How to Approach Mortgage Refinancing If You’re Self-Employed

Mortgage refinancing can be a smart financial move for many homeowners, offering the potential to lower monthly payments, reduce interest rates, or access equity in their homes. However, for self-employed individuals, the process can sometimes be more complex due to variable income and documentation requirements. In this guide, we’ll explore how self-employed individuals can approach mortgage refinancing effectively.

Assess Your Financial Situation

1. Evaluate Your Income Stability

As a self-employed individual, your income may fluctuate from month to month or year to year. Before pursuing mortgage refinancing, assess the stability of your income and ensure that you have a consistent stream of revenue to support your mortgage payments.

2. Review Your Credit Score

A strong credit score is essential for securing favorable refinancing terms. Obtain a copy of your credit report and check for any errors or negative items that may be affecting your score. Take steps to address any issues and improve your creditworthiness before applying for refinancing.

Determine Your Refinancing Goals

1. Lowering Monthly Payments

If your primary goal is to reduce your monthly mortgage payments, refinancing to a lower interest rate or extending the loan term may be viable options. However, keep in mind that extending the loan term could result in paying more interest over the life of the loan.

2. Accessing Equity

If you’ve built equity in your home and need access to cash for business expenses or investments, a cash-out refinance may be appropriate. This option allows you to refinance your existing mortgage for a higher amount than you currently owe and receive the difference in cash.

Gather Documentation

1. Tax Returns and Financial Statements

Lenders typically require self-employed borrowers to provide additional documentation to verify their income. Gather recent tax returns, profit and loss statements, and bank statements to demonstrate your income and financial stability.

2. Business Documentation

Provide documentation related to your business, such as business licenses, contracts, and client invoices, to further support your income claims. Lenders may also request a letter from your accountant or CPA confirming your self-employment status and income.

Explore Lender Options

1. Traditional Lenders

Start by researching traditional lenders, such as banks and credit unions, that offer mortgage refinancing options for self-employed individuals. While these lenders may have stricter requirements, they often offer competitive rates and terms.

2. Non-Bank Lenders

Consider working with non-bank lenders or online mortgage brokers that specialize in serving self-employed borrowers. These lenders may be more flexible in their underwriting criteria and have experience working with individuals whose income is not easily documented through traditional means.

Prepare for the Application Process

1. Be Transparent About Your Finances

Provide complete and accurate information about your income, assets, and liabilities during the application process. Transparency is key to demonstrating your creditworthiness and improving your chances of approval.

2. Respond Promptly to Requests

Be prepared to respond promptly to any requests for additional documentation or information from the lender. Delays in providing necessary paperwork could prolong the refinancing process and potentially jeopardize your application.

Consider the Costs and Benefits

1. Evaluate Refinancing Costs

Before proceeding with refinancing, carefully consider the costs involved, such as closing costs, origination fees, and prepayment penalties. Calculate whether the potential savings from refinancing outweigh these expenses over the long term.

2. Consult with a Financial Advisor

If you’re unsure whether refinancing is the right move for your financial situation, consider consulting with a financial advisor. An advisor can help you evaluate your options, assess the potential benefits and risks, and make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.


Mortgage refinancing can offer significant financial benefits for self-employed individuals, but it’s essential to approach the process thoughtfully and strategically. By assessing your financial situation, determining your refinancing goals, gathering the necessary documentation, exploring lender options, preparing for the application process, and carefully evaluating the costs and benefits, you can navigate the refinancing process with confidence and potentially secure a more favorable mortgage loan. Remember, with careful planning and attention to detail, refinancing your mortgage as a self-employed individual can be a valuable tool for achieving your financial goals.

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