Guide to self-employed loans with no proof of income

Self-employed workers and sole traders often require business financing.

To secure this type of borrowing, they will usually be asked for proof of income. But what do you do when you can’t show evidence of the money you make? Read on to learn more about loans for self-employed with no proof of income – and how to can get them. Don’t let a lack of paperwork slow your business down.

What is proof of income?

Proof of income is verifiable documentation that shows how much you have earned (or will earn) over a given period of time. Typically, you’re being asked for proof of a steady source of income. For the self-employed – sole traders, freelancers, and gig workers – providing such evidence means showing tax returns, trading accounts prepared by your accountant, work contracts, and recent bank statements to whoever is asking for this information – usually lenders, landlords, and leasing companies.

Why do lenders ask for proof of income?

Lenders must be certain that you have enough income to support the repayment schedule of the loan you are applying for. If you can’t show steady and predictable income, it may make it more difficult for you to borrow money. It can also negatively impact other financial agreements, such as renting business premises, leasing vehicles or equipment, even securing accounts with utility companies for the supply of energy and water.

Top tip: Lenders will need more than proof of income to approve a business loan – they will also check your personal credit or business credit score. To avoid unwelcome surprises, it is recommended that you always check your personal and business credit reports are accurate before making any loan application.

Can someone who is self-employed get a loan without proof of income?

Probably. Even if you can’t prove how much money you make, or if you’ve been turned down elsewhere, it may still be possible to secure the funding you need. 

Note that self-employed loans without proof of income – sometimes known as ‘no document’ or ‘no-doc’ loans – will usually incur a higher interest rate, and the sum you can borrow may be smaller. Also, if you’re applying for a vehicle or equipment lease you may be asked to put down a larger deposit. Alternatively, you can boost your chances of securing finance at lower rate and with a higher loan amount or a lower deposit by adding a guarantor to the transaction – this is a colleague, relative, or friend who has good credit and agrees to guarantee loan repayment in case you default. You can also provide security in the form of a lien against property you own outright or are currently buying, or you could consider taking out a new commercial mortgage on a business property you own. 

What can I use my self-employed loan for?

You can use a self-employed loan for almost any business purpose: Buy inventory to expand your business. Purchase new equipment or vehicles. Pay taxes and VAT. Use the loan as working capital to pay regular bills, wages, and business rates. Or simply use the funds to pay off other more expensive loans and consolidate your business borrowing.

Business loan application process without proof of income

For self-employed workers and sole traders who struggle to provide sufficient proof of income to secure a regular small business or self-employed loan, no-document (no-doc) loans may be a viable solution. 

When applying for a no-doc business loan, lenders typically require only basic information such as identification documents and proof of address, although applicants may also be asked to sign an asset security agreement that allows the lender to use your home, business premises, or other hard assets as security for the loan. Your personal credit score is important with no-doc loans. The higher it is, the better your chances of loan approval and the more money you can borrow. 

Other ways for the self-employed to borrow money without proof of income

If a self-employed or no-doc loan is not for you, you may still be able to borrow the cash you need:

For self-employed workers and sole traders who take payment by credit or debit card from their customers. Borrow against the value of your card turnover. The higher it is, the more you can borrow. Repayment is taken from your card receipts at source, so you cannot default. No added security required.

Stop waiting 30, 60, 90 days or more for your customers to pay your invoices. Borrow against your billable sales and receive up to 95% of your invoice value within a day or two of raising the invoice. You can retain control of your sales ledger and the customer need never know you are using your invoices as collateral for a loan. No added security required.

Find the best funding option with Swoop

Loans for self-employed with no proof of income is a specialist financial area, with every lender having their own criteria and differing rules of application. Self-employed and sole traders seeking this type of funding may find themselves forever searching and making applications to lender after lender. The delays this can create could cause you to lose revenues or leave your business vulnerable to a damaging cashflow crunch. Instead, working with a broker, who can access self-employed loans from a wide range of lenders is a better way to go. No more cold calls and endless demands for information, simply tell us what you need and leave the rest to us. 

Register with Swoop to find the best rates, the best terms and the best loans for the self-employed.


Written by

Chris Godfrey

Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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