Can you get a mortgage on a zero-hours contract?

Getting a mortgage is still possible when you are on a zero hour contract, but there are a few things to keep in mind so that you stand the best possible chance of being approved.

The world of work is constantly evolving, and with that comes new forms of employment contracts. One such example is the zero-hours contract, which has grown in popularity in recent years. However, if you're on a zero-hours contract and looking to buy a property, you might be wondering whether it's possible to get a mortgage. 

The good news is that the answer is yes, but there are certain factors that you need to consider first.

What is a zero-hours contract?

A zero-hours contract is an employment agreement where an employer does not guarantee a specific number of working hours to an employee. Instead, the employer has the flexibility to provide work as and when it’s required. While this can offer flexibility for both employers and employees, it can create challenges when applying for a mortgage.

Lenders generally assess mortgage applications based on various factors, including income stability and affordability. With a zero-hours contract, the fluctuating nature of income can make it difficult to meet the standard criteria set by mortgage lenders. 

As income with a zero-hours contract is uncertain and variable, lenders may see it as a higher risk, potentially affecting the approval process. However, this doesn’t mean that individuals with zero-hours contracts are automatically disqualified from obtaining a mortgage. 

How to maximise your chances of getting a mortgage with a zero-hours contract

Lenders can be stricter when it comes to applicants with zero-hour contracts. Here are some factors that will improve your chances of finding a suitable mortgage:

1. Employment History

Mortgage lenders often require a consistent employment history, preferably spanning a few years. If you have been on a zero-hours contract for a significant period and can demonstrate a stable income, it may improve your chances of securing a mortgage. 

Demonstrating that you’ve worked with the same employer or in the same job sector for a long time could also strengthen your application. 

Lenders may also consider:

  • How long you have remaining on your contract or whether it’s a rolling contract

  • Whether you’ve had any gaps in your employment and how long they were

2. Savings and Deposit 

Any mortgage application will always benefit from a higher deposit amount as it will impact how large your mortgage is. As well as this, having a substantial savings account can strengthen your mortgage application. Lenders may view both a bigger deposit and a pot of savings positively, as it shows financial stability and reduces their perceived risk.

4. Proof of Contracts and Income 

Although your income may vary each month, if you can demonstrate a regular pattern of earning and consistent income over a period it can help reassure lenders of your ability to meet mortgage repayments.

In order to demonstrate your earnings, you will need to keep track of your contracts and payslips – these documents will be key in supporting your mortgage application and alleviating the lender’s concerns about your ability to repay.

5. Specialist Mortgage Lenders

Some mortgage lenders can specialise in working with individuals on zero-hours contracts or with non-traditional employment arrangements. These lenders may have more flexible criteria and be more understanding of the nature of your income.

6. Using a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker could make getting a mortgage with a zero-hours contract a lot simpler. They will be able to help you navigate the mortgage market, identify suitable lenders, and assist you with submitting a strong application.

Each lender has its own criteria and policies, so the outcome can vary depending on the specific lender and your circumstances, which is why seeking professional advice and exploring multiple options can make such a difference.

Important info & marketing claims

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. Your savings will depend on personal circumstances.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

*The savings figure of £656 is based on Better.co.uk remortgage customers in April 2024. Read more on our marketing claims page.

We can't always guarantee we will be able to help you with your mortgage application depending on your credit history and circumstances.

Average mortgage decision and approval times are based on Better.co.uk's historic data for lenders we submit applications to.

Tracker rates are identified after comparing over 12,000 mortgage products from over 100 mortgage lenders.

As of January 2023, Better.co.uk has access to over 100 lenders. This number is subject to change.

For buy-to-let landlords, there's no guarantee that it will be possible to arrange continuous letting of a property, nor that rental income will be sufficient to meet the cost of the mortgage.