It's never been easy to get a mortgage if you're self-employed. But a recent analysis of mortgage data shows just how much harder it is.
Getting lenders to quote you a rate is tougher if you don't work for someone else, according to a report Thursday from real estate researcher Zillow.
Though they typically have higher incomes, put more money down and buy bigger homes, self-employed online mortgage shoppers got just six loan quotes from lenders for every 10 offered to borrowers who aren't self-employed, Zillow found.
"That's the first battle," said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow."The second battle is actually getting through all the paperwork."
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Regardless of their employment status, mortgage applicants today need to be prepared for a time-consuming paper chase. For a salaried worker, a batch of W-2 forms, pay stubs and bank statements will get the ball rolling. For the self-employed, the work has just gotten started.
"For a self-employed borrower, we have to look at two years of tax returns and if they're incorporated we have to look at a corporate return," said Amy Tierce, a regional vice president for Wintrust Mortgage in Boston. "So we're looking at way more a paperwork for the self employed borrower than we are for the salaried borrower. It can feel very onerous to keep supplying stuff."