Here are some pointers that will help you overcome the obstacles you may face in proving your capacity.
This last pointer is particularly important. A loan officer who truly understands the nature of the industry you work in will be your best ally and advocate in dealing with the underwriter handling your application.
|Your Reality||Their Perception|
|Receiving multiple W2 and 1099 forms||“Your income isn’t very stable.”|
|Being paid through payroll companies||“Who’s your employer? Who do I call for verification?”|
|Working on multiple projects every year||“You don’t stick with one job for long, do you?”|
|Hiatus periods||“How do you pay your bills when you’re not working?”|
|Working in multiple states||“Why do you want to buy here when you’re working in another state?”|
|Working long hours on set||“We need to meet. I’m here every day, Monday through Friday, from 9 to 5.”|
Many people in the film and television industry speak of the physical stress that they’ve experienced while trying to get approved for a mortgage—all of the effort required to locate proof of their income stability, collate and organize reams of documentation, and deal with correspondence, typically after putting in a 12 or 14-hour day in a studio or on location. But the emotional stress can take an even greater toll.
People in the film and television industry are accustomed to professional rejection. They take auditions and screen tests, and portfolio reviews in stride, because they go with the territory. But being required to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop to prove one’s worthiness in the eyes of mortgage underwriters feels like a personal attack. Being rejected when you know that you are just as qualified to be granted a mortgage as people who have no trouble getting approved feels personal. Such experiences begin to erode one’s self-confidence and sense of self-worth and raise the specter of discrimination and persecution. They create tensions that strain relationships.
Fortunately, the old adage holds true: “forewarned is forearmed.” Knowing what pitfalls lie ahead for film and television folks can ward off a lot of stress and anxiety and increase the likelihood of getting approved for a mortgage.