Saffron Building Society has clarified criteria for its self-employed and contractor products, which are available exclusively to intermediaries.

For the self-employed, the standard product range requires a minimum of three years of trading.

For applicants with a rising or downward trend of income the lender will typically use the latest figures for affordability purposes.

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Meanwhile, for applicants with fluctuating income, the mutual will typically use average figures for affordability assessment.

Saffron also offers a self-employed specific product that requires one year of accounts, with projection of earnings and three months personal and business statements.

For contractors, they will now only need to have been in contracted work for three months, and there is no minimum income requirement as the application will be based on affordability.

Saffron also accepts CIS applicants for its contractor product, with a requirement to prove they have two years’ experience as a minimum, a contract of employment, as well as six months bank statements and payslips.

Assessment will be on the contract terms if available, or the average of the last six months payslips.

John Penberthy-Smith, chief commercial officer at Saffron Building Society, said: “We know that many intermediaries will be unaware of our manual underwriting process.

“We have a very dedicated team of specialists who look at each applicant individually, making it a fairer process for the client.

“With this clarification, we hope to streamline initial enquiries and demonstrate our willingness to use a “common sense” approach to lending.

“Especially to the self-employed and contractors, who may be finding less flexibility with other lenders.”