Home loan interest rates are at record lows yet many people hesitate to apply out of fear of getting rejected. There are many rumors flying around that are discouraging consumers from entering the housing market. However, getting approved for a home loan is easier than many people think. There are a wide range of programs available for a variety of qualified applicants. One of the biggest fears consumers have about applying for a home loan is not having money for the down payment. Many believe a down payment of 20% is required. However, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s standard minimum for a down payment is 5% with mandatory mortgage insurance coverage.
There are many options to get assistance with getting money for a down payment.
If you are a veteran or active member of the military, you can get assistance through the zero-down Veterans Affairs Guaranteed mortgage. In addition, the VA will allow your seller to pay your loan fees and closing costs as long as they don’t exceed 6% of the total house price. If you don’t mind living on the outskirts of a metropolitan area, there is a program to buy a home for nothing down in many communities approved for rural guaranteed mortgages. This program is becoming more popular. More than 130,000 borrowers were approved and received low or no down payment guaranteed mortgages.
Credit scores are the biggest concerns. There is a misconception that only people with FICO scores in the mid 700s can qualify for a home, but there are actually lenders that are willing to work with people with scores as low as 580. Most lenders doing FHA loans require at least a 620. However, Quicken Loans will accept scores as low as 580.
The last misconception is having too much debt-to-income ratio. But lenders approve applicants with high debt to income ratio if there is other positive information elsewhere in the application.
Don’t just assume you will not qualify for a loan. Talk to lenders and see what you will qualify for or what you need to work on to get there.