Before the financial crisis of 2007-08, people who couldn\u2019t prove their income for a <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/mortgage-application\/">mortgage application<\/a> often turned to a controversial form of borrowing called \u2018self-certification mortgages\u2019. More than a decade on, these products have disappeared from the UK market, but customers who can\u2019t evidence their full earnings in the traditional way may have more viable options.\r\n\r\nIn our guide to self-certified mortgages, we explain what happened to these products, outline the best alternatives to them and reveal where you can turn for the right advice if you\u2019re applying for a mortgage with no proof of income, or limited proof of income.\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="#what-is">What is a self-certification mortgage?<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#still-get">Can you still get self-cert mortgages?<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#alternatives">The best alternatives available<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#remortgage">Can I remortgage a self-cert mortgage?<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#expert">Speak to an advisor<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="#faqs">FAQs<\/a><\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\n[feefo-banner]\r\n<h2 id="what-is">What is a self-certification mortgage?<\/h2>\r\nSelf-certified mortgages were products aimed at people who are unable to provide proof of their regular income. In the UK, they were popular with self-employed professions, including freelancers, contractors, company directors and other people with non-standard income. They were often the only way people in this category could get approved for a mortgage.\r\n<h3>How do they work?<\/h3>\r\nWith self-cert mortgages, no formal proof of income was required and most applicants were almost guaranteed acceptance. They allowed borrowers with non-traditional income to declare their own earnings on a mortgage application without backing them up with material evidence. Mortgage lenders would pretty much take the customer\u2019s word for it when they said the loan was affordable, but charged them higher rates to safeguard themselves against the added risk.\r\n\r\nUnfortunately, the lack of regulation in this market led to all kinds of shady practises and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) eventually <a href="https:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/money\/2009\/nov\/04\/platform-ends-self-cert-loans" rel="nofollow">clamped down on self-cert mortgages<\/a>.\r\n<h2 id="still-get">Are self-cert mortgages still available?<\/h2>\r\nThey are no longer available in the UK. The lack of regulation in this market led to a high number of unaffordable mortgages being offered and unscrupulous lending practises. The FCA banned self-cert mortgages in 2009 when it introduced its <a href="https:\/\/www.handbook.fca.org.uk\/handbook\/CONC\/5.pdf">Responsible Lending Guidelines<\/a>. These regulations stated that all mortgage lenders must validate all applicants\u2019 income\r\n\r\nAll lenders must now carry out a creditworthiness assessment of a customer before\u2026\r\n<ol>\r\n \t<li>Entering into a regulated credit agreement<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Significantly increasing the amount of credit provided under a regulated credit agreement<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Significantly increasing a credit limit for running-account credit under a regulated credit agreement<\/li>\r\n<\/ol>\r\nSelf-certified mortgages fall afoul of these guidelines and have not been legally available from UK lenders for more than a decade. But for customers with no-standard income and complex circumstances, there are alternative products now available, and they\u2019re fully above board.\r\n<h2 id="alternatives">What are the best alternatives to self-cert mortgages?<\/h2>\r\nAlthough self-certification mortgages no longer exist in the UK, mortgage brokers who specialise in self-employed customers and flexible mortgage lenders who understand their needs and trading style have emerged to help fill the void in this corner of the market.\r\n\r\nTo help self-employed people with non-traditional income get onto the property ladder, there are now lenders who offer self-employed mortgages under these niche circumstances\u2026\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li><a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/self-employed-mortgages\/getting-self-employed-mortgages-with-1-years-accounts\/">Self-employed people with only one year\u2019s accounts<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li>Made a financial loss in the past three years<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Declining trend in profits<\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/self-employed-mortgages\/mortgages-for-directors\/">Limited company lending<\/a> based on net\/retained profit not drawn<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Limited company lending based on salary plus dividends<\/li>\r\n \t<li><a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/bad-credit-mortgages\/bad-credit-self-employed\/">Self-employed with bad credit<\/a><\/li>\r\n \t<li>Self-employed using <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/help-to-buy-mortgages\/">Help to Buy<\/a> or with a small deposit<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nLenders who specialise in self-employed customers and the flexible mortgages they offer are the closest thing available to self-certification mortgages, but they\u2019d also be a far better alternative even if self-cert was still available. This is because they\u2019re less risky for both the lender and the borrower, usually come with lower interest rates and are fully regulated.\r\n\r\nFinding one of these niche lenders is the tricky part, but we\u2019re here to take the stress out of it. We work with mortgage brokers who help self-employed customers with limited proof of earnings or complex income get a mortgage every day. They know exactly which lenders to approach for these deals, and can introduce you to the right one first time.\r\n\r\nMake an enquiry with us and we\u2019ll match you with a specialist broker who can help you find the right lender. We won\u2019t charge you for the introduction and your credit report won\u2019t be affected.\r\n<h3>Alternatives to a self-cert buy to let mortgage<\/h3>\r\nWhile self-certification buy to let (BTL) mortgages no longer exist in the UK per se, prospective landlords who are unable to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/buy-to-let-mortgages\/proving-income-for-buy-to-let-mortgages\/">prove their personal income<\/a> might still have options. Some buy to let mortgage providers won\u2019t ask to see evidence of your personal income so long as they are satisfied that the investment is viable. These lenders don\u2019t have any minimum income requirements and base their lending decision largely on the property\u2019s rental potential.\r\n\r\nThis by no means applies to all buy to let mortgage lenders, as some won\u2019t lend to anyone who is earning less than \u00a325,000 and will expect applicants to evidence this income in the usual way. So, if you\u2019re looking for an investment property and can\u2019t prove your income, your best bet is to use a BTL broker who knows exactly which lenders don\u2019t need to see proof of personal income.\r\n<h3>Alternatives to a self-cert commercial mortgage<\/h3>\r\nGiven that <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/commercial-mortgages\/commercial-mortgages-guide\/">commercial mortgages<\/a> are not regulated by the FCA, lenders can be more flexible in this sector. While self-cert commercial mortgages aren\u2019t available per se, business mortgage providers have a lot of leeway when it comes to customers who are pursuing a viable property investment but can\u2019t prove their personal income in the traditional way.\r\n\r\n<a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/commercial-mortgages\/commercial-mortgage-affordability\/">Commercial mortgage affordability<\/a> is often based on a company\u2019s operating performance, and the lender will assess this by reviewing their earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). But there are many commercial mortgage lenders out there, and since they assess applications on a case-by-case basis, you could well have options through a specialist broker if you\u2019ve found a sound investment but can\u2019t evidence your personal income.\r\n<h2 id="remortgage">Can I remortgage a self-cert mortgage?<\/h2>\r\nIf you took out a self-cert mortgage before they were banned, it may be possible to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/remortgages\/remortgage-guide\/">remortgage<\/a> onto a more suitable product. Since self-certification mortgages were usually offered with high interest rates, many people who signed up for one before 2009 look to refinance in the hope of finding a more favourable deal, either with their current lender or a new one.\r\n\r\nThis would involve switching to another product type, rather than renewing your self-cert mortgage, and you would only be able to remortgage if you meet the lender\u2019s eligibility and affordability criteria, which will include income proof. Perhaps your circumstances have changed since the original mortgage was taken out, and you can now evidence income in the traditional way; but if this isn\u2019t the case, speak to a broker to find out what options might be available.\r\n<h2 id="expert">Speak to an advisor about self-cert mortgage alternatives<\/h2>\r\nIf you\u2019re unable to prove your income in the traditional way, a self-cert mortgage wouldn\u2019t have been the answer even when these products were around. Rates were high and lending was often irresponsible, but today, legitimate alternatives to self-cert have become available.\r\n\r\nMortgage brokers who specialise in customers with all kinds of complex income types and employment situations have emerged to fill the void left by the demise of self-certified mortgages, albeit in a more regulated and ethical way. So, if you need a mortgage with no proof of income, or limited proof of income, your best bet is to find the right advisor.\r\n\r\nThis is where we come in. We offer a free broker-matching service that will pair you up with the right advisor for you, someone who can get you the closest thing to a self-cert mortgage that\u2019s legally available. Using the right broker will boost your chances of finding a mortgage, whether you\u2019re self-employed with limited accounts or looking for a buy to let with no personal income.\r\n\r\nCall 0808 189 2301 or <a href="https:\/\/enquiries.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/match-me-with-a-specialist-broker">make an enquiry online<\/a> and we\u2019ll set up a free, no-obligation with a broker who can find the best self-certification mortgage alternative today.\r\n<h2 id="faqs">FAQs<\/h2>\r\nGot a question about self-cert mortgages and their alternatives that we haven\u2019t covered so far? Take a look through our FAQ section to find out whether it\u2019s included here.\r\n<h3>Are self-cert mortgages likely to return?<\/h3>\r\nThe return of self-cert mortgages in their previous form is highly unlikely. There are good reasons why they were removed from the market and the new lending criteria that has since been introduced and the flexible lenders that have filled the void are a much better alternative.\r\n\r\nWhile new self-cert mortgages won\u2019t be hitting the UK anytime soon, new flexible mortgage products aimed at customers with complex income are being introduced all the time.\r\n<h3>Are there self-cert interest-only mortgages?<\/h3>\r\nNot any longer. Self-certification interest-only mortgages were ushered out when the new FCA regulations came in. These days, you will need to provide some proof of income and evidence a viable repayment vehicle in advance to get an interest-only mortgage.\r\n\r\nThat said, there are brokers who specialise in interest-only mortgages and they may be able to negotiate flexible deals for customers who\u2019d otherwise struggle to qualify one.\r\n\r\nTake a look at our guide to <a href="https:\/\/www.onlinemortgageadvisor.co.uk\/interest-only-mortgages\/">interest-only mortgages<\/a> to find out more.\r\n<h3>Can I get a self-cert mortgage from overseas?<\/h3>\r\nAlthough other countries have not banned self-cert like the UK, the FCA strongly <a href="https:\/\/www.moneyexpert.com\/news\/watchdog-warns-about-self-cert-mortgages-800583691\/">advises against applying for these products with an overseas lender<\/a>. This is mainly because of the lack of protection customers would have against things such as mis-selling and bad advice.\r\n\r\nInstead of resorting to overseas borrowing, a safer bet would be speaking to a mortgage broker who specialises in complex income customers to find out what other options are available.