4 Ways Contractors Can Keep Busy During Christmas Downtime

With the festive season well and truly on its way, your permie co-workers are counting down the days until the two-week Christmas break. For contractors and self-employed workers, it’s a whole different story. As you’re reliant on regular new contracts coming in, the festive period can become exceptionally quiet for work coming in.

But with this downtime, it can give you the chance to focus on tasks you haven’t had the opportunity to catch-up on.

  1. Update Your Professional Profile

This time of year, is traditionally a time to self-improve. With that in mind, you should consider updating your CV, your LinkedIn profile and even (if you have one) your website.

If you have any recent achievements or new skills that could be better be showcased, you could benefit from a CV rejig. Removing less relevant outdated information and adding your newer accomplishments.

Updating your website can be a time-consuming task. This downtime could give you the perfect opportunity to add new projects you’ve worked on or even just give your website a face lift.

  1. Invest in new skills and training

Once you’ve updated your CV, you may see a gap in your skillset. This break gives you the perfect opportunity to review your current skills and identify areas where you may be lacking in ability.

Christmas time can allow you to fill out these gaps and invest in some training, these can be online courses that are fitted around any other commitments you may have.

With technologies and industries constantly evolving, there are always new skills that you can pick up.

  1. New opportunities

With the festivities freezing up business, there may not be a lot of prospective clients looking to put pen to paper on a new contract.

However, this could be a good time to reach out for any potential start-of-the-year opportunities. Once you’ve done the preparation at the end of the year, you’ll be good to get you cape straight back on in January.

  1. Relax..?

As good as it is for a contractor and freelancer to keep busy all of the time, it’s important to rest as well. A work-life balance is vital to avoid being burned out and exhausted. So, if the opportunity is there to relax with friends and family then why not take advantage?!

If you have interests or hobbies that have taken a backseat, a break in work can allow you to take the time to enjoy them for a couple of weeks.

You could also just get away from it all, and book a last-minute getaway. Take full advantage to go see the world.

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Are you having any festive downtime this year? What tips have you got for fellow contractors to keep occupied? Comment below.

Super Contractors are a fee free five-star contractor mortgage and life insurance broker. If your looking for a mortgage or a mortgage review as a contractor or freelancer, speak to one of our expert advisers today.

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

This firm does not charge a fee for mortgage advice.

Contract Mortgages Ltd trading as Super Contractors is an appointed representative of First Complete Ltd who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Buy to Let Property through LTD Company – Pros V Cons

Setting up a new limited company.

Some lenders will accept new, existing, or a subsidiary limited companies. However, some lenders will insist on a new limited company being setup. This is so you can prove to mortgage lenders that you have set up a new company with the sole intention of that company being used to invest in property and nothing else.

Standard Industry Classifications (SICs)

Some lenders insist on the company to be setup with one of the following SIC codes.

  • 68100 – Buying and selling own real estate.
  • 68209 – Other letting and operating of owned or leased real estate.
  • 68320 – Management of real estate on a fee or contract basis.

There are other mortgage lenders that are more lenient and don’t require these codes.

The company applies for the mortgage and the income of the directors is then assessed. There’s not yet a lender who can do Ltd Company Buy to Lets and assess you as a contractor, and as such it’d be a case of using the Company Accounts.

Taking money out of the company

There are other questions and costs to consider when setting up a limited company, for example how is the money in the company passed to the individual? The money can be taken out of the company as a dividend, but from April 2016 only the first £5,000 of dividend income is tax free. Any dividends taken out above this amount this will either be charged at 7.5% for a basic rate taxpayer, 32.5% for a higher rate taxpayer, or 38.1% for an additional higher rate taxpayer. This tax is after the corporation tax at 20% has been paid. *

The money could be taken as a salary, but the company would have to operate PAYE and pay Employers National insurance contributions. In some cases, this can work out more expensive than paying dividends. *

*Information above from Loan.co.uk, June 2017

Interest rates

Interest rates charged on mortgages to companies have historically been higher than to individuals. Comparing rates charged between individuals and companies should be considered as well as the tax implications.

Due to the complexities in this area we recommend that Landlords seek proper professional advice before making the decision to move to a limited company structure. The information provided in this guide is of a general nature. It is not a substitute for specific advice on your own circumstances. We recommend obtaining specific professional advice from a tax and legal adviser before you take or refrain from any action.

For more information about buy to let mortgages, speak to our expert mortgage advisers on Freephone 0800 211 8700 or fill in our online enquiry form.

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

Super Contractors does not offer advice on taxation matters. Please seek expert advice from a tax specialist.

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice. Some buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

4 Times When You Should Remortgage as a Contractor

Remortgage when the situation is at its most advantageous. While you don’t have to stay with the same lender for the duration of your contractor mortgage, don’t just switch to free up extra cash for holidays or to acquire that new spandex superhero suit you’ve been admiring. Instead make an informed decision where there is a distinct advantage, such as the following…

  1. When You Have Equity Power

How much of your headquarters have you paid for? The equity you’ve paid for and the bank own the rest. The proportion known as the “Loan to Value” ratio (LTV). The lower the LTV and the higher your equity, then the better your updated contractor mortgage deal is likely to be.

  1. When Fixed Term End is Fast Approaching

If you’re on top of your financial forecasting, you should be up to speed with your current mortgage terms. If you have an introductory deal on your current contractor mortgage, then know when it is coming to an end. If your lender is moving you to a standard variable rate (SVR), then you’ll want to consider what other options may be available – either from your existing lender, or whether a remortgage may be more advantageous if the commencing SVR is more than you’re paying right now.

Also, take into account whether you will incur early repayment charges if you redeem your existing mortgage early. Remember, you don’t have to stick with the same lender! Our expert mortgage advisers at Super Contractors can recommend cost effective remortgage deals. We’ll look at what fees/charges that could be charged by the lender for switching. We’ll look at what’s most cost-effective for you, ensuring you’re getting the most suitable offer going.

  1. Holy Low Interest Rates, Batman!

The Bank of England base rate remains at a record low 0.25%, the lowest in the bank’s 323-year history. [1]

Lenders are already competing with each other with attractive mortgage deals. Get your timing right and you could lock into a super low rate for a contractor remortgage on your current property.

  1. Your Contractor Mortgage Application is Fighting Fit

They’re many lenders who are only allies if you have been contracting for at least 12 months. However, they’re specific contractor remortgage deals with major high street lenders who will consider (subject to terms) a day one contractor.

Our expert mortgage advisers at Super.Contractors would also recommend that remortgage applications should be submitted at least four weeks before the end of your current contract. This is because the lender will want to know what your next contract is going to be. If you don’t get a new contract at least four weeks out, it may still be possible, but it’ll be a trickier task.

Who to signal for?

For broker fee free advice about remortgaging as a contractor, contact Super Contractors. Freephone 0800 211 8700 or fill in our online enquiry form.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the lender.

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice.

Source:

  1. Bank of England cuts base rate to 0.25% – what it means for you, MoneySavingExpert, http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/banking/2016/08/bank-of-england-august-base-rate-decision

5 Secret Weapons To Getting A Contractor Mortgage

Getting a contractor mortgage doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. The mortgage application and approval processes for larger lenders has, in the main, been created for regular employees not contractors. Though, with the right specialist knowledge and secret weapons you could be on your way to getting a contractor mortgage. Read on for our 5 Secret Weapons to Getting a Contractor Mortgage.

  1. Get A Specialist Sidekick

We know the very one…

While it may seem biased that we suggest using a contractor mortgage specialist, it is a benefit.  It is important that you get advice from a broker that is familiar with the contracting world so you can be sure the advice you receive is suitable.

For a contractor, working with contractor specialist provides two key benefits; potentially access to more mortgage products and a dedicated adviser who deals directly with head office which can help to speed the up the mortgage process. We have built relationships with contractor friendly lenders who provide mortgages based on day rate and current contract. Rather than the number of years you have been working as a contractor.

  1.  Save the Day and Save Money

Generally, you won’t get anywhere with a mortgage without a deposit. At the moment, you can secure a mortgage with at least 5% of the property’s value. Having a larger deposit will make you less risky for mortgage lenders and as a result they’ll generally offer you more competitive mortgage deals with lower interest rates.

  1.  Keep Your Credit Rating Super Clean

A super clean credit rating is key to getting your mortgage application accepted. You could have a good income and a good sized deposit, but your mortgage application could still be refused if you have a poor credit rating. Missing credit card payments or not being on the electoral roll at your current address can make all the difference.



  1.  Make Sure Your Contract Is Fighting Fit

A copy of a completely up-to-date, signed contract is a must. Ensuring that the length of service and day rate is clearly visible can be vital in securing a contractor mortgage. Lenders require this information as support for your application for a mortgage. It can save you masses of admin and the stress of having to supply three years worth of accounts.

  1.  Documents… ASSEMBLE

Make sure you have all the correct documents in order and to hand, these can include:

  • Suitable ID
  • Copy of Current Contract
  • Last Six Months Bank Statements
  • Copy of CV

This differs for the time you have been contracting for. See what documents you need for a contractor mortgage.

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At Super Contractors, we specialise in contractor mortgages. We understand the financial status of contractors and work alongside head office underwriters who are contractor friendly to get our clients the mortgage they need.

For more information about getting a mortgage as a contractor, join us – call  0800 211 8700 or fill out our online enquiry form

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice.

7 Secret Powers for Finding Contract Work… FAST

Looking for contract work is a different kind of process to looking for a permie role. Contractor vacancies often need to be filled super fast and can sometimes be done so with just a single interview. Contractors need to avoid unpaid gaps. They need to be organised and ready to target their next role.

To avoid these pay gaps and unexpected intermissions between contract job roles, read on for our list of 7 Secret Powers for Finding Contract Work… FAST.

1. Make a kick-ass CV

Get your CV right. Keep it short, focused and targeted to the right job. It should include skills, achievements and career history. Ensure, that what you have to offer is clearly stated. Make it easy for the recruiter to match your skills to the role you are applying for. If it means you have to create multiple versions of your CV… DO IT.

2. Promote your talents… EVERYWHERE

Upload your CV onto agency databases, and apply for specific roles. Get your CV on contractor job boards, CV libraries and LinkedIn. Speak to any contacts you may have, face to face, by phone or by email.

3. Search for the jobs that match your super power!

There’s no point in just applying for any job you see. Know what your strengths are, know what you have labelled in your CV, and apply for the jobs that match. Keep a record of what applications have been sent and when you have sent them, then you can start chasing them up.
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4. Secure the interview

There will be a high level of competition for each role you apply for. Make sure you chase the agency or follow up with your contact. Keep on top of it. These people are busy people, so the more they hear your name – the more your CV is going to be recognised and moved to the top of the pile.

5. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail

Be prepared for you interview. You may not always know the name of the company you are being interviewed for. If you do, ensure you have researched the company – check out their website, check out their social media channels. Contractors who haven’t prepared for their interview are unlikely to secure the role.

6. The interview – Come to the client’s rescue

A contract work interview is different from a permie interview. This is your time to shine and work your sales pitch. To secure work as a contractor and a good pay rate, means you have to take charge throughout the interview. Understand the client’s issues and explore what the contract work entails. Don’t waste time during the interview, ensure the client knows that you understand what they are after and you have the skills to be able to tackle these issues.

7. Follow up on the interview

Don’t let them forget about you. Follow up with the agency or the client, you can then agree next steps and timings.

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It’s always worthwhile to be on the lookout for potential roles, whether you’re currently working or not. The contractor job market changes fast, you should always be ready for a quick turnaround.

Super Contractors is a broker specialising in arranging mortgages and protection specifically for Contractors. Super Contractors not only represents us, but also our clients. We have a strong belief in justice and ensure contractors are being treated like first-class citizens.

No broker fees, specialist contractor advice, speedy turn around & super friendly consultants. Freephone 0800 211 8700 or fill in our enquiry form.

 

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

Super Contractors is a trading name of Contract Mortgages Ltd, registered in Scotland at 1st floor, 207 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HZ SC465654. Contract Mortgages Ltd is an appointed representative of First Complete Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 435779) for mortgage and non-investment insurance advice. The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate some forms of Buy to Let.

7 Contractor Mortgage Myths – BUSTED

“Everyone’s an expert…”

Wrong

Everyone seems to be an expert on the contractor mortgage market. Jump on the forums and you’ll find people commenting on everything from “self-certification” to “sub-prime” mortgages. This information can be confusing and may not be accurate. We heard too many contractors retell their colleague’s mortgage horror stories.

Don’t always believe what you read on the internet. Speak to a specialist with experience in the contractor mortgage market. Read on for our top 7 contractor mortgage myths – BUSTED.

  1. Contractors need to have at least 3 years of accounts to get a mortgage
    Wrong. Contractors can get a mortgage based on their day rate. You don’t necessary need those elusive 3 years accounts that you’ve heard. Working with contractor friendly lenders means we may be able to arrange a mortgage based on your current contract, rather than the number of years you have been working as contractor.
  2. Contractors must have been contracting for at least six months
    False. Contractor friendly lenders can help if you’ve just taken the jump from a permanent position and have only been contracting for as little as one day.
  3. Contractors are labelled as high risk by the banks and building societies when it comes to getting a mortgage
    Untrue. Mortgage lenders who understand contractors and freelancers will not necessary see you as any more high risk than a full time employee. You may be able to borrow around 5 times your day rate. If you have a poor credit rating and no deposit, then absolutely – you could be a liability to them. But that would be the exact same for a permie.
  4. Contractors need a mortgage deposit of at least 50%
    Nonsense. At the moment you would need at least 5% of a property’s value to get a mortgage. Obviously having a larger deposit will make you less risky for mortgage lenders and as result they’ll generally offer you more competitive mortgage deals with lower interest rates – but it’s definitely not mandatory to have at least 50% deposit.

    Looking to get a mortgage as a contractor? Speak to expert advisers at Super Contractors

  5. Lenders will always charge contractors a higher mortgage rate than permies
    Rubbish. Contractors will receive generally the same interest rates as permanent staff. With higher daily rates compared to employed colleagues, you may even receive lower mortgage rates, as you may be in a better position to put more savings aside providing a larger deposit.
  6. Contractor must have self-certification to get a mortgage
    No, no, no! Self-certification mortgages are something of the past. They were originally aimed at self-employed and contractors who had trouble proving their income to secure mortgage borrowing with their bank. The FCA put an end to these type of mortgages back in 20091. Now, with many contractor friendly lenders and specialists available who understand your financial status – there is no need for these “self-certification” mortgages.
  7. Contractors need to jump through more referencing loops for a mortgage
    Garbage. You do not necessarily need references to get a mortgage. As long as you have the 5 essential documents you need to get a contractor mortgage and you speak to a contractor specialist who knows the criteria of contractor friendly lenders, your mortgage can be processed at a significant speed.

At Super Contractors, we specialise in contractor mortgages. My team understand the financial status of contractors and work alongside head office underwriters who are contractor friendly to get our clients the mortgage they need.

For more information about getting a mortgage as a contractor, join us – call 0800 211 8700 or fill out our online enquiry form

YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE.

References:
1. Last major seller of self-certification mortgages pulls out, Nov 2009 http://www.theguardian.com/money/2009/nov/04/platform-ends-self-cert-loans

 

We do not charge a fee for our services, we receive commission from the provider.

Super Contractors is a trading style of Contract Mortgages Ltd which is an appointed representative of First Complete Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.