Using a Pastor / Minister’s housing Clergy Income for A Mortgage Loan Approval

Using a Pastor / Minister’s housing allowance to qualify for a mortgage

Member of the Clergy Income for A Mortgage Loan Approval 

Where a borrower is a member of the clergy, all of the following will be required to document income: 1) Most recent year full tax return, 2) Most recent pay stubs, 3) W-2s, 4) Contract from the church to determine benefits.

The IRS looks at the housing allowance portion of a pastor’s income as an exclusion from income.  Therefore the housing allowance is not reported on the personal tax returns as taxable income.  Even though it is not reported on the tax returns, a pastor’s housing allowance can be used in qualifying for a mortgage loan to purchase or refinance a home. 

 As long as we can document the receipt of the housing income through a signed letter from the church/employer stating the actual breakdown of the pay and by providing copies of the checks received, we should be able to count the housing allowance as income.  Some employers will even put the housing allowance on the w2 as a nontaxable amount which makes it even easier. 

See guidelines below:

Housing or Parsonage Allowance A non-military housing or parsonage allowance may be considered qualifying income, if the income has been received for the most recent 12 months. The housing allowance may not be used to offset the monthly housing payment. All of the following income documentation is required:

 Written Verification of Employment, letter from employer, or paystubs reflecting the amount of the housing or parsonage allowance
 Terms under which the housing or parsonage allowance is paid.
 Proof of receipt of housing allowance for most recent 12 months. 

Housing or Parsonage allowance may be considered as qualifying income if there is documentation that the income has been received for the most recent 12 months and the allowance is likely to continue for the next three years.