access this salary multiple and should take advice from one regardless if you’ve been self-employed for less than 2-3 years, have declining profits or fluctuating income.

A minority of lenders would consider letting you borrow

Only a small number of options are available for employed contractors who want to borrow based on this salary multiple. Few UK mortgage lenders offer mortgages based on x6 income under any circumstances, and you’ll almost certainly need the help of a specialist mortgage broker who knows this corner of the market inside out to access them.

Only a small number of options are available for self-employed contractors who want to borrow based on this salary multiple, as few mortgage providers are willing to offer 6 times salary deals. You’ll almost certainly need the help of a mortgage broker to borrow this amount.

Get Started with an expert broker to find out exactly how much you could borrow.

Speak to a broker who specialises in umbrella mortgages

Finding the right lender when you’re a contractor can be difficult, but it can also be hard to know where to look for a broker who specialises in umbrella mortgages. Most brokers will market themselves with a very broad appeal, but what you need is someone with that niche experience of understanding umbrella companies and how they work in relation to mortgages.

Fortunately our broker matching service can do this hard work for you, and at no extra cost to you. Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make an online enquiry and we’ll quickly assess your circumstances and arrange a no obligation chat for you with a broker who we think has the best mix of skills and experience for you.

Maximise your chance of approval with a specialist in umbrella company mortgages

Get Started Phone Icon 0808 189 2301


While there are certainly benefits to being in an umbrella company as a contractor, it’s a misconception that umbrella company mortgages are easier to get than limited company mortgages or self-employed mortgages.

Whether or not it’s the best option for you will depend very much on your personal circumstances including how much you expect to earn and whether or not you are going to be a contractor long term or just short term. It’s a good idea to get independent financial advice before rushing into anything.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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