Mortgages for the self-employed


Securing a home loan in Dubai is rarely a straightforward process, but some situations and circumstances make the process even more challenging.

Among the people who encounter the greatest obstacles are those who run their own business. Anyone who receives a regular salary from their business but actually owns 15 percent or more of the shares will be regarded by most lenders to be self-employed. The non-standard nature of most self-employed persons’ earnings can make it more difficult for lenders to assess the risks they are taking in lending to them.

Therefore, most lenders will prefer to deal with salaried employees working for well-established local or international companies. A straightforward letter from their employer confirms the amount of their monthly salary and any bonus entitlement, making it easy to assess their ability to make the monthly payments. Lenders also deem that a self-employed person working in a smaller business represents a higher risk, as they feel their business has a greater chance of failure than a long-established company does.

This factor alone means that salaried customers normally have a fairly wide choice of mortgage providers prepared to offer finance. If you are self-employed, the choice is more restricted – of the 26 lenders active at present, there are several who do not offer home loans at all to self-employed applicants.

Contacting the banks individually to find one who will take your case is a time-consuming and often demoralising task. Once you have found that elusive lender, they will often impose more restrictive terms and the home loan application process is undisputcdly more complex.

The crucial information to know is that all lenders base their lending decisions on a number of factors, the most important of which is a client’s ability to meet the monthly repayments, month in, month out. From a bank’s perspective, someone who is self-employed represents a greater risk, not just because it is more difficult to assess their true income, (especially for those who use the same bank account for personal and business


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