Self-employed people can get a mortgage like everyone else

It has long been believed that self-employed people always got the short straw when it came to getting a mortgage, however mortgage lenders are not as put off as we thought.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there were more than five million self-employed people in the UK in the last quarter of 2019, constituting more than 15% of the working population, compared to 3.2 million in the year 2000.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance UK, business development director at Hodge Bank, Emma Graham, said: “I don’t think it [being self-employed] makes a big difference these days, it is just as easy to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed than if you were employed.

“Going back a generation ago it was quite tricky, some of the requirements were quite onerous, but self-employment is ever-growing and more popular.

“The challenges can come if you are newly

Read More

A crisis hotline for transgender people, by transgender people

Oriana, a volunteer with the peer-support network Trans Lifeline, at home in Boston in July. The phone shows the total calls answered by the nonprofit to date. <span class="copyright">(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Oriana, a volunteer with the peer-support network Trans Lifeline, at home in Boston in July. The phone shows the total calls answered by the nonprofit to date. (Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

Oriana went through the usual motions of preparing for a two-hour shift on the hotline. They filled a big glass of water, swaddled their armchair in a blanket and laid out a crochet hook and yarn on the desk, in case there was a lull in calls.

Downtime was unlikely, though, on this summer night.

The Trump administration had just finalized a rule that would reduce protections for transgender patients from discrimination by doctors, hospitals and health insurance companies. And Trans Lifeline, which describes itself as the only crisis hotline for trans people operated entirely by trans people, is flooded with calls every time the nation’s highest office does something that threatens the LGBTQ community.

The calls

Read More

Autistic people left completely stranded during pandemic

Nine out of 10 autistic people worried about their mental health during lockdown - Getty Images Contributor
Nine out of 10 autistic people worried about their mental health during lockdown – Getty Images Contributor

Autistic people and their families have been left “completely stranded” during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report which describes the impact as “devastating”.

The National Autistic Society said the responses they received from 4,232 autistic people and their family members shows that Covid-19 and the lockdown deepened well-established existing inequalities.

Autistic people in June and July were six times more likely to have low life satisfaction and seven times more likely to be chronically lonely compared to the general public, the report said.

It found that nine out of 10 autistic people worried about their mental health during lockdown and one in five family members had to reduce work due to caring responsibilities.

The disruption, uncertainty and change of pace triggered huge levels of anxiety and for some was made worse by

Read More

27 Most Lucrative Side Hustles for People Over 50

If you think the side hustle was born to serve the millennial generation, that might be true. Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like millennials — ages 23 to 38 — have at least one additional way that they make money other than their main job.

But other age groups besides millennials are interested in side jobs as ways to make extra money, too. Baby boomers — or adults ages 55 to 73 — are also getting their hustle on, whether it’s to earn a little extra money for fun or to supplement their main source of income.

Baby boomers are hustling harder than millennials, according to a study by Wonolo, a gig platform. One baby boomer out of every 3 is completing three or more gigs a week on its platform, compared to only 1 in 5 millennials. If you’re looking to earn more money, find out which … Read More

Biggest mistake people make when getting rid of old computers and phones

During this pandemic with time at home, many people are cleaning and organizing their closets, garage, or attic. It makes sense. Afterward, you have a sense of accomplishment and a pile of things you can sell or donate.

Since 1995, Craigslist has been the internet’s classifieds site, but now you have other options. Tap or click here for 9 other sites to turn your old treasures into cash.

If you’re on Facebook, there’s the Marketplace. You’d be remiss in not checking the Swip Swaps on the site. Tap or click here to find Swip Swaps in your hometown.

There is one critical step many people forget to take before getting rid of their old devices:

Proof is in the discarded

One security researcher decided to find out how many people remember to delete their personal information before handing over their old devices. Josh Frantz purchased 85 devices from businesses that

Read More

Online pet scams have tripled since last year as people look for furry friends in quarantine

A toy poodle puppy. <p class="copyright">REUTERS/Eriko Sugita</p>
A toy poodle puppy.
  • Online puppy scams, in which sellers create websites purporting to sell puppies that do not exist, are on the rise.

  • The Better Business Bureau recieved over 2,000 reports of pet scams over the past few months. That’s more than triple last year’s numbers.

  • “This seller absolutely played on my emotions and vulnerability,” one victim told the BBB. “I’m a highly educated person, but I’ve never felt so stupid in my entire life.”

  • Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for pets has exploded, as people look for furry friends to comfort them in quarantine. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Puppy buyers beware: online pet scams have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Better Business Bureau. Reports of this particular scheme, in which fraudsters set up phony websites or post fake advertisements online for dogs that

Read More

People Are Obsessed With This Online Shop’s Banana Bread That Sells Out In Minutes Each Week

From Delish

Pre-pandemic, before everyone and her mother decided to participate in the banana bread’s quarenaissance, Allie Chernick–the baker behind Allie’s Banana Bread–not only managed to make the otherwise-sad loaves look aesthetically pleasing, but also had them selling out online in minutes. Minutes! Like, hungry folks on the internet have literally set alarms for a chance to score this banana bread. And they still do.

The New York-based baker’s banana bread took off when she had her first online sale in December 2019, but it’s all rooted in years of baking before that. “My grandma taught me her plain banana bread recipe when I was really little, and I would always make it for middle school bake sales,” Chernick tells Delish. She experimented with it, making it into cupcakes with a Nutella frosting and eventually adding chocolate chips and other toppings.

Her friends (and friends of her friends)

Read More

‘Something Broke Inside Belarusians.’ Why an Apolitical People Rose Up

Sergei Dylevsky in the hallway of his apartment building in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 20, 2020. (Misha Friedman/The New York Times)
Sergei Dylevsky in the hallway of his apartment building in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 20, 2020. (Misha Friedman/The New York Times)

MINSK, Belarus — Denis Dudinsky, the long-haired and mustachioed host of “Good Morning Belarus!,” can still hear the producer’s nervous voice in his ear any time his banter approached something remotely political.

“Denis, careful, careful, let’s not cross the line!”

In his 15 years on television, Dudinsky never did. Then, riding in a taxi in June, he witnessed people lined up outside a store near his parents’ house being beaten and detained. He posted on Instagram that the riot police were “dumb and ridiculous.”

The bosses at state television took him off the air the next day, but Dudinsky insists he has no second thoughts. “When a man is drowning, you don’t think, ‘Hmm, he’s 100 meters away,’” he said. “You take your clothes off and jump.”

Europe’s most authoritarian

Read More

QAnon Popularity Surges During Pandemic As People Stay Home, Go Online

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia congressional candidate who’s supported the far-right and baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, tweeted that she’s been invited to the White House for President Donald Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination.

President Trump’s embrace of Greene and QAnon launched the conspiracy into mainstream political and social media circles, despite the group being linked to real-world violence and anti-semitic views.

“I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate but I don’t know much about the movement. I have heard that it is gaining in popularity,” President Donald Trump said in an August 19 White House Press Conference.

Experts say the COVID-19 pandemic has also boosted the popularity of QAnon.

“Around March, which is when Lockdown was really impacting the US at first, there’s a huge spike in people interacting with QAnon on mainstream social media,” says Blyth

Read More

People find new ways to spend vacation money in today’s ‘homebody economy’

A pool in the backyard? A fresh coat of paint on the deck? For some people flush with funds from canceled vacations due to the coronavirus pandemic, that’s exactly the plan.

A new survey shows nearly one-third of homeowners are using money previously set aside for travel and spending it on home improvements — doing everything from small updates to large renovations.

What are people spending vacation money on?

Half of those homeowners said they’re putting the funds towards structural repairs, such as a basement renovation or a new roof, according to the survey of 1,878 people from Groundworks, a home services company. About 30% said they’re putting the money toward outdoor entertaining, such as a new dining set on the patio. And the rest said they’re spending the money on home additions, creating an at-home gym or even installing a new pool.

For Saleena Sidhu of New York City,

Read More