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Santander has updated its affordability criteria to make it easier for those who are self employed to apply for mortgages.

Like many other lenders, it asked its potential borrowers whether they were affected by Covid during the affordability assessment process.

Those who were self employed were classed as affected if they had taken a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant.

They also had to submit three years’ worth of accounts instead of two so the bank could look at the difference in average income before and after the pandemic.

However, the latest changes mean the grant will now simply be seen as part of an individual’s overall income, so there’s no longer a penalty associated with it.

And you only need to submit two years’ worth of accounts again; the bank will use the average of these, or the most recent year if that’s lower.

The only Covid-related question remaining on the assessment is whether there are any outstanding loans – so debt that’s still waiting to be repaid.

It’s good news for self employed workers who may have been trapped by their mortgages as a result of the pandemic, especially at a time when interest rates are rising steadily.