Poker winnings were classified as a legal source of income decades ago, and their earnings have been subject to taxation ever since. Considering that poker income is taxable, a pro should have the option of borrowing money from the bank. But can you get a mortgage as a professional poker player?
You can get a mortgage as a poker player as long as you meet the legal requirements to get the mortgage in the first place. However, while players can get a mortgage, the process is a little complicated, as you’ll need to prove that you can pay back the loan in a timely manner.
In this article, we’ll dive into the basic requirements for a poker player to get a mortgage. We’ll also look at how you can manage your bankroll better to qualify for a mortgage as a poker pro.
Why Banks Are Nervous About Lending to Professional Gamblers
Poker players are eligible for a mortgage provided they meet the correct requirements. They need to have a low debt-to-income ratio and prove to the bank that they’re capable of repaying the loan. Simple, right?
The truth is, banks are reluctant to lend money to poker players, as they are, in theory, “professional gamblers.” And most lenders hesitate to give money to someone with an unreliable source of income.
Banks are also wary of the significant risk involved with poker players as they are liable to lose all their money, rendering the mortgage unrepayable.
So as a poker player, it’s crucial to remember a few things when initiating the mortgage process.
How to Get a Mortgage on Poker Income
What should you do if you need a mortgage, but your only income is from poker games? The steps you need to take include:
- Approach different lenders.
- Educate yourself about the lending process.
- Earn steady income.
Let’s have an in-depth discussion about these steps.
1. Approach Different Lenders
Big banks are less likely to grant mortgages to poker players, and if you’re approaching a bank, you’ll need to approach several to find one that accepts your request.
As a poker professional, you’re better off approaching local banks, private lenders, and credit unions for a mortgage instead. While the interest rate is generally a bit more, your chances of obtaining a mortgage are higher.
2. Educate Yourself About the Lending Process
Most brokers assume a poker player applying for a mortgage is desperate, and they’re sure to take advantage of you.
The best way to protect yourself is to learn about different mortgage rates and how to qualify for them. By knowing the ins and outs of the lending process, you’re more likely to get a good deal on your loan.
You also want to find out if there’s a prepayment fee involved while repaying the loan. As a poker player, you may win a big tournament and want to clear your loan. Knowing about the prepayment fee can help reduce the amount you will eventually end up paying.
Finally, you’ll need to get your paperwork in order with the help of your lender or broker.
Lenders are used to studying a client’s salary slips to determine eligibility. As a poker player, you may need additional documents to confirm where your money is coming from.
3. Earn Steady Income
One of the most significant determinants of success as a poker player is the consistency of your income.
You need to develop strategies and monthly goals to follow so you can manage your bankroll. By showing lenders you have a steady income stream, you increase the likelihood of your loan request getting approved.
To even further increase the chances to get a loan or a mortgage, you could become a sponsored poker player. You can drastically increase the chances to become one if you stick to one of the following tips I write about in the article on how poker players get sponsored.
How To Save Money as a Poker Player
While we already discussed how you can get a mortgage on a poker income, you may want to keep reading, as you don’t want to blow your winnings right away. Saving your money as a poker player is just as important as making money.
The steps to save money as a poker player are:
- Keep separate accounts.
- Stay calm while at the poker table.
- Keep bad bets to a minimum.
Let’s talk more about this.
1. Keep Separate Accounts
When we talk about separate accounts, this means to separate your poker money from the rest of the money that you live on. By creating a separate bank account for poker, you’re less likely to spend your earnings on anything other than buy-ins.
Once you have separated your finances, only use your poker account to play with, otherwise, you might lose the money need to buy groceries for the week. It can be tempting to enter a game with millions in the prize pool.
But if your bankroll is too small to warrant the buy-in, it’s best to stick to stakes you can afford. This way, you show less fluctuation in your finances, and you can build your wealth steadily through small wins.
2. Stay Calm While at the Poker Table
A cool head is crucial for any poker enthusiast worth their chips. Staying calm during the game is the biggest determinant of those who make it in the world of poker and those who lose their bankroll completely.
By staying calm and earning steadily, you increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage with your poker income.
One of the most common ways poker players lose money is when they go on “tilt.” Even the best players seem to get rattled when they are victims of a bad beat, which is a strong hand that loses.
They change their playing style and call on too many hands, expecting the next one to be it. It’s safe to say this behavior causes far more damage to their earnings.
Remember, just because you lost the last ten hands doesn’t mean you’ll win the next one.
Play every hand optimally and to the best of your ability, and you’ll have a lot more money in the long run.
3. Keep Bad Bets to a Minimum
Studying your game is easier with online poker, but it pays to relive certain hands and figure out what you could have done better. By understanding your tendencies to make rash decisions or bad bets, you can plug the leaks in your game and exponentially increase the regularity of your earnings.
These are simple tactics to manage your earnings from poker better. And if you’re looking to get a mortgage through your poker income, managing your finances is essential.
Poker players can get a mortgage on their poker income, provided they are deemed eligible by the bank. You may have to approach more banks than regular people or borrow the mortgage from a credit union or money lender.
But it’s still possible, and if you manage your bankroll well, the process of obtaining and repaying the mortgage will be less demanding.