Construction Industry Worker (CIS) Mortgages

Discover the benefits, drawbacks, and requirements of obtaining a mortgage for a CIS Worker in the United Kingdom

A Comprehensive Guide to Construction Industry Worker (CIS) Mortgages

For many Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) workers in the UK, the prospect of securing a mortgage can seem daunting. Traditional mortgage lenders often have stringent criteria that make it challenging for self-employed or sub-contracted workers to qualify. However, with the increasing demand for flexible mortgage options, many lenders are now offering mortgages specifically tailored to meet the unique needs of CIS workers. In this comprehensive blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of CIS mortgages, including the pros and cons, and what you need to apply.

What is a Construction Industry Worker (CIS) Mortgage?

A CIS mortgage is a type of home loan designed specifically for individuals who work within the construction industry under the Construction Industry Scheme. This scheme is a UK tax deduction system where contractors deduct money from a subcontractor's payment and pass it on to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). CIS workers include self-employed individuals, sole traders, and subcontractors who may struggle to meet the traditional lending criteria due to their irregular income.

Pros of CIS Mortgages

  1. Tailored to your unique circumstances: CIS mortgages take into account the unique employment and income circumstances of construction industry workers. Lenders who offer these mortgages understand the irregularities in income and are more likely to consider your gross income instead of your net profit, increasing your chances of qualifying for a mortgage.
  2. Access to competitive interest rates: Some specialist lenders offer competitive interest rates on CIS mortgages, making them an attractive option for construction workers who may have struggled to secure a traditional mortgage.
  3. Potential for higher borrowing capacity: By considering your gross income rather than your net profit, CIS mortgages can potentially provide you with a higher borrowing capacity than a traditional mortgage, making it easier to afford the property you desire.
  4. Flexible repayment options: Depending on the lender, you may be able to access flexible repayment options, such as overpaying or underpaying, to accommodate the fluctuating nature of your income as a CIS worker.

Cons of CIS Mortgages

  1. Limited availability: Not all mortgage lenders offer CIS mortgages, meaning your options may be more limited compared to those seeking a traditional mortgage. However, there are specialist lenders and brokers who cater specifically to the needs of CIS workers.
  2. Higher deposit requirements: Due to the perceived higher risk associated with CIS mortgages, some lenders may require a larger deposit, typically ranging from 15-25% of the property value. This can make it more challenging for some CIS workers to save for the required deposit.
  3. Possible higher interest rates: While there are competitive interest rates available for CIS mortgages, it is possible that you may be subject to higher rates due to the perceived risk associated with irregular income.
  4. Documentation requirements: To qualify for a CIS mortgage, you will need to provide additional documentation to prove your income and employment status, which can be time-consuming and stressful.

What Do You Need to Apply for a CIS Mortgage?

  1. Proof of income: You will need to provide evidence of your income as a CIS worker. This may include your CIS vouchers, bank statements, and invoices. Some lenders may require at least 6-12 months of continuous employment in the construction industry.
  2. Credit history: Just like with any mortgage, lenders will assess your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. Make sure to check your credit report and address any discrepancies before applying for a mortgage.
  3. Deposit: As mentioned earlier, you may need a larger deposit for a CIS mortgage. Start saving early and explore options such as the Help to Buy scheme to assist with your deposit.
  4. Identification and address verification: As with any mortgage application, you will need to provide proof of your identity and address. This typically includes a valid passport or driving license and a recent utility bill or bank statement that shows your current address.
  5. Tax returns: Some lenders may request tax returns or a SA302 form, which is a summary of your income tax calculation, to help verify your income. It is essential to ensure that your tax affairs are up-to-date before applying for a CIS mortgage.
  6. Bank statements: Lenders will likely request at least three months of bank statements to assess your spending habits and confirm your income. Ensure that your bank statements accurately reflect your income and demonstrate responsible financial management.
  7. Employment history: A comprehensive employment history may be required, particularly if you have recently switched from being employed to being a CIS worker. Lenders will want to see stability in your work history to ensure that you can maintain mortgage repayments.
  8. Mortgage affordability assessment: Lenders will conduct a mortgage affordability assessment to determine how much you can borrow based on your income, outgoings, and other financial commitments. This will help to ensure that you can comfortably afford the mortgage repayments.

Tips for Improving Your Chances of Securing a CIS Mortgage

  1. Maintain a strong credit score: A good credit score will make you a more attractive borrower to lenders. Make sure to pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low, and regularly check your credit report for errors.
  2. Save a larger deposit: A larger deposit will not only improve your chances of securing a mortgage but can also help you access better interest rates. Aim to save at least 15-25% of the property value as a deposit.
  3. Seek professional advice: Working with a mortgage broker who specializes in CIS mortgages can help you navigate the complexities of the application process and identify the most suitable lenders for your circumstances.
  4. Keep accurate records: As a CIS worker, it is crucial to maintain accurate records of your income, expenses, and tax returns. This will help to streamline the application process and improve your chances of securing a mortgage.
  5. Demonstrate financial stability: Lenders want to see that you can manage your finances responsibly. Aim to reduce your existing debts, avoid taking on new credit, and create a budget to help demonstrate your ability to manage your finances effectively.

Securing a mortgage as a Construction Industry Worker (CIS) in the UK can be challenging, but it is not impossible. With tailored CIS mortgages now available from specialist lenders, you can access mortgage options that cater to your unique income and employment circumstances. By understanding the pros and cons of CIS mortgages and preparing the necessary documentation, you can improve your chances of securing a mortgage and achieving your dream of homeownership.

Remember that seeking professional advice from a mortgage broker with experience in CIS mortgages can be invaluable in navigating the application process and finding the most suitable mortgage for your needs. With careful planning and persistence, you can overcome the obstacles and secure a mortgage tailored to your unique circumstances.


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