Accord launches freelancer mortgages policy

Accord launches freelancer mortgages policy

Accord is piloting a tailored lending policy aimed at freelancers and contractors seeking a mortgage.

The intermediary-only lender, part of the Yorkshire Building Society Group, has reviewed its application process and has developed a lending criteria which takes into consideration the way contractors receive income less regularly compared to permanent employees. 

Accord’s lending criteria will allow a gap of up to eight weeks between contracts in a trading year.

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Ahead of the planned roll out in 2017, brokers can access this policy through Contractor Financials.

Since May, Accord has been working with Contractor Financials to develop and road test the product

Accord has begun a phased roll out of the pilot to five additional specialist broker firms with the view expand to the full broker market during 2017.

The new policy compliments the lending criteria Accord already has in place for self-employed workers.

Gerry Dobbin, corporate account manager at Accord, said: “The contractor and self-employed market accounts for 22 per cent of the UK workforce, and it’s continuing to grow.

“From a lending perspective, the only thing that sets contractors apart from permanent employees is the way they generate their income. 

“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.”

Under the new policy, instead of asking for a large amount of documentation to evidence their finances, Accord will now only need an applicant’s current CV, their latest three payslips and business bank statements, plus three months’ worth of personal bank statements.

Accord has a team of specialist underwriters who process contractor mortgages, which brokers can contact directly.

Luke Somerset, business development director at Contractor Financials, said: “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.”

Martin Stewart, director at London Money, said any improvement in underwriting to accommodate the flexible and ever changing nature of employment in the 21st century "should be applauded".

"Hopefully it will also encourage other lenders to look more favourably at this growing market.

"However they want me to place this through someone else until they get their act together? I won't be doing that. If you haven't got your ducks lined up Accord to launch to all independent brokers at the same time let me know when you have and then we can start doing business together."