When you`re a contractor or self-employed, securing a mortgage can feel like an uphill battle. Unlike traditional salaried employees, contractors` income can fluctuate, which can make lenders wary. However, there are mortgage lenders out there who understand the unique needs of contractors and offer products specifically tailored to their circumstances. These are known as contractor-friendly mortgage lenders.

So, what makes a mortgage lender contractor-friendly? Here are some key features to look out for:

1. Flexible income assessments

One of the main challenges for contractors is proving their income. Unlike employees who receive a regular paycheck, contractors` income can vary from month to month, making it harder to pass traditional affordability checks. Contractor-friendly mortgage lenders understand this and will often be more flexible when it comes to assessing your income. Some may take an average of your earnings over the past two or three years, rather than just looking at your most recent tax return.

2. Specialist underwriting

Contractor-friendly mortgage lenders will often have specialist underwriters who understand the intricacies of contracting work. They will be better equipped to assess your risk and make a decision based on your individual circumstances, rather than just relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.

3. Higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios

Some contractor-friendly mortgage lenders may offer higher LTV ratios, meaning they are willing to lend a greater percentage of the property`s value. This can be particularly helpful for contractors who may not have a large deposit saved up or who are looking to buy in an area with high property prices.

4. Contractor-specific mortgage products

Some mortgage lenders offer products specifically designed for contractors. For example, they may offer mortgages with lower deposit requirements or no early repayment charges, which can be helpful for contractors who need more flexibility.

So, which mortgage lenders are contractor-friendly? Here are some of the top options:

1. Halifax

Halifax offers a range of products for contractors and self-employed individuals. They assess income on a case-by-case basis and will take an average of your earnings over the past two years, rather than just looking at your most recent tax return. They also offer mortgages with a 95% LTV ratio, which can be helpful for those with a small deposit.

2. Kensington Mortgages

Kensington Mortgages specializes in lending to self-employed individuals, including contractors. They offer flexible income assessments and will look at your most recent year`s income as well as an average of the past two years. They also offer mortgages with a 90% LTV ratio.

3. Aldermore

Aldermore offers a range of products for self-employed individuals, including contractors. They have specialist underwriters who understand the nuances of contracting work, and they offer mortgages with a 90% LTV ratio. They also have no early repayment charges on some of their products, which can be helpful for contractors who need more flexibility.

4. Clydesdale Bank

Clydesdale Bank offers a range of self-employed mortgages, including products for contractors. They assess income on a case-by-case basis and will take an average of your earnings over the past two years. They also offer mortgages with a 90% LTV ratio and have no early repayment charges on some products.

In conclusion, if you`re a contractor looking for a mortgage, it`s important to find a lender who understands your unique circumstances. Look for a contractor-friendly mortgage lender who offers flexible income assessments, specialist underwriting, and products specifically tailored to self-employed individuals. By doing so, you can increase your chances of securing the mortgage you need to buy your dream home.