It has been a decade since the housing crisis and crash of 2008 and 2009. In its wake, many things have changed - both in terms of mortgage regulation and the way people are making their money.
The rise of the internet and the "gig economy" has more and more people seeking home loans without the traditional W2 or tax return documentation required for most qualified mortgages.
At the same time, government regulations and lenders alike have adopted standards to protect against the pitfalls of sub-prime mortgages, all of which serve to benefit borrowers, lenders, banks, and everything in between.
The combination of these two factors makes home buying quite hopeful for people without traditional employment. Still, seeking a mortgage when you're not traditionally employed isn't free of challenges. The good news is that these challenges can be overcome because of modern, agile mortgages designed specifically for people that fall into these categories. For those with low credit scores (credit score challenged), there are bank statement mortgage options - usually with higher down payments or DTI ratio requirements - that allow those challenges to be conquered! Others may experience a "credit event challenge" - where a foreclosure, bankruptcies, or short sales have reduced a credit score quickly, but not quite into "bad" territory. Through documentation, bank statements, P&L, etc., such borrowers can often secure home loans with slightly higher interest rates... But they are by no means out of luck. There are also borrowers with "document challenges" - which could mean that their income is not reflected in their tax returns, that they work in a largely cash business, or that income is somewhat unpredictable. These challenges can be mitigated through some bank statement and stated income mortgage programs. Some modern programs only require one month's worth of bank statements (as opposed to 12 or 24 months), or allow you to prove your ability to repay through a variety or documents.
The point is that the landscape of mortgages - and the requirements to secure one - have changed drastically in the last 10 years. Every lender is a bit different, and you'll have to find the program that works for your unique situation, but challenges that once kept people from getting home loans may no longer stand in the way... And the risks of such mortgages are drastically lower (for both lender and borrower) than they were in years past. The challenges described above (and others) may result in higher interest rates, increased down payments, or other relatively strict requirements... But lenders today are both agile AND bound by modern regulation. Challenges do not have to stop your search for a home loan just right for you!