However, there are ways around this. Lenders could accept a letter from the Barristers’ Chambers of a projected income rather than the usual self-assessment form.
In the past, some intermediaries used to view contractors as a bit of a gamble and shied away from lending to them. And in these cases there can be a lot of paperwork for the broker to deal with.
As well as good communication channels with their underwriter, more and more lenders are trying to help brokers by allowing them to upload everything they need for the application in one go is vital.
There are resources advisers can access to quickly cover some of the basic questions on lending requirements.
Many lenders provide basic checklists of everything needed to start processing an application, or criteria changes for different types of clients. For example, if your client is a self-employed accountant, there may well be a variation between the documentation needed depending on what qualifications they hold.
On the other side of the fence, lenders need to prove that they really are on the side of brokers, rather than just paying lip service.
Proactive measures, such as empowering underwriters to contact brokers direct to discuss their case, always help to demonstrate this. It is another way underwriters and BDMs can identify issues early on and find the best solution.
However, in today’s hectic world, a telephone conversation is not always the easiest way to communicate, especially when you are working out of the office or have documents to discuss.
Alternative ways of keeping each other updated, such as a secure webchat facility, can be crucial in outlining the particulars of a borrower and providing paperwork to back up the case.
In the past, traditional lenders have had a reputation of having rigid requirements, but the industry has worked hard to shed that ‘computer says no’ image and improve solutions for both brokers and borrowers.
It is vital to take a commonsense approach when it comes to underwriting and making lending decisions.
Most importantly, lenders need to work with advisers at every stage of the application to make sure their case is processed quickly and accepted for the best deal to suit the client’s needs.
When you are dealing with a client who has a complex profile, it can be tempting to go straight down the specialist lender route, bypassing the traditional brands for fear they will not have the flexibility you need.
But that could lead to missing the best deal for a client and ultimately undermining what could be a fruitful long-term relationship.