Accord has expanded its pilot of a more flexible lending policy for contractor mortgage applicants.
Under the policy the lender will consider contractors with a 12-month trading history even if there is a gap of up to eight weeks between contracts. In addition applicants must earn an annual income of over £75,000 or a daily rate of £400.
The lending criteria was piloted in May through Contractor Financials and is now being rolled out to five other specialist broker firms with a view to offering the criteria to the whole intermediary market next year.
The criteria is available through Contractor Mortgages Made Easy, Coreco Group, Contract Mortgages Ltd, Freelancer Financials and Power Mortgages.
Accord corporate account manager Gerry Dobbin says: “The contractor and self-employed market accounts for 22 per cent of the UK workforce, and it’s continuing to grow.
“We felt that it was essential to create a level playing field for these workers and update our policy so they can easily access mortgages that are available to everyone else.
“We have worked closely with Contractor Financials to tailor a mortgage proposition for contractors, and we’ve developed a common-sense lending criteria and application process which takes into account their specific circumstances.”
Contractor Financials business development director Luke Somerset says: “The assumption that it is risky to lend to contractors has begun to change, and it’s a positive step that another lender has committed to helping these workers with obtaining a home loan.
“It can sometimes be a complex process for contractors to get a mortgage, which has in the past resulted in many missing out securing a home.
“It’s important for lenders to understand the intricacies of this type of employment when making lending decisions. It is also a great opportunity for the intermediary market to pave the way for contractor clients.”