There are 4 basic things that a borrower needs to show a lender in order to get approved for a mortgage. Each category has so many what ifs and sub plots that each box can read as it’s own novel. In other words, each category has so many variables that can affect what it takes to get approved, but without further adieu here are the four categories in no particular order as each without any of these items, you're pretty much dead in the water:
You need income. You need to be able to afford the home. But what is acceptable income? Let’s just say that there are two ratios mortgage underwriters look at to qualify you for mortgage payment:
First Ratio – The first ratio, top ratio or housing ratio. Basically that means out of all the gross monthly income you make, that no more that X percent of it can go to your housing payment. The housing payment consists of Principle, Interest, Taxes and Insurance. Whether you escrow or not every one of these items are factored into your ratio. There are a lot of exceptions to how high you can go, but let’s just say that if your ratio is 33% or less, generally, across the board, you’re safe.
Second Ratio- The second ratio, bottom ratio or debt ratio includes the housing payment, but also adds all of the monthly debts that the borrower has. So, it includes housing payment as well as every other debt that a borrower may have. This would include, Auto loans, credit cards, student loans, personal loans, child support, alimony….basically any consistent outgoing debt that you’re paying on. Again, if you’re paying less than 45% of your gross monthly income to all of the debts, plus your proposed housing payment, then……generally, you’re safe. You can go a lot higher in this area, but there are a lot of caveats when increasing your back ratio.
What qualifies as income? Basically, it’s income that has at least a proven, two year history of being received and pretty high assurances that the income is likely to continue for at least three years. What’s not acceptable? Unverifiable cash income, short term income and income that’s not likely to continue like unemployment income, student loan aid, VA education benefits,or short term disability are not allowed for a mortgage loan.
What the mortgage underwriter is looking for here is how much can you put down and secondly, how much will you have in reserves after the loan is made to help offset any financial emergencies in the future.
Do you have enough assets to put the money forth to qualify for the down payment that the particular program asks for. The only 100% financing or no money down loans still available in Kentucky for home buyers are available through USDA, VA, and KHC or Kentucky Housing Loans. Most other home buyers that don't qualify for the no money down home loans mentioned above, will turn to the FHA program. FHA loans currently requires a 3.5% down payment.
Kentucky Home buyers that have access to putting down at least 5% or more, will usually turn to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage programs so they can get better pricing when it comes to mortgage insurance.
These assets need to be validated through bank accounts, 401k or retirements account and sometimes gifts from relatives or employer.. Can you borrower the down payment? Sometimes. Generally if you’re borrowing a secured loan against a secured asset you can use that. But rarely can cash be used as an asset. FHA will allow for gifts from relatives for down payments with little as 3.5% down but Fannie Mae will require a 20% down payment when a gift is being used for the down payment on the home.
The down payment scenarios listed above are for Kentucky Primary Residences only. There are stricter down payment requirements for investment homes made in Kentucky.
640 is the bottom score (again with few exceptions) that lenders will permit. Below a 640, then you're in a world of hurt. Even at 640, people consider you a higher risk that other folks and are going to penalize you or your borrower with a more expensive loan. 720 is when you really start to get in the “as a lender we love you” credit score. 740 is even better. Watch your credit scores carefully. You have three credit scores and the lender will take your middle score.
Kentucky FHA Mortgage Loans currently requires 3 years removal from a foreclosure or short sale and 2 years on a bankruptcy with good reestablished credit.
Kentucky Fannie Mae Mortgage Loans currently requires 4 years removal from a bankruptcy, and 7 years on a foreclosure.
Kentucky VA Mortgage Loans currently requires 2 years removal from a bankruptcy or foreclosure with good reestablished credit.
Kentucky USDA loans require 3 years removal from bankruptcy and foreclosure with good reestablished credit.
Generally, there’s nothing you can do to affect this. Bottom line here is…..”is the value of the house at least the value of what you’re paying for it?” If not, then not good things start to happen. Generally you’ll find less issues with values on purchase transactions, because, in theory, the realtor has done an accurate job of valuing the house prior to taking the listing. The big issue comes in refinancing. In purchase transactions, the value is determined as the
Lower of the value or the contract price!!!
That means that if you buy a $1,000,000 home for $100,000, the value is established at $100,000. Conversely, if you buy a $200,000 home and the value comes in at $180,000 during the appraisal, then the value is established at $180,000. Big issues….Talk to your loan officer.
For each one of these boxes, there are over 1,000 things that can effect if a borrower has reached the threshold to complete that box. Soooooooooooo…..talk to a great loan officer. There are so many loan officers that don’t know what they’re doing. But, conversely, there’s a lot of great ones as well. Your loan is so important! Get a great lender so that you know, for sure, that the loan you want, can be closed on!
I can answer your questions and usually get you pre-approved the same day.
Call or Text me at 502-905-3708 with your mortgage questions.
- Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Small, explainable deposits are fine, but getting $10,000 from your parents as a gift in cash is not. Discuss the proper way to track your assets with your loan officer.
- Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or a bunch of new furniture. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher ratios…higher ratios make for riskier loans…and sometimes qualified borrowers are no longer qualifying.
- Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. With that obligation comes higher ratios, as well. Even if you swear you won’t be making the payments, the lender will be counting the payment against you.
- Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is a consistency of accounts. Frankly, before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.
- Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car, when you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.
- Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more approvable. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.
Joel Lobb (NMLS#57916)
Senior Loan Officer
, NMLS ID# 57916, (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). I lend in the following states: Kentucky
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