Buying a Home can be Overwhelming.. But You Have a Friend in the Business

YES… it is possible to buy a home for your family, even if you do not know where to start! We are here to guide you.

 

Buying a home can be overwhelming and there are so many things you have to do before you can get your keys to your home. 

 

The very first thing you should do is find out what your credit score is. If you do not know what your score is you can get a copy of your report for free from annualcreditreport.com

 

Once you have your report look at the following items:

  • Locate and know your score
  • Are there any errors? For example Payment history, balance, date opened/closed
  • Do you have any collection, charge off or judgment accounts?

 

If there are any errors in your credit report you should dispute them to the credit bureaus. We found a free app that allows you to dispute your errors all in one place. The app is called UpTurn. We are still testing this app, but thus far we are quite pleased with the app. And you cannot go wrong with FREE!

 

If you’d like to talk to us about purchasing your first home, just leave a comment or send us a message! 

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How to Overcome The Four Obstacles That Are Holding You Back From Home Ownership!


Why Credit is Your Secret Weapon in Getting a Mortgage

Do you know how important your credit is in obtaining a mortgage? It is the secret weapon that will put you at the top of the lender’s list to approve your mortgage. But you have to do some work to ensure that your credit is ready to take on a mortgage. Before you start the house-hunting process you need to have your “Credit House” in order.    

 

There are three critical aspects of obtaining a mortgage; your credit report, the money you have allotted for the down payment as well as closing costs, and your income. Lenders want to paint a picture that encompasses all these aspects to make sure they minimize their risk and ensuring they are setting you up for success.

 

According to the American Bankers Association, less than half of all U.S. consumers know their credit score is or have reviewed their report in the last 30 days. Your credit score is the first thing a lender reviews and it determines if you get to go to the next step of the application process. TIP: Your credit score will determine your interest rate on your mortgage and what type of loan you will be offered.  

 

The next item is your down payment and monies you have saved for closing costs on your mortgage.  The more money you have saved towards both these will make the lenders’ decision much easier to approve you. Yes, there are loans, such as FHA loans that only require 3.5% as a down payment. Closing costs typically run between 2% and 4% of the loan amount. For example, on a loan of $100,000, there could be between $2,000 and $4,000 in closing costs. On that $100,000 loan, you would have to have $3,500 saved for your down payment. TIP: There are down payment assistance programs available for first-time homebuyers.

 

The last but not least important item in obtaining a mortgage is your J-O-B. The lender is looking for the following: how long have you worked at your current employer, do you earn enough to pay the mortgage and your bills on a monthly basis, lastly are you able to save money after all your bills are paid. These are basic items lenders look at, but the lender could ask for additional financial documents. TIP: The more you can save the better your application looks to the lender and the better your loan terms could be. 

 

Once you have all these items to your lender they will then produce a pre-approval letter that you can use to find a home. The pre-approval letter will explain all the terms of your loan and the all-important dollar amount you are approved for your home purchase.  At this point, you are ready to go out and start looking for a home. TIP: Your pre-approval has a 90 to 120-day expiration, meaning if you do not purchase a home during that time the lender will have to pull your credit again.  

 

If you are ready to be a homeowner the first thing you need to arm yourself with is your credit score. Get your free annual credit report and know where you stand with your credit. If you need assistance or have questions feel free to reach out to us by email or call us at (812) 777-5850.  

 


homebuyer

How To Purchase a Home When You Have Less-Than-Perfect Credit

How To Purchase a Home When You Have Less-Than-Perfect Credit

While not having such a great FICO Score does make it a little trickier to purchase a home, but there are alternatives out there to help you become a homeowner. Keep reading to discover what you can do to become a homeowner even if your FICO Score is less-than-perfect.

 

Research government-backed funding programs

 

While standard financing programs normally have a minimum FICO Score of 620, government-backed mortgage programs - such as FHA, VA, and also USDA - tend to have looser credit qualifications. In each case, the Federal Government is the entity that backs your loan if you default, which assists lenders with their losses.

 

The minimum FICO Score for each loan type are below:

 

FHA: 500 - 579 FICO Score with a 10% down payment or 580+ FICO Score with a 3.5% down payment.

 

VA: VA loans have no official FICO Score requirements. Instead, each application is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All though, the mortgage provider you select could have a minimum FICO Score requirement.

 

USDA: Like VA loans, USDA loans have no defined FICO Score requirements. While a FICO Score of 640 is required for a streamlined approval process, homebuyers with lower FICO Scores could be approved based upon extenuating circumstances.

 

Keep in mind that if you're looking at one of these options to purchase your home you should determine if the lender you are wanting to work with has extensive experience. Take your time and research the lender, and do not be afraid to ask questions.

 

Saving More Can Help You Get Approved

 

Keep in mind, your FICO Score is only one of the elements that are taken into consideration when obtaining a mortgage. Your yearly earnings, work history, as well as the amount of money you have saved - or the funds you have for your down payment and closing expenses - will certainly also play a role. If you have a lower FICO Score one of the best ways to get a mortgage is by showing your lender your savings. Tip: The larger percentage of your down payment to your purchase price equals LESS risk to your lender.

 

Take a Look at Portfolio Lending (Owner Financing)

 

If you don't qualify for traditional lending, your lender could offer you another option that is called Portfolio Lending. With portfolio lending(Owner Financing), your lender does not sell your loan to a third-party company like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the lender will maintain your loan as part of their in-house portfolio.

Because your lender is not selling your loan to a third party, they can establish their own underwriting criteria. Additionally, be cautious about the terms the lender offers you. Lenders that provide portfolio lending typically offer higher interest rates, and could also charge more origination fees (Which have to be disclosed). 

 

Work with a Non-Profit that Provides Credit Services

 

If all else fails, you can always find a local non-profit to work with to improve your FICO Score. Do not be afraid to ask for assistance! With all the different pieces of information that go into your FICO score, it is hard to know what piece(s) will improve your score. Design a plan with your counselor that works for you, and provides clear milestones.

 

BONUS TIPS:

 

  1. Know your credit! Get a free copy of your credit report
  2. If you need help understanding your Credit Report….Get Help
  3. If your FICO Score is at or above 620...Great
  4. Find a Lender that you want to work with. There are some great 1st-time home buyer programs out there. Here is a list of them by State
  5. Understand how much you can afford and what costs are part of your mortgage payment 
  6. Save for a Down Payment. As little as 3.5% of the purchase price (Grant options are available)
  7. Know what Closing Costs will be on your loan and have those monies set aside
  8. Start researching homes in your budget 
  9. Attend open houses and THINK…..Long Term
  10. Prepare to close on your new home and move

 

 BONUS BONUS TIPS

 FICO Scores below 620...Here is what you can do to supercharge your Score!

 

  1. Pay off any collection accounts. If you cannot pay off all at once start with the smallest balances. The others work with the creditor on a payment plan that works for your budget. 
  2. Judgments/Liens- Contact the Creditor to work out payment terms. The longer they are unpaid the more accrued interest you will have to pay.