Mortgage Blog

This blog combines contractor-specific updates on the mortgage, finance and housing industries with our unique insight and experience, gleaned from serving self-employed workers since 2004.

Short mortgage shelf-life gives contractors unique advantage

Posted by John Yerou on March 21st, 2024 in Mortgage Blog

"I must be the unluckiest bloke in the world," the comedian said. "I'm the only person in history to have bought a three-piece suite when there wasn't a sale on."

woman searches for mortgages on laptop

An oldie, but a goodie, which I was reminded of when I saw the latest mortgage shelf-life figures.

In these days of mass advertising, we've become desensitised to glib taglines.

So, when you hear something like "limited time deal" or see a clock counting down on a website, it hardly dinks our psyche.

We think, "Yeah, right. There'll be another sale next week." Or, "I can get it cheaper on [Amazon/eBay/Temu]" (delete as applicable).

But, in this instance, mortgage deals really are disappearing in almost record time.

Today, we look at why this is so. Also, why contractors could be the unwitting beneficiaries of this scenario if they put their skates on.

Continue reading about  Short mortgage shelf-life gives contractors unique advantage

How to make your investment property appeal to Gen Z renters

Posted by John Yerou on February 13th, 2024 in Mortgage Blog

If you've bought your rental property to attract students, it's tempting to offer only the basics. It's even more tempting with student numbers continuing to increase, whilst properties they can afford become evermore scarce.

It's almost a private landlord's dream: way more demand than the market can support. And, in many instances, potential tenants who'll be there for at least three years.

gen z group on staircase

So, why aren't university types banging down your door to rent your investment property?

Basic requirements for students and young professionals in rented accommodation have changed.

And this has little to do with suggestions that Gen Z is pampered. (Okay: maybe a little.)

But the world they're accustomed to is very different to the one previous generations inhabited in their youth.

Today, we're going to look at the basic amenities Gen Z needs from their accommodation. Then we'll see where you can go the extra mile to garner a queue of bicycles around your HMO or apartment.

Continue reading about  How to make your investment property appeal to Gen Z renters

Mortgage Quest: the all-inclusive specialist mortgage broker

Posted by John Yerou on January 30th, 2024 in Mortgage Blog

With the tumultuous nature of finance markets, it seems all I've written about recently is how x affects y, potentially giving us z. Today, our news is much closer to home.

businessman and megaphone

In fact, it is our home I want to talk—no, shout!—about.

After undergoing a huge facelift, we've relaunched our parent brand's website, Mortgage Quest.

Why now? In short, many contractors have returned to PAYE employment, recently. After talking to them, they assumed we could no longer help with their mortgage. So not true.

Through Mortgage Quest, we now welcome everyone, no matter how they work.

Does this mean we've stopped specialising in contractor mortgages?

Absolutely not. We'll continue to fly the flag for independent professionals, as we have done for 20 years.

Here's more about our parent brand. First, more on why we've had to reach out to past clients.

Continue reading about  Mortgage Quest: the all-inclusive specialist mortgage broker

Remortgage vs Product Switch: What Lenders Aren’t Telling You

Posted by John Yerou on September 27th, 2023 in Mortgage Blog

Today more than ever, lenders are encouraging their existing customers to ‘product switch’ their mortgage. If you’re coming to the end of your initial rate period or have dropped onto your lender's SVR, you’ll likely jump at the chance. After all, what they’re offering is good, old-fashioned customer service, right?

Not always. If you’ve never used an experienced broker before, you’ll go on believing you’re getting the best deal from your current lender.

In some cases, you may well be: a product transfer is the right option for you. But, I want to show you why remortgaging is a viable option, by:

  • Helping you realise why dealing with one lender is ‘inadvisable’;
  • Showing you which key offers to avoid (e.g. ‘execution only’);
  • Availing you of the ocean of choice by using an experienced broker;
  • Conversely, explaining product transfer ringfencing, and when is the right time to consider it.
Continue reading about  Remortgage vs Product Switch: What Lenders Aren’t Telling You

Are there special mortgages for contractors?

Posted by John Yerou on August 17th, 2023 in Mortgage Blog

Are there such things as 'contractor mortgages'? Without wanting to sound like Richard Harris's Dumbledore in The Philosopher's Stone, "Yes. And no."

Let's start with the 'no' bit.

The repayment mechanisms are essentially the same across the mortgage industry for all borrowers. It's getting past the application part that's often the problem for independent professionals.

But it needn't be!

If a contractor goes through a reputable, specialist broker, they should be treated no differently than PAYE employees, with access to similar:

  • mortgage terms;
  • interest rates;
  • deposit requirements.

So, why do most contractors struggle to convince lenders that they can afford the mortgage they know their income warrants?

Continue reading about  Are there special mortgages for contractors?

Mortgage Market Outlook | Q3, 2023

Posted by John Yerou on July 24th, 2023 in Mortgage Blog

outline: house, rising arrowThis last year, mortgage customers have faced a tirade of consecutive interest rate hikes and market uncertainty.

Such a dynamic backdrop has caused a conundrum of challenges, many of which most younger homeowners have never experienced first-hand.

Interest rates stand at an all-time high, with potentially more increases to come. As such, it's crucial that lenders support the flexible labour workforce.

We, as an industry, must supplement that support by providing accurate guidance, communication and flexibility amid the ongoing economic challenges.

Today, we look at:

  • how and why the mortgage market got to where it is;
  • what we can expect in the short- to mid-term;
  • what independent professionals can do to mitigate the varying levels of impact.

Continue reading about  Mortgage Market Outlook | Q3, 2023

Freelancer Financials Joins the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA) as an Official Business Partner

Posted by John Yerou on May 26th, 2023 in Blogs, Mortgage Blog

Our mortgage and protection services are now available to Freelancer and Contractor Services Association's 200,000+ network of independent professionals!

London, 26th May, 2023 - Freelancer Financials can today announce our official partnership with the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association (FCSA). The agreement avails FCSA's 220,000-member network of our specialist mortgage services and related insurance cover products.

"We are excited to welcome Freelancer Financials as the latest FCSA Business Partner," said Chris Bryce, Chief Executive of the FCSA.

"Freelancer Financials is a leading contractor mortgage and protection specialist for independent workers, and their partnership will be a valuable asset to our community."

What this partnership means for FCSA members

"We're thrilled to join the FCSA and become a part of this vibrant community of independent workers," said John Yerou, Managing Director and founder of Freelancer Financials.

"Since our inception in 2004, we've devoted ourselves to changing lenders' biased attitudes towards professional contractors and freelancers.

"We have a solid history of approaching lenders directly and helping them develop their own contractor-friendly underwriting criteria. We maintain these relationships daily, safe in the knowledge that specialist underwriters know how to assess independent professionals' true mortgage affordability.

"FCSA's contractors can now get mortgages based on what they're really worth: their top-line day rate!

"Irrespective of their trading structure—Ltd or PAYE Umbrella, in- or outside IR35—professional contractors and freelancers can borrow based on their gross contract income. We look forward to working with the FCSA to support the independent workforce."

About Us

Freelancer Financials is a family-owned, independent brokerage of 37 people, winner of multiple awards, and was launched with the sole intention of helping those with specialist incomes own their own homes.

For more information, visit

Housing Market Movement Oct/Nov 2022 by numbers ~Halifax

Posted by John Yerou on December 14th, 2022 in Blogs, Mortgage Blog

house with fluctuating arrowsToday's post is all about the contractors' longstanding best buddy when it comes to mortgages: The Halifax Bank.

First, we look at the lender's report on November house prices.

Then, we look at their most recent assault on the recent rise in interest rates.

The latter by no means return to the historic lows of last year. Or even the optimistic lows of earlier this year, if truth be told. But they do represent a sea change.

Combined with reducing house prices, the drop in interest rates is significant. They might be the first signal that the housing market is changing to a buyer's market for the first time in months, if not years.

Continue reading about  Housing Market Movement Oct/Nov 2022 by numbers ~Halifax

Good, Bad & Ugly: The Rising Base Rate’s Impact on Mortgages

Posted by John Yerou on August 8th, 2022 in Blogs, Mortgage Blog

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee voted 8-1 to increase the Base Rate to 1.75% last week. That's the first time the Base Rate's been above 1.5% since 8th January 2009 (to which it dropped from December 2008's 2%).

key with pound symbol teeth and door lockWhen the MPC increased the Base Rate from 0.10% to 0.25% in December 2021, few would have predicted we'd reach this 13½-year high so quickly. And the likelihood is, it won't stop there.

What — if anything — can we gauge from the comments and reactions following this latest increase?

Moreover, what do all these changes mean for the many types of UK mortgage holders?

Well, for those on SVRs or coming to the end of their fixed term, it's time to lock in a new deal. For those with longer left to run, there are options, which we outline here.

Continue reading about  Good, Bad & Ugly: The Rising Base Rate’s Impact on Mortgages

The rush to remortgage as interest rates almost treble

Posted by John Yerou on June 16th, 2022 in Blogs, Mortgage Blog

On Friday 4th June, 2021, I reported Halifax's remortgage rates around the 1% mark. A year on, mortgage interest rates look very different. The average two-year fixed rate is now almost three times more expensive than it was then.

Inflation, and the rising Base Rate to combat it, continue to climb. Here's what you can do to lock in a rate to see you through these turbulent times.

Rising mortgage interest rates: what's the story?

graph arrow risingThe Bank of England's Monitory Policy Committee met on 4th May and raised the Base Rate again. They voted by a majority of 6-3 to increase Bank Rate by 0.25 percentage points, to 1%.

Those members in the minority weren't against raising the base rate. Rather, they'd have preferred to increase it by 0.5 percentage points, to 1.25%!

At the subsequent meeting on June 15th, those in the minority got their wish. From June 16th (today) the Base Rate stands at 1.25%.

This has fuelled the expectation that rates will continue to rise throughout the year. It's worrying, because lenders have already almost trebled their interest rates in a year.
Continue reading about  The rush to remortgage as interest rates almost treble


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