Selling Guide

Published June 02, 2021

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Is a two-year history of self-employment required?

Length of Self-Employment

Fannie Mae generally requires lenders to obtain a two-year history of the borrower’s prior earnings as a means of demonstrating the likelihood that the income will continue to be received.

However, a person who has a shorter history of self-employment — 12 to 24 months — may be considered, as long as the borrower’s most recent signed federal income tax returns reflect the receipt of such income as the same (or greater) level in a field that provides the same products or services as the current business or in an occupation in which he or she had similar responsibilities to those undertaken in connection with the current business. In such cases, the lender must give careful consideration to the nature of the borrower’s level of experience, and the amount of debt the business has acquired.

For additional information, see B3-3.2-01, Underwriting Factors and Documentation for a Self-Employed Borrower.

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