Category: How Long Do I Have To Be Employed to Qualify for an Kentucky FHA Loan?

How Much House Can I Afford? [INFOGRAPHIC]


Source: How Much House Can I Afford? [INFOGRAPHIC]

 

 

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Kentucky FHA Loans Compared to Kentucky Conventional Loans


via Kentucky FHA Loans Compared to Kentucky Conventional Loans

 

Kentucky FHA Loans Compared to Kentucky Conventional Loans

 

When it comes to financing a home a buyer is faced with the decision of what type of loan they want. The two most common choices are FHA or Conventional. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Follow the chart below to see which one is a fit for you!

For more information on homes available for FHA or Conventional

Which Loan is better for you?

Kentucky FHA Loans are good for borrowers who have the following:

• Credit scores less than 680.
• Less than 5% down payment and no reserves to use.
• Borrowers with past foreclosures between 3 and 7 years old.
• Borrowers with past short sales between 2 and 4 years old.
• Borrowers who need a gift for the down payment and/or closing costs, prepaid taxes and
insurance.
The FHA Mortgage Insurance premium is a premium that exists for the FHA Loan that is
paid up front and monthly by the homebuyer. This premium protects the lender should the
buyer default. They vary per state and per type of loan Kentucky home buyers qualify for. In Kentucky, upfront mortgage insurance premiums are 1.75%.
Below are the rates per type of loan:
• 15-Year Fixed with down payment more than 10%: .45%
• 15-Year Fixed with down payment less than 10%: .70%
• 30-Year Fixed with down payment more than 5%: .80%
• 30-Year Fixed with down payment less than 5%: .85%

Kentucky Conventional loans are usually reserved for the following:

• Credit scores greater than 680
• Greater than or equal to  5% down payment with reserves
• Borrowers with past foreclosures over 7 years old.
• Borrowers with past short sales between 5-7 years old.
• Borrowers who have a lot of money saved up and want to get rid of mortgage insurance within the first 5 years give or take. 20% equity position is needed for no mi

The biggest difference between conventional loans and FHA loans comes down to the mortgage insurance.  Mortgage insurance is more expensive for FHA loans, but the trade off is a lower fixed rate than conventional loans.

On Conventional loans there is no upfront mortgage insurance like FHA, and if you have a high credit score you can possibly get a lower monthly mi premium as compared to FHA where everybody gets the same mortgage insurance premium not matter your credit score or down payment.

Lastly, FHA Mortgage insurance is for life of loan, whereas Conventional mortgage insurance or pmi it’s called, is discontinued once you reach the 80% threshold equity position of your home loan.

Again, I would not get too caught in FHA having mortgage insurance for life of loan, because most loans are only kept open a minimum of 5-7 years so a lot of times it may make sense to go with the lower rate and pay the mortgage insurance with FHA because most people don’t hold their mortgage for 30 years.

 

You can call or text me with your questions and we can compare the differences based on your credit score, down payment and income.

 

FHA vs conventional loans comparison chart

Equal Housing Lender.  NMLS#:57916 http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/Rates, terms, and program information are subject to change without notice. Subject to certain approvals, terms and conditions. This is not a commitment to lend.

Not part of any government lending agency and only lending in the State of Kentucky.

Looking at FHA loans vs Conventional loans can arm you with a lot of valuable information as these are the 2 most popular mortgage loan products today. Before getting to the content let’s look at some abbreviations that will need to be defined.

 

  • PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance
  • MIP stands for Mortgage Insurance Premium
  • Credit Scores are a numerical measure of your credit worthiness, the maximum score is 850
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio measures your monthly income versus your monthly obligations. A good rule of thumb is to try to be below 45%

 

FHA Loans vs Conventional Loans

 

fha loans vs conventional loans

 

Conventional Mortgage Benefits

 

  • Minimum Down Payment is 5%
  • Maximum loan amount is $424,100
  • 20% down payment preferred to avoid PMI
  • No upfront PMI
  • 3% Down Payment Conventional Loan Option is available
  • Mortgage Insurance is cheaper on a Conventional Loan at .51%
  • PMI expires once principal balance is less than 78%
  • Houses do not have to be owner-occupied (so they can be used at rentals)
  • Can purchase any condominium and townhome (no FHA regulations)

 

Conventional Mortgage Disadvantages

 

  • Significant upfront investment (20% down preferred)
  • Credit score of 620 required
  • No Down Payment Assistance
  • Down Payment must be at least 5% unless you qualify for a 3% conventional mortgage
  • Harder to Qualify for a Conventional Mortgage
  • No government inspection so the home can be in any quality
  • Only a portion of a down payment can be a gift
  • Interest rates are higher than FHA loans

 

Most of the disadvantages of conventional mortgages stem around qualifications and resources needed upfront. If a borrower has significant resources most of these disadvantages are of little consequence.

 

Conventional loan rates today

 

FHA Loan Advantages

 

The major advantage to going with an FHA loan is that there are much more lax credit standards you have to meet to obtain financing. Usually, FHA mortgages require a lower down payment, can work with lower credit scores, less elapsed time is needed if you have some credit problems (charge-offs, foreclosures) and you can use a non-occupant co-borrower or co-signer (who is a relative) to help you qualify for the loan. That way you can use blended ratios. Blended ratios are debt-to-income ratios that equally blend or combine the primary borrower’s income and the non-occupant co-borrower’s income and monthly payments to help get approval for the loan. Except for HomeReady (formerly Fannie Mae HomePath) mortgages, conventional loans do not allow you to use a non-occupant co-borrower.

 

  • Government-backed program. Ideal for first-time home buyers
  • Easier to obtain, lower credit scores needed and lower minimum down payment
  • Down Payment minimum is 3.5%
  • All of down payment can be a gift
  • Down Payment Assistance Available (in some circumstances)
  • No reserves required
  • Minimum credit score is 580 (for 3.5% down payment)
  • Home has to meet a minimum condition to be approved for FHA so there are less potential upfront repairs needed
  • Lower interest rates than conventional mortgages

 

 

FHA Loan Disadvantages

 

  • FHA loans require the owners to live in the home
  • Mortgage Insurance Premium required if borrowers put down less than 10%
  • Private Mortgage Insurance monthly cost is higher for FHA loans
  • Government Licensed Inspector required to inspect home before sale can be approved
  • FHA maximum loan limit is $271,050
  • Condominiums require FHA approval
  • FHA Loans take longer to process because of government requirements and all mandated repairs have to be completed before sales can be finalized

 

Most of these disadvantages involve extra requirements or limits added to the process of the house (see Pros and Cons of FHA Loans). Some of these might not be disadvantages depending on one’s personal situation, but they are extra steps to note. Since FHA mortgages are a government program, more care and consideration goes into the process, which may be better in some situations.

 

FHA loan rates today

 

Compare and Contrast FHA loans vs Conventional loans

 

There are four important numbers in deciding which loan you will go with: credit scores, down payment amount, debt-to-income, and mortgage insurance percentage rate. Conventional mortgages and FHA home loans have different limits and rates which are important to examine. They also have important differences which affect the availability of properties, the condition of the properties one wishes to buy and how your down payment can be paid. So comparing FHA loans vs Conventional loans can sometimes be a tricky endeavor.

 

Down Payment Requirements

 

  • Conventional Mortgages require between 5 and 20% upfront
    • In certain circumstances, down payments can be as low as 3% (Conventional 97 loan program)
  • FHA Mortgages have 2 possibilities
    • If Credit Score is 500-579 then 10% down payment is required (not all lenders will even go down this low)
    • If Credit Score is 580+ then 3.5% down payment is required

 

 

Debt-to-Income Ratio

 

  • Conventional Mortgages’ maximum debt-to-income ratio is 43% (hard cap)
  • FHA Mortgages’ maximum debt-to-income ratio is 45%
    • Soft cap as in certain circumstances this can be adjusted up to 50%

 

Mortgage Insurance Premium Rates

 

  • Conventional Mortgages PMI rate is .51% PMI
  • FHA Mortgages
    • If Down Payment is 10% or more the percentage is .80% MIP
    • If Down Payment is less than 10% the rate is .85% MIP.

 

Credit Score Minimum Requirement

 

  • Conventional Mortgage minimum credit score
    • Most lenders will require between 620 and 640
    • Some lenders it will be as high as 700
  • FHA Mortgage minimum credit score
    • Credit Score is a minimum of 500 if putting 10% down
    • Credit Score is a minimum of 580 if not

 

 

These four numbers are important to know and will affect one’s decision to pursue a particular type of home loan. Knowing your combination of numbers as you are looking to buy a house will help buyers find the best loans for their particular situation.

 

Other Comparisons

 

  • All sellers will take conventional mortgages and some sellers will not take FHA Loans
    • People looking for short-sells won’t take FHA because FHA has a longer closing process.
    • If sellers know there are FHA repairs that are needed in order to sell their house, they will not always accept FHA financing.

 

Thus, if one is wanting a low-risk transaction then the FHA home loan route is a better option to pursue, even though it limits your options for homes that you might wish to buy. If one is looking to fix-up a house and raise its equity quickly then a conventional loan is going to be more beneficial because there are no requirements as to the condition of the house and it’s occupied status.

 

Down Payment Gifting

 

  • Making the Down Payments (Assistance and Gifts)
    • Conventional mortgages have no assistance but can be partially fulfilled with a gift
    • FHA Mortgages have loans and assistance programs available and the whole down payment can be fulfilled with a gift

 

In this article, we have given you the basic parameters of FHA loans vs Conventional loans. The conventional loans are for people who have a better financial track record and can handle a larger upfront cost. Because of PMI, conventional loans are cheaper in the long run if you can put enough of a down payment to get rid of PMI. However, there are no down payment assistance programs to help you reach that goal. FHA loans are for people who are looking to build their investment and in some cases may not have a great financial track record. FHA loans have lower down payment requirements and many grants/forgivable loans to help people wanting to buy a first house in which to live for at least a few years. It is important to assess your situation and decide which mortgage is going to work better for your circumstances.

 

Conclusion

 

Both mortgages have a lot of benefits and drawbacks because they are designed for people with different needs. This article has hopefully helped you to get a basic understanding of the different terms and conditions of different mortgage packages when looking at FHA loans vs Conventional loans. Home buying can be an emotional roller coaster and the knowledge in this article will help you navigate the various emotional struggles of home buying.

 

 

 

 

 

louisville-kentucky-fha-mortgage-loan-guide-1-638

 

Debt-to-Income Ratio for Kentucky Mortgage Loans:


via Debt-to-Income Ratio for Kentucky Mortgage Loans:

 

How Much Debt Do You Currently Have?

It only makes sense that the more debt you have the riskier the loan is for the lender. There is a finite amount of income in all of our households and it all gets allocated every month. Lenders use a “debt-to-income” ratio to determine how qualified you are for the loan based on how much debt you already have.

debt_to_income_ratioYour Debt to Income Ratio (DTI) is the percentage of your incomethat you owe in debt on a monthly basis. For example, if you make $5,000 per month, and have debt payments (car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.) of $2,000, your DTI ratio is 40%. The higher this ratio is, the less likely you will be to qualify for a low interest rate.

Conventional loans typically have a qualifying ratio of 28/36. FHA loans will sometimes allow for a higher debt load of 29/41 qualifying ratio.

The first number in a qualifying ratio is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be applied to your mortgage. That includes the loan principal and interestprivate mortgage insuranceproperty taxeshomeowners insurance, and homeowner’s association dues.

The second number is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be applied to housing expenses and recurring debt. Recurring debt includes monthly payments for carsboatsmotorcycleschild support payments and monthly credit card payments.

 Example:  of a 28/36 qualifying ratio:

Gross monthly income of $5,000 x .28 = $1400 can be applied to housing.

Gross monthly income of $5,000 x .36 = $1,800 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

Example: of a 29/41 qualifying ratio:

Gross monthly income of $5,000 x .29 = $1,450 can be applied to housing.

Gross monthly income of $5,000 x .41 = $2,050 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

 
American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
10602 Timberwood Circle Suite 3
Louisville, KY 40223
Company ID #1364 | MB73346
 


Text/call 502-905-3708
kentuckyloan@gmail.com

http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/
If you are an individual with disabilities who needs accommodation, or you are having difficulty using our website to apply for a loan, please contact us at 502-905-3708.
Disclaimer: No statement on this site is a commitment to make a loan. Loans are subject to borrower qualifications, including income, property evaluation, sufficient equity in the home to meet Loan-to-Value requirements, and final credit approval. Approvals are subject to underwriting guidelines, interest rates, and program guidelines and are subject to change without notice based on applicant’s eligibility and market conditions. Refinancing an existing loan may result in total finance charges being higher over the life of a loan. Reduction in payments may reflect a longer loan term. Terms of any loan may be subject to payment of points and fees by the applicant  Equal Opportunity Lender. NMLS#57916http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org/
— Some products and services may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. The content in this marketing advertisement has not been approved, reviewed, sponsored or endorsed by any department or government agency. Rates are subject to change and are subject to borrower(s) qualification.

Kentucky FHA Loans Compared to Kentucky Conventional Loans


via Kentucky FHA Loans Compared to Kentucky Conventional Loans

 

 

 

What kind of income is allowed and needed for a FHA, VA, USDA and Fannie Mae Mortgage Loan Approval in Kentucky?


via What kind of income is allowed and needed for a FHA, VA, USDA and Fannie Mae Mortgage Loan Approval in Kentucky?

Kentucky Housing Foreclosure List of Homes for Sale.


via 2018 Kentucky Housing Foreclosure List of Homes for Sale.

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kentucky first time homebuyers blog21761381_10213420287038137_3323540225103691329_n (1)closure List of Homes for Sale.

Kentucky USDA Rural Single Family Foreclosed Homes For Sale as of 04/09/2017


Source: Kentucky USDA Rural Single Family Foreclosed Homes For Sale as of 04/09/2017

Welcome Home Grant Kentucky $50 for 2019


What is the Welcome Home Program?

The Welcome Home Program (WHP) offers grants to fund reasonable down payments and closing costs incurred in conjunction with the acquisition or construction of owner-occupied housing by low- and moderate-income homebuyers. The grants are limited to $5,000 per homebuyer and Members are subject to an aggregate limit of $200,000 per offering. All funds are reserved for specific homebuyers purchasing specific homes and cannot be transferred to other homebuyers or to other homes. Welcome Home funds will be available for reservation on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8:00 AM ET on March 1, 2018, and will remain available until all funds have been reserved.

 

Who Can Use the WHP?

The FHLB has established a set-aside of Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funds to help create homeownership. These funds are available to Members as grants to assist their mortgage loan applicants in the home buying process. This is our most widely used program, ideally suited to the needs of community lenders and their customers.

 

What are the Program Requirements?

Below is an abbreviated list of program eligibility requirements:

  • The total income for all occupants must be at or below 80 percent of the Mortgage Revenue Bond (MRB) limit for the county and state where the property is located. The FHLB has an Income and Affordability Workbook to assist in determining household income eligibility.
  • Homebuyers must contribute at least $500 of their own funds towards down payment and/or closing costs.
  • WHP applicants do not have to be first-time homebuyers. However, all first-time homebuyers are required to complete a homeownership counseling program.
  • WHP grant funds are intended only for homebuyers who qualify for the first mortgage based on their own merit. Co-signors and co-borrowers are not allowed unless they will occupy the home as their primary residence and their incomes are included in determining eligibility.
  • WHP grant funds may be used in conjunction with other local, state and federal funding sources and with the FHLB Cincinnati’s Community Investment Cash Advance Programs.
  • The Member who reserves the WHP funds must originate the first loan, but the loan may close in the name of a third party.
  • The interest rate for the first mortgage may not exceed 7.50 percent.
  • The interest rate for the second mortgage may not exceed 11.00 percent.
  • Only second mortgages provided by formal organizations, community development financial institutions, housing finance agencies, non-profit organizations, etc. are acceptable.

All eligible property assisted with WHP funds is subject to a five-year retention mechanism (Retention Agreement), which may require the household to repay all, or a portion, of the subsidy, if the home is sold or refinanced within five years from the closing of the transaction.

 

How Do I Apply?

Information for Homebuyers

Reserving WHP Funds

Homebuyers must apply with one of our Member institutions. Click here to search our Member Directory.

Members may reserve funds via the Welcome Home Program link through the FHLB’s Members Only portal by submitting an online Reservation Request with supporting documentation. Instructions for accessing Members Only may be found here.

The FHLB will perform a preliminary review of the Reservation Request and the documentation submitted to determine eligibility of the homebuyer, availability of funds in the program, and availability of funds for the Member. If any of the information is incomplete, additional documentation or information may be required. Note: The Reservation Request will be denied upon receipt if a fully executed loan application is not included.

Written notification will be provided to the Member as to the homebuyer’s eligibility. Submission of a Reservation Request does not constitute an approval of funds. Funds are reserved only upon written notification of approval from the FHLB.

Please allow four weeks for the FHLB to review the Reservation Request and supporting documentation.

Disbursing WHP Funds

Welcome Home funds will only be disbursed after closing. The FHLB has some general guidance and specific instructions that Members and Closing Agents should use in closing mortgages using Welcome Home funds. Funds will be disbursed only to the extent they are required to fill the gap for down payment, closing costs, and counseling fees.

Members may submit a Request for Payment of Reserved Funding with supporting documentation via the Welcome Home Program link through the FHLB’s Members Only portal. Submission of a Request for Payment of Reserved Funding is not an approval of funds disbursement. Once the Request for Payment of Reserved Funding has been reviewed and approved, funds will be disbursed to the Member.

In the event the FHLB determines that funds were used for an ineligible expense, the grant will be reduced by the amount of the ineligible expense unless the household brings adequate funds to the closing to cover the amount of the ineligible expense. Under no circumstances will cash back to the homebuyer be permitted.

Please allow four to six weeks for the FHLB to review the Request for Payment of Reserved Funding and supporting documentation.

 

Additional Information and Technical Assistance

Documentation requested by the FHLB must be emailed to welcomehome@fhlbcin.com. Any documentation requiring an original signature must be mailed to:

FHLB Cincinnati
Welcome Home Program
P.O. Box 598
Cincinnati, OH 45201-0598

For more information or assistance, please contact the Housing & Community Investment Department at (513) 852- 7680 or toll-free (888) 345-2246 or email us at welcomehome@fhlbcin.com.

For assistance with Members Only, please contact the Service Desk at 800-781-3090.

 

 

 

Kentucky Welcome Home Grant $5000

Source: Same day credit pull, 2 different scores

 

 

 

Kentucky FHA Loan Guidelines


hud-100-incentive-program-fha-home-loan-group-1gdsgdsgdfgdHere is my Top 5 List for getting a Kentucky FHA Mortgage Loan: 1.A Low Down Payment –  Kentucky FHA Mortgage Loans only require a 3.5% down payment. And what makes that even more attractive is tha…

Source: Kentucky FHA Loan Guidelines

 

FHA Guidelines: How to Qualify for an FHA Loan

The first step to qualifying for an FHA loan is to work with a loan officer at an FHA approved lender. General FHA guidelines that the loan officer will discuss with you include:

  • Documenting an employment history over the last two years. FHA guidelines consider the last two years of employment and look at a steady pay history or employment with the same employer.
  • Providing a valid social security number and proof that you’re a resident of the United States. There are exceptions for resident aliens, but these exceptions will vary by lender.
  • Producing the necessary down payment. FHA loans require a minimum down payment of 3.5% when buying a home — but the down payment may be a gift under certain conditions.
  • Performing the necessary due diligence. The property will need to be inspected by an FHA appraiser and an FHA approved appraisal must be done.
  • Assessing how much you can afford. Although there is some flexibility, the total monthly mortgage payment generally should not exceed 30-32% of your gross monthly income.
  • Assessing your level of debt. Your total debt should not be more than 43% of your gross monthly income. Again, there is some flexibility with this number, but this is a good guideline.
    • Note from mortgage professional, Albert Bui, “the 43% DTI to income is mainly a guideline max for many loans out on the market to comply with certain qualified mortgages (QM) guidelines however in reality the max on FHA I’ve seen is 46.99% on the front ratio (housing payment only) and 56.99% on the backend when factoring in all other obligations. So this means you can borrow up to 46.99% on the front ratio for your housing payment but it doesn’t mean the borrower should max it out, rather they “can.”
  • Knowing your credit score. Minimum credit scores now apply with FHA loans and can vary by lender. A credit score of 580 and above requires a 3.5% down payment, and a credit score of 500-579 requires a 10% down payment. Credit score requirements will vary by lender.
    • According to Mr. Bui, “a 3.5% down payment is the min however there are many down payment assistance (DPA) programs that will either grant you the 3.5% for free with no repayment’s, offer the borrower a 3.5% community 2nd loan that is silent (no payment) and may be forgivable after a certain period of time, or a 2nd that has a silent payment but is due at a certain period of time or payoff in the future. So you can bring in as little as $0.00 with qualifying income or additional requirements.”
  • Disclosing prior bankruptcies. If you have had a bankruptcy that has been discharged, the waiting period is 2 years.
  • Disclosing prior foreclosures. If you have had a foreclosure, the waiting period is 3 years, and you must have good credit

https://www.biggerpockets.com/users/Fin_savvy

2017 Welcome Home Program for Kentucky Home Buyers.


 

 

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2017 Welcome Home Program for Kentucky Home Buyers.

 

Photo post by @kentuckyloan.

Source: 2015 Welcome Home Program for Kentucky Home Buyers.

 

 

Kentucky General Mortgage Guide for Underwriting Approval

Kentucky Mortgage Underwriting Guidelines

Understanding  Mortgage mortgage underwriting guidelines will help you understand your loan options when purchasing or refinancing a home. Now that you have found your dream house, you are going to need to apply for a Louisville Mortgage mortgage loan. Your Realtor will either recommend a banking institution or you may already have one in mind. You will be dealing with a loan officer who will be compiling all the data on you to see if you qualify for a loan to pay for this house. All lending institutions have different Underwriting Guidelines set in place when reviewing a borrower’s financial history to determine the likelihood of receiving on-time payments. The primary items reviewed are the following 5 areas below:


1. Income

2. Debt

3. Credit History

4. Savings

5. Debt vs Income Ratio



1.Income

Income is one of the most important variables a lender will examine because it is used to repay the loan. Income is reviewed for the type of work, length of employment, educational training required, and opportunity for advancement. An underwriter will look at the source of income and the likelihood of its continuance to arrive at a gross monthly figure.

Salary and Hourly Wages – Calculated on a gross monthly basis, prior to income tax deductions.

Part-time and Second Job Income – Not usually considered unless it is in place for 12 to 24 straight months. Lenders view part-time income as a strong compensating factor.

Commission, Bonus and Overtime Income – Can only be used if received for two previous years. Further, an employer must verify that it is likely to continue. A 24-month average figure is used.

Retirement and Social Security Income – Must continue for at least three years into the future to be considered. If it is tax free, it can be grossed up to an equivalent gross monthly figure. Multiply the net amount by 1.20%.

Alimony and Child Support Income – Must be received for the 12 previous months and continue for the next 36 months. Lenders will require a divorce decree and a court printout to verify on-time payments.

Notes Receivable, Interest, Dividend and Trust Income – Proof of receiving funds for 12 previous months is required. Documentation showing income due for 3 more years is also necessary.Rental Income – Cannot come from a Primary Residence roommate. The only acceptable source is from an investment property. A lender will use 75% of the monthly rent and subtract ownership expenses. The Schedule E of a tax return is used to verify the figures. If a home rented recently, a copy of a current month-to-month lease is acceptable.

Automobile Allowance and Expense Account Reimbursements – Verified with 2 years tax returns and reduced by actual expenses listed on the income tax return Schedule C.

Education Expense Reimbursements – Not considered income. Only viewed as slight compensating factor.

Self Employment Income – Lenders are very careful in reviewing self-employed borrowers. Two years minimum ownership is necessary because two years is considered a representative sample. Lenders use a 2-year average monthly income figure from the Adjusted Gross Income on the tax returns. A lender may also add back additional income for depreciation and one-time capital expenses. Self-employed borrowers often have difficulty qualifying for a mortgage due to large expense write offs. A good solution to this challenge used to be the No Income Verification Loan, but there are very few of these available any more given the tightened lending standards in the current economy. NIV loan programs can be studied in the Mortgage Program section of the library.


2. Debt

An applicant’s liabilities are reviewed for cash flow. Lenders need to make sure there is enough income for the proposed mortgage payment, after other revolving and installment debts are paid.

All loans, leases, and credit cards are factored into the debt calculation. Utilities, insurance, food, clothing, schooling, etc. are not.

If a loan has less than 10 months remaining, a lender will usually disregard it.

The minimum monthly payment listed on a credit card bill is the figure used, not the payment made.

An applicant who co-borrowed for a friend or relative is accountable for the payment. If the applicant can show 12 months of on-time cancelled checks from the co-borrowee, the debt will not count.

Loans can be paid off to qualify for a mortgage, but credit cards sometimes cannot (varies by lender). The reasoning is that if the credit card is paid off, the credit line still exists and the borrower can run up debt after the loan is closed.

A borrower with fewer liabilities is thought to demonstrate superior cash management skills.

3. Credit History

Most lenders require a residential merged credit report (RMCR) from the 3 main credit bureaus: Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. They will order one report which is a blending of all three credit bureaus and is easier to read than the individual reports. This “blended” credit report also searches public records for liens, judgments, bankruptcies and foreclosures. See our credit report index.

Credit report in hand, an underwriter studies the applicant’s credit to determine the likelihood of receiving an on-time mortgage payment. Many studies have shown that past performance is a reflection of future expectations. Hence, most lenders now use a national credit scoring system, typically the FICO score, to evaluate credit risk. If you’re worried about credit scoring see our articles on it.

The mortgage lending process, once very forgiving, has tightened lending standards considerably. A person with excellent credit, good stability, and sufficient documentable income to make the payments comfortably will usually qualify for an “A” paper loan. “A Paper”, or conforming loans, make up the majority of loans in the U.S. and are loans that must conform to the guidelines set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in order to be saleable by the lender. Such loans must meet established and strict requirements regarding maximum loan amount, downpayment amount, borrower income and credit requirements and suitable properties. Loans that do not meet the credit and/or income requirements of conforming “A-paper” loans are known as non-conforming loans and are often referred to as “B”, “C” and “D” paper loans depending on the borrower’s credit history and financial capacity.

Here are some rules of thumb most lenders follow:

12 plus months positive credit will usually equal an A paperloan program, depending on the overall credit. FHA loans usually follow this guideline more often than conventional loans.

Unpaidcollections, judgments and charge offs must be paid prior to closing an A paper loan. The only exception is if the debt was due to the death of a primary wage earner, or the bill was a medical expense.

If a borrower has negotiated an acceptable payment plan, and has made on time payments for 6 to 12 months, a lender may not require a debt to be paid off prior to closing.

Credit items usually are reported for 7 years. Bankruptcies expire after 10 years.

Foreclosure – 5 years from the completion date. From the fifth to seventh year following the foreclosure completion date, the purchase of a principal residence is permitted with a minimum 10% down and 680 FICO score. The purchase of a second or investment property is not permitted for 7 years. Limited cash out refinances are permitted for all occupancy types.

Pre-foreclosure (Short Sale) – 2 years from the completion date (no exceptions or extenuating circumstances).

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure – 4 year period from the date the deed-in-lieu is executed. From the fifth to the seventh year following the execution date the borrower may purchase a property secured by a principal residence, second home or investment property with the greater of 10 percent minimum down payment or the minimum down payment required for the transaction. Limited cash out and cash out refinance transactions secured by a principal residence, second home or investment property are permitted pursuant to the eligibility requirements in effect at that time.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy – A borrower is eligible for an A paper loan program 4 years after discharge or dismissal, provided they have reestablished credit and have maintained perfect credit after the bankruptcy.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – 2 years from the discharge date or 4 years from the dismissal date.

Multiple Bankruptcies- 5 years from the most recent dismissal or discharge date for borrowers with more than one filing in the past 7 years.

The good credit of a co-borrowerdoes not offset the bad credit of a borrower.

Credit scores usually range from 400 to 800. Changes to lending standards are occurring on a daily basis as a result of tightening lending standards, and can vary from lender-to-lender– so this information should be considered simply a guideline. For conforming loans, most lenders will lend down to a FICO of 620, with additional rate hits for the lower-end credit scores and loan-to-values. When you are borrowing more than 80%, they typically will not lend if you have a FICO below 680. The FHA/VA program just changed their minimum required FICO to 620, unless you are qualifying a borrower with non-traditional credit. The few non-conforming loan programs that are still available typically require 30% down payment with a minimum FICO of 700 for self-employed and 650 for W-2 employees, and the loan-to-value will change with the loan amount.

4. Savings

Lenders evaluate savings for three reasons.

The more money a borrower has after closing, the greater the probability of on-time payments.

Most loan programs require a minimum borrower contribution.

Lenders want to know that people have invested their own into the house, making it less likely that they will walk away from their life’s savings. They analyze savings documents to insure the applicant did not borrow the funds or receive a gift.

Lenders look at the following types of accounts and assets for down payment funds:

Checking and Savings – 90 days seasoning in a bank account is required for these funds.Gifts and Grants – After a borrower’s minimum contribution, a gifts or grant is permitted.

Sale of Assets – Personal property can be sold for the required contribution. The property should be appraised and a bill of sale is required. Also, a copy of the received check and a deposit slip are needed.

Secured Loans – A loan secured by property is also an acceptable source of closing funds.

IRA, 401K, Keogh & SEP – Any amount that can be accessed is an acceptable source of funds.
Sweat Equity and Cash On Hand – Generally not acceptable. FHA programsallow it in special circumstances.
Sale Of Previous Home – Must close prior to new home for the funds to be used. A lender will ask for a listing contract, sales contract, or HUD 1 closing statement.

5. Debt vs Income Ratio

The percentage of one’s debt to income is one of the most important factors when underwriting a loan. Lenders have determined that a house payment should not exceed approximately 30% of Gross Monthly Income. Gross Monthly Income is income before taxes are taken out. Furthermore, a house payment plus minimum monthly revolving and installment debt should be less than 40% of Gross Monthly Income (this figure varies from 35%-41% contingent on the source of financing).

Example

An applicant has $4,500 gross monthly income. The maximum mortgage payment is:

$4500 X .30 = $1350

Their total debts come to:

$500 Car

$20 Visa

$30 Sears

$75 Master Card

—————-

$625 per month.

Remember, their total debts (mortgage plus other debts) must be less than or equal to 40% of their gross monthly income.

$2,800 X .40 = $1800

$1800 is the maximum debt the borrower can have, debts and mortgage payments combined. Can the borrower keep all their debts and have the maximum mortgage payment allowed? NO!

In this case, the borrower, since they have high debts, must adjust the maximum mortgage payment downward, because:

$625 debts

$1350 mortgage
————-

$1975 – which is more than the $1800 (40% of gross debt) we calculated above.

The maximum mortgage payment is therefore:

$1800 – $625 (monthly debt) = $1175.

When your down payment is less than 20% you usually have to pay for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). This protects the lender in case you don’t make your house payments. This doesn’t mean you can blow off making your house payments — if you fail to pay, the bank will still repossess your house. The insurance company will pay the bank the difference between 20% and the amount you actually put down. If you put down 5% and default, the insurance company pays the bank the other 15% that you didn’t pay.

So the bank gets protected and you get to pay for their protection.What’s in it for you? What’s in it for you is that you get to buy a home for less than 20% down! Used to be that banks wouldn’t give you a loan under any circumstances unless you made a large down payment because they felt it was too risky. But now with PMI, banks will take loans with very low down payments, sometimes even 0% down. That makes it much easier for you to get into a home.
There’s no PMI on VA (veterans) loans, which is a nice bonus if you qualify for one of these.
You don’t shop for PMI.  If your lender requires it, they’ll choose it and add it automatically.
The PMI premium is paid monthly as part of your mortgage payment.  The smaller your down payment, the more expensive the PMI is.  My PMI Calculator will give you a good estimate.
PMI Calculator  (for 30-year loan)
Sale price
$
Down Payment
3% 
4% 
5% 
10% 
15% 
Interest Rate
%
Monthly payment (without PMI, taxes, or ins.) $
Monthly PMI cost (est.)
$
Total PMI costs over the life of the loan
$
Another way to do it is to divide the loan amount by 1300, 1500, 2300, or 3700 for loans with down payments of 3%, 5%, 10%, or 15% respectively. For example, let’s say you buy a $200,000 home and put 5% down. Your down payment is $10,000 and the morgtage is $190,000. Divide the $190,000 mortgage by 1500 and you get your monthly PMI cost, $127.

Canceling PMI

PMI is usually (but not always) canceled automatically once you own 22% of your home. It used to be that the insurance company would keep happily charging you the premium forever, since many homeowners didn’t know they could cancel. This was obviously taking advantage of the uninformed homeowner, so now insurance companies are required by law to automatically cancel your PMI as soon as you own at least 22% of your home, based on the original purchase price, although in some cases they’re not required to automatically cancel (which we’ll cover in a minute). Assuming you qualify for automatic cancellation, here’s how long it will take to reach 22% equity, depending on the length of the loan and the interest rate, ignoring any possible appreciation:

Time it takes to own 22% of your home
(for 5% / 10% and 15% down payments)
Interest Rate 15-year Mortgage 30-year Mortgage
6% 4 / 3 / 2 years 10.5 / 8.5 / 5.5 years
7% 4 / 3.5 / 2 years 11.5 / 9.0 / 6.5 years
8% 4.5 / 3.5 / 2.5 years 12.0 / 10.0 / 7.0 years
9% 4.5 / 3.5 / 2.5 years 13.5 / 11.0 / 8.0 years
10% 5 / 3.5 / 2.5 years 14.5 / 12.0 / 9.0 years

From this table you might think “Wait a minute — on a 30-year loan I should own about half of my house after about 15 years, but with a 10% interest rate and a 5% down payment you’re saying I’d own only 22%?! What gives?”
The answer is that because of how mortgage interest works, most of your payments in the early years goes to interest, not paying down your loan. On a 30-year loan of $100k at 7%, the payment is $665/mo., but when you make the first payment, a whopping $583 goes to interest, and a mere $82 goes towards owning the home. On 15-year loans a much higher percentage goes towards the home itself, which is why 15-year mortgages are a better deal if you can get them — and why you should try to pay off your loan in 15 years anyway if you can’t. There’s more on this in our section about paying off a loan early.
But let’s get back to PMI and canceling it. Of course, you don’t have to wait for the automatic cancellation at 22%. You can write to the insurance company and ask them to cancel your PMI coverage as soon as you hit 20% equity.
And here’s one more thing you can do: If your house has increased in value then you suddenly own a lot more of it, and you can cancel your PMI even earlier. For example, let’s say you put $5,000 down on a $100,000 home, and in a couple of years the value shoots up to $119,000 because it’s a hot real estate market. You own the $5000 you put into the house, plus the $19,000 it increased, for a total of $24,000. (You also own the equity you built from making mortgage payments, but because of how mortgage interest works, most of your payments for the first few years goes to interest and not principal, so we’ll ignore paid equity for our example.) So the $24,000 you own divided by the $119,000 value of the home means you own over 20% of your home. So you don’t need PMI any more. But to cancel the PMI you’ll need to convince the lender that your home is really worth $119,000 now, so you’ll have to pay for an appraisal which might run $400 or so. You’ll have to weigh the cost of the appraisal against the amount you’ll save by canceling PMI early to see if it’s a good deal for you.

When PMI is canceled automatically and when it isn’t

Don’t assume your PMI will be canceled automatically. Check this table.

Canceled Automaticallyif ALL are true Not Canceled Automaticallyif ANY are true
Conventional loans FHA loans
Loan signed on or after July 29, 1999 Loan signed earlier than that
All mortgage payments have been made on time in the year prior to PMI cancellation Any mortgage payments have been late
Buyer is not considered high risk Buyer is considered high risk
References
  • Article examining the overall advantage of PMI to homeowners, Auburn University, 1997
Joel Lobb
Senior  Loan Officer
(NMLS#57916)
American Mortgage Solutions, Inc.
800 Stone Creek Pkwy, Ste 7,
Louisville, KY 40223
 Fax:     (502) 327-9119
 Company ID #1364 | MB73346