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Self-Employed Mortgages in British Columbia: Your Comprehensive Guide

Being self-employed presents its unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to securing a mortgage. However, with the growing number of entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed professionals in British Columbia, mortgage lenders have adapted and now provide a range of financing options catering to this group of homeowners.

When shopping for a mortgage as a self-employed individual, understanding the unique requirements, nuances, and potential hurdles is essential for a successful application process.

The purpose of this comprehensive guide is to provide self-employed homeowners in British Columbia with a deeper understanding of their mortgage options, the application process, and valuable tips for increasing the chances of approval.

As a self-employed individual, you often have fluctuating income and unconventional employment documentation, making it challenging to meet the traditional requirements set out by lenders. However, with the right guidance and persistence, it is possible to find suitable mortgage solutions for your unique situation.

When applying for a mortgage in British Columbia, you’ll generally encounter two types of lenders: ‘A’ lenders, such as major banks and credit unions, and alternative or ‘B’ lenders, like non-bank institutions and private lenders.

While ‘A’ lenders often offer lower interest rates and mortgage costs, they also tend to have more stringent requirements, particularly concerning income verification and credit scores. ‘B’ lenders, on the other hand, are more flexible in their income verification practices, which can be advantageous for those with inconsistent income sources or a lesser credit history.

In the upcoming sections of this article, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of applying for a self-employed mortgage in British Columbia, covering essential aspects such as income verification, financial documentation, mortgage rates, down payments, and other factors that can impact your application. Furthermore, we’ll navigate essential tips for success and the benefits of working with a mortgage broker to find the right mortgage solution for your needs.

The Self-Employed Mortgage Application Process in British Columbia

Navigating the mortgage application process as a self-employed individual in British Columbia may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. By breaking it down into manageable steps, you’ll be better prepared to tackle each aspect of the process with ease. Here are the key steps involved in applying for a self-employed mortgage:

  • Preparing Your Financial Documentation: As a self-employed individual, you’ll need to gather specific documentation to support your mortgage application, which may include:
  1. Business financial statements
  2. Notices of Assessment (NOA) from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  3. Tax returns for the past two to three years
  4. Business licenses or articles of incorporation
  5. Bank statements or investment statements
  6. An accountant’s letter confirming your business’s financial health
  • Evaluating Your Income: Lenders will typically assess your self-employed income using an average of your earnings over the past two to three years, considering both your business’s gross income and your net adjusted gross income. It’s important to demonstrate stable or increasing income during this period.
  • Test Your Affordability: Calculate your Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDSR) and Total Debt Service Ratio (TDSR), which measure how much of your income can be allocated towards housing expenses and overall debt payments. Most lenders in British Columbia prefer a GDSR below 35% and a TDSR below 42%.
  • Obtain a Copy of Your Credit Report: Review your credit report for any errors or discrepancies, and be prepared to explain any outstanding debts or late payments.
  • Work With a Mortgage Broker: Enlisting the services of a mortgage broker can simplify the process and significantly increase your chances of securing a mortgage as a self-employed borrower. Mortgage brokers have established relationships with various lenders and can assist in finding the right mortgage products tailored to your specific financial needs.

Income Verification Options for Self-Employed Borrowers

Traditional income verification methods may not apply to self-employed individuals, as fluctuating income and unconventional employment documentation can make it challenging to meet the standard requirements. However, there are alternative income verification options available to self-employed borrowers in British Columbia:

  • Stated Income Mortgage: This type of mortgage allows borrowers to state their income without providing extensive documentation. Some confirming information, such as a financial statement, tax returns, or bank statements, may be needed. It’s worth mentioning that stated income mortgages are ideal for self-employed individuals with strong credit scores and a history of consistent income.
  • No Income Verification Mortgage: Also known as a “no doc” mortgage, this option allows borrowers to apply for a mortgage without providing income documentation. Instead, qualification is based on credit score, property value, and down payment. Keep in mind that no income verification mortgages often come with higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgage options.

Tips for Success: Boosting Your Self-Employed Mortgage Approval Chances

Securing a mortgage as a self-employed individual can have its challenges, but there are steps you can take to increase your chances of approval:

  • Maintain Strong Credit: A favorable credit score showcases to lenders that you’re a responsible borrower. Pay your bills on time, keep your outstanding debts low, and avoid multiple credit inquiries to improve your credit rating.
  • Prepare a Larger Down Payment: A larger down payment illustrates financial commitment and can offset the perceived risk associated with lending to self-employed borrowers.
  • Organize Financial Records: Having well-organized financial records demonstrates strong management skills and can provide lenders with a clearer picture of your financial standing. Consider working with a professional accountant to maintain accurate and organized records.
  • Mitigate Debt: Lower your debt-to-income ratio by paying down credit card balances, personal loans, or other outstanding debts to build a stronger application.

Working With a Mortgage Broker: Simplifying the Process

A mortgage broker can be an invaluable resource for self-employed individuals seeking a mortgage in British Columbia. Unlike banks and other direct lenders, mortgage brokers have access to a wide variety of lending institutions and financing options catering to self-employed borrowers. This increased flexibility can lead to lower interest rates, more favorable loan terms, and a higher likelihood of approval.


While securing a self-employed mortgage in British Columbia may seem overwhelming, understanding the process and requirements is key to a successful application. Implement the valuable tips provided in this guide and consider partnering with a knowledgeable mortgage broker at to find the ideal mortgage product tailored to your unique financial needs. Embrace the journey to homeownership with confidence as a self-employed individual in British Columbia.

Looking for the best rates on self-employed mortgages in British Columbia? Look no further than Best Rates Mortgages! Our comprehensive guide to self-employed mortgages in BC is here to help you navigate the lending process with ease. Trust our team of experts to help you find the best employed mortgages at the most competitive rates. Contact us today to get started on securing the financing you need for your dream home!

By Best Rates Mortgages | January 16th 2024
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