6 Unusual Income Types That Can Still Secure a Mortgage

Purchasing a house takes patience, preparation, and financial resources. A strong credit score is typically required for those who seek a mortgage. Your mortgage lender will also want to know how much income you bring in, how steady it is, and where it comes from, in addition to examining your credit history, credit score, and current obligations. Because of the strict process and requirements, many people find it difficult to obtain a reasonable mortgage loan, if they can get one at all. Borrowers with unusual circumstances, nonetheless, should not be discouraged.

If you’re shopping for a home but aren’t sure if you’ll be able to secure a loan, here are six uncommon income types that mortgage lenders may consider.

Income From Tips

Most bartenders, hotel personnel, and restaurant employees are paid hourly at or near minimum wage, which makes getting a mortgage difficult. Fortunately, tip money may be a huge help. However, the problem with tip money is that most employees do not disclose them for tax purposes. The tip income will not be reflected on W2s or tax returns when they apply for a mortgage. You just have to make sure that it is well-documented for the lender to see.

Two or More Jobs

If you have a second or third job, the lender will take into account the income from these occupations in addition to the salary from your primary job. You must, however, prove a two-year history of working in all positions at the same time. Most lenders require W2s and verifications from all companies and will most likely calculate a two-year average income from these jobs. You wouldn’t be qualified if you obtained a second job a month before applying for a mortgage.

Unemployment Income

Some job categories have a history of hiring and firing. Construction workers, for example, can be extremely busy for months before being laid off when a project is completed. They’ll only get rehired a month later or when a new project begins. For this income category, mortgage applicants must prove that they have worked and received unemployment benefits in a reasonably regular way for at least two years to qualify.

Alimony and Child Support

Alimony and child support can both be used to help a borrower qualify for a mortgage. You’ll need to show your mortgage lender proof that your ex-spouse pays these payments on time regularly.

Relative’s Income

Relatives can help their family members who do not make enough money to secure a mortgage. They can be considered non-occupant co-borrowers, who are anyone who does not intend to reside in the home being purchased but decides to co-sign the loan with the homeowner. The FHA lending program is very popular because of this feature.

Seasonal Employment

The borrower must demonstrate a two-year history of consistent time on and off work, similar to the other unusual employment income categories. Among the workers who fall in this category include commercial fishers, Santa Claus actors, ski resort workers, or hotel bellhops.


When calculating how much an applicant may borrow, mortgage lenders consider several criteria. Income plays a significant part in that process, and it may mean a lot of different things. If you are among these unusual income earners, you should be ready to provide extra paperwork. Inquire with your loan specialist ahead of time about what paperwork you should begin gathering.

If you are looking for mortgage loan programs, paloRATE can help. Our mission is to serve our customers with honesty, integrity, and competence. Our goal is to provide home loans to our clients with competitive interest rates and closing costs. Furthermore, we pledge to help borrowers overcome roadblocks that can arise while securing a loan. Talk to us now!