Matched betting is a great side hustle and one of my favourites; it’s risk-free and a simple way to earn tax-free money. When I started last year, there was a niggle at the back of my mind though as we were considering re-mortgaging. I wondered if matched betting would affect our mortgage application, especially because we were enquiring with a different lender.
While they know it sounds appealing, I’ve had some readers say that they would prefer to stay away from matched betting if they are planning a mortgage application in the short-term as they are unsure of the ‘rules’. So I wanted to share my take on matched betting and mortgage applications, written in collaboration with Heads&Heads, a great matched betting service that I have come across recently.
Affordability checking with bank data
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will work out your household income which includes your basic salary, plus any additional income from a second job, freelancing, benefits, commission or bonuses, rental income etc. To verify this, they will ask for confirmation of all the bank accounts you hold. They will want to see copies of statements for the previous 3 months, sometimes 6 months, so that they can review all the transactions.
If your transaction history is dotted with deposits and withdrawals from multiple betting accounts, it could look on the face of it that you have a gambling problem! (Remember matched betting isn’t gambling as the outcome is risk-free – but the deposits from your bank account are still going to a betting account).
There is some contention around whether these could be viewed unfavourably by a potential mortgage lender; it isn’t clear cut. If you are concerned, you could stop matched betting for a few months before your mortgage application. Buying a house is a big deal and you can always come back to money making after the mortgage has been agreed.
However, there are some less drastic ways around this:
Open another bank account
Open another bank account so your matched betting activity is separate to your household transactions. In my experience, sending our potential lender our main current account statements was sufficient. These included salary deposits and direct debits for household expenses. A lender may ask for all bank accounts but if your salary and household expenses are shown on your main current account, they may not ask. This could vary by lender.
I would encourage anyone matched betting to have a separate account anyway. I have a dedicated matched betting account because it is easier to keep track of profits away from my current account. Also, there is also the feeling of out of sight, out of mind; it’s not as easy to raid profits when they aren’t in your current account!
Transfer your money in advance
An alternative to stopping all together would be to transfer as much as you want to bet with to your bookmaker accounts a few months before your mortgage application. Then just bet with what you have there. This way, no further deposits will show on your bank account statements which you provide for evidence, but you can still bet. The profits would just accumulate within your bookmaker accounts.
Use a Skrill account
Alternatively, use a Skrill account to transfer money to your bookmaker accounts. Using Skrill means your transactions won’t appear on your bank account (as long as you don’t use your debit card!). Beware though that some bookmaker offers aren’t applicable if you use Skrill; always check the terms and conditions of each offer.
Buying your home
You can quickly earn a steady income with matched betting. The more time you put in, the more you can potentially earn. For many, a deposit for a house purchase is the biggest financial ‘target’ to achieve. Which is why matched betting is such a great side hustle to help you reach that goal more quickly.
When it comes to paying your deposit, you will likely to be asked to declare the source of the funds e.g. savings, inheritance, gift etc. This is for money laundering purposes and as long as you can identify the source of your ‘savings’ i.e., there should be no issue.
Declaring matched betting income
The income that you make from matched betting is tax-free. This is great from a tax perspective. But it also has a flip side; the income you make from matched betting will not count towards your income when applying for a mortgage. You can’t have your cake and eat it!
You will need to make sure that your income from other sources e.g. salary, property rental, investment income, is sufficient for the level of borrowing you want. Just a little something to bear in mind!
When you apply for a mortgage, the lender will search your credit score to check your suitability. It’s important to have a good credit rating if you want your mortgage approved.
When you apply for a bookmaker account, they will check you are who you say you are. If your initial application doesn’t pass their first round checks, you will have to send a digital copy of your passport and bank card to their verification team. To verify your identity, they perform what is known as a ‘soft’ credit check on you. However, these soft searches do not affect your credit rating; they will not influence whether a lender approves your mortgage or not. Hoorah!
Heads&Heads matched betting service
So if you are looking to buy a house and still want to do some matched betting, you can if you plan in advance.
I’m always looking for great products which is how I have stumbled upon the matched betting service Heads&Heads. Their fabulous Dashboard hosts a range of tools and information that give you complete control over your matched betting experience:
- Tracking Table. Collating all your matched betting data (for example; Bookmaker, Betting exchange, Stake, odds and profit, to name a few) in one, manageable location.
- Matched betting calculator. This easy to use calculator is imbedded into the Tracking table and does all the complex matched betting maths for you.
- Displays key data. What is my total profit? Who is my preferred bookmaker? All answered instantly.
In addition to your personalised user Dashboard, for a monthly membership fee of £14.99 (or £150 per year), you get access to:
- 100+ bookmaker offers and tutorials (complete with video guides)
- Daily offer updates
- Unlimited access to oddsmatching software
- Matched betting calculators
- The Heads&Heads forum
- LiveChat customer service – and with less subscribers than some of the larger players in this space, this means an even more responsive and dedicated customer service team!
Why not give them a go!
This is a collaborative post.