What is SEISS Grant?
The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was a government scheme that provided grants to self-employed individuals in the UK who had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme ran from May 2020 to September 2021, and there were a total of 5 grants available.
To be eligible for the SEISS grant, you had to meet certain criteria, including:
- You had to be self-employed in the UK
- You had to have trading profits between £0 and £50,000 in the 2018-19 tax year
- Your trading profits had to be at least equal to your non-trading income
The amount of the grant you could receive depended on your trading profits and the number of grants you had already claimed. The maximum grant amount was £7,500.
The SEISS grants were taxable, and you had to report them on your Self Assessment tax return. They also counted towards your annual allowance for pension contributions.
The SEISS grant was a valuable lifeline for many self-employed individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic. It helped to protect their incomes and businesses, and it helped to prevent them from having to claim Universal CreditA government benefit that replaces several other benefits, i....
The SEISS grant is no longer available, but other government schemes may be able to help self-employed individuals who are struggling financially. You can find more information about these schemes on the GOV.UK website.
Can you get a mortgage if you’ve claimed a SEISS grant?
The short answer is yes, but it is worth pointing out that your options of mortgage lenders will probably be fewer than if you had been able to trade uninterrupted during the pandemic. Some mortgage lenders are nervous about lending to people that have claimed the SEISS grant, as they worry it could be a sign that your employment is uncertain or you might be struggling financially.
However, as the SEISS grand is classed as income, there are lenders that are not concerned that you have claimed the grant, as long as you can prove that you have gone back to work and you are now earning enough money to meet their affordability requirements. Other lenders, however, are placing more focus on SEISS claimants, putting them through more rigorous checks.
Therefore, your chances of getting approved for a mortgage if you have claimed SEISS may depend entirely on which mortgage lender you talk to. As we have highlighted, a SEISS grant is not an issue for some lenders, whereas others will see it and either proceed with caution or reject you immediately.
That is why it is so important to choose the correct mortgage lender for you, one that is certain to approve your mortgage application with minimal fuss and offer you its best rates. You can always contact a mortgage broker to help you with your loan application.
How long should you wait before applying?
Most mortgage advisors will suggest that you hold off applying until you are back trading for no less than three months before you apply for a mortgage.
The reason they say this is because lenders tend to ask for evidence that an applicant has gone back to business as usual after claiming SEISS. If they do, they will also tend to request at least three months of business bank statementsA record of a borrower's financial transactions often requir... as proof.
While there are providers who are not as strict about this stuff, your choices of good lenders tend to be much lower if you don’t wait until you have reached a healthy trading level for at least three months.
The criteria you need to meet for a successful application will vary slightly from lender to lender, but here are a few examples of additional things you could be asked about as a SEISS claimant.
– No less than three months of bank statements to highlight you are back trading
– A detailed explanation of why you had to take out the grant
– Further underwriting checks
– A copy of the approved SEISS grant showing the duration and amount
– A mortgage deposit that does not include SEISS funds
Also, read about self-employed mortgage applicants on our blog.
Using SEISS income for a mortgage application
Attempting to find a mortgage lender that lets you declare SEISS income and add it to your affordability assessment is very tricky, as many mortgage lenders will not count it within their calculations when identifying how much you might be able to borrow.
However, there are lenders out there that will offer to let you declare 100% of your SEISS income, as well as other earnings evidenced in your accounts, as long as the circumstances are suitable. One major factor that will help your case is if you have gone back to business as usual after claiming your final grant, and you can provide at least three months of strong trading history to show this.
The same can be said if you would like to use SEISS funds as part of a mortgage deposit. Some mortgage lenders do not allow SEISS to be considered, so make sure you seek out advice from a reputable broker who specialises in assisting self-employed with mortgages.
With their expertise in self-employed mortgages, you should be able to discover a lender who will factor it into your deposit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SEISS grant?
The SEISS grant offers vital support for self-employed borrowers via grants; each paid straight into the bank applicant of the person in question if they are eligible, based on tax returns, national insurance, and other factors.
What are the eligibility criteria for a SEISS grant?
To meet the criteria for a SEISS grant, you must meet the following criteria.
You must have submitted a self-assessment tax return for the previous year, including profits, by April 23rd.
You must have been self-employed in 2019/20 and traded that year.
Applicants are eligible if they have been adversely impacted on or before July 13th, 2020.
Was the SEISS scheme extended?
When the original SEISS application end-date came and went, HMRC noticed that only 67% of the possibly eligible population had claimed the gran, and the average value per claim was just £2,500.
As a result, a massive 33% chose not to apply for the claim. One explanation for this is that they perhaps were unaware of their eligibility or did not get round to it before the end date.
The original plan was to provide additional support via a third payout from November 2020 to January 31st, 2021. This plan would offer recipients 40% of three months’ worth of trading, with a £3,750 cap.
However, the government changed this plan on September 24th, 2020, extending the SEISS scheme further, offering the same level of support for self-employed people as the support getting offered to employees via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This scheme also got extended.
There you have it! Now you have all of the information that you need to get a mortgage after claiming the SEISS grant.
Here’s a quick recap of the most important points that you need to bear in mind:
– Not every lender will accept your mortgage application if it includes SEISS funds, so be sure to check beforehand.
– Make sure you meet the minimum requirements we have highlighted in this article, such as three months of information that you can use to prove your business is back up and running as it was before the pandemic.
– Be sure to do your research to make sure you get the best deal. As your mortgage application with a SEISS grant is quite unique, the offers you get might be significantly different from various different lenders.