Gig Economy Workers Deserve Another Look

Angel Oak’s Tom Hutchens was featured in this month’s Scotsman Guide. Here’s a snippet of the article.

The gig economy — with its free-lancers, contractors and self-employed workers — is upon us. It’s a career choice embraced by a growing number of people. While these workers are making up a larger slice of the modern work-place, they often don’t qualify to own a home.

It’s not because they can’t afford one or won’t be able to make loan payments. It’s because tightening lending standards are often leaving them on the outside looking in. This is an opportunity for mortgage originators.

Steven is your typical young professional trying to make a living in today’s world. In his mind, he has figured out a great plan for life. During the day, he works as a freelance copywriter, picking up assignments through various contacts he has met over the years.

At night, he uses his car to make extra money by driving for a rideshare company. And as a frequent traveler, Steven often lists his apartment on a home-share website to earn additional income when he is out of town. This is a dream for Steven. The work-schedule flexibility and general lifestyle are everything he could want.

But Steven and his wife face a major problem. The home of their dreams is out of reach. He cannot obtain a mortgage, despite having more than enough money for a down payment for a starter home as well as the cash-flow to make the required payments on the loan. Steven is a textbook representative of the so-called gig economy — an independent contractor who takes on a variety of short-term jobs as opposed to being locked into a traditional 9-to-5 work schedule.

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