"As a sector we’ve quite happily lent to married employed people when statistics show at least half of those couples are going to split up."
71% of self-employed people feel discriminated against by mortgage lenders and nearly a million think they would be refused a mortgage simply because they are self-employed, according to research from The Mortgage Lender.
Of those who have applied for a mortgage, 45% found it difficult to provide the information required by the lender to assess their application.
TML's research found that 4% of respondents had in fact been refused a mortgage and a further 27% have been put off buying a property because they didn’t think they would qualify.
21% of those surveyed have even reconsidered their employment situation because of the uncertainty of securing a mortgage.
However only 23% of contract workers who have secured a mortgage chose a ‘non-high street’ lender, which TML says provides scope for the challenger lending sector to grow its footprint.
Peter Beaumont, deputy chief executive at The Mortgage Lender, said: “It’s time the mortgage industry woke up to the fact the world is changing. The growth in self-employment since the financial crash has been one of the defining characteristics of the UK’s recovery.
“For such a large segment of the homeowning population to feel they will be discriminated against when they apply for a mortgage is shocking and unfair. As a sector we’ve quite happily lent to married employed people when statistics show at least half of those couples are going to split up.
“Self-employed people are creating employment opportunities and form the backbone of our economy at a time when many large employers are finding it difficult to sustain their business models and levels of employment. It’s important lenders recognise this reality and support entrepreneurs to live in the home they can afford."