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Can I Qualify for a Mortgage with an ITI

Can I Qualify for a Mortgage with an ITIN Number?

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need a social security number in order to secure a mortgage. You can qualify for a mortgage with an ITIN number as long as you meet the requirements for the loan. This means being able to prove that you have a solid credit history, stable employment, and US-based assets. Portfolio Lenders If you do need to apply for a mortgage without a social security number, you will not be able to secure a Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or FHA mortgage, but there are plenty of other options. It is not the law that requires you to have a social security number; it is the preference of these lending institutions. There are plenty of banks out there that offer loans to borrowers that are not citizens of the United States. Credit is Important Your credit shows a lender whether or not you are financially responsible. If you are not a citizen, yet you have established credit, you could secure a mortgage. ITINs allow aliens to secure many different types of accounts including credit card accounts. If you were able to secure a few credit card accounts or even a personal loan through the bank that you have a bank account through, then you have a credit score. If that credit score is good, then you could be eligible for a mortgage in the United States. Bank Accounts Help As you probably know, not every mortgage program requires that you have assets, but they definitely help. This is the case for mortgages for people with an ITIN number. A bank account is something you can obtain without a social security number, so if you have one and can show the lender the last 12 months’ worth of bank statements, it will make your position to get approved better. The more assets you have, the more likely it is that you will be able to pay your mortgage, which lowers your risk level as far as the lender is concerned. Assets also help when it comes to the down payment. Generally speaking, you can get a mortgage with as little as a 3 percent down payment, even if you are not a United States citizen, but many banks will prefer a larger down payment. The more money you put down, regardless of the program, the lower your risk becomes, which helps the lender want to approve you for a mortgage. Employment History Your employment history in the United States plays an important role in the approval of your loan with an ITIN as opposed to a social security number.  You have to be a part of the United States Immigration System and/or be working on a US permit. You also have to have a 2-year history. Some programs allow a little leniency when it comes to the 2-year job history, but for aliens wanting a mortgage in the United States, the 2-year history is required. Alternative Credit Even if you do not have adequate credit reporting under your name, but you have alternative credit, such as utility bills, phone bills, or insurance payments that you can prove the timeliness of, you can use that as your alternative credit. The lender will ask for proof of at least 12 months’ worth of payments made on time in order to determine your level of risk, but this is a good alternative for those immigrants that do not have credit established here yet. Higher Interest Rates The one thing you should keep in mind with getting a mortgage with an ITIN number is the interest rate. Chances are the rate you will receive is going to be higher than the rates for citizens of the United States, simply because of the level of risk this loan poses. The lender is taking a chance on you even though you do not formally live in the US. Yes, you have factors that show that you qualify for the loan, including steady employment, but there is still a level of risk there that the lender has to take into account. If you have an ITIN number instead of a social security number, there are lenders out there willing to lend to you. It might take a little more searching and plenty of work, but in the end, you will get the loan you need to become a homeowner in the United States. web: October 24, 2016 By Justin McHood https://www.blownmortgage.com/can-qualify-mortgage-itin-number/

Home Purchase Tips for Newlyweds

Make a list The very first thing you should do together makes a list. There is a chance that you are both on different pages. Make sure you are able to compromise on the features. It’s best if you each make your own lists and then compare them. This way you can determine the features you both want and those that may need a little compromising. The next step is to prioritize. Once you narrow down your list, write down in order the features you ‘have to have’ and those that are negotiable. This way when you shop for a home, you have the features that you can’t live without and those that are a ‘bonus’ if you are able to get them. Check on Your Finances Chances are that you are going to need a mortgage to buy your home. If this is the case, you need your finances in order. If you are unsure of the status of your credit or that of your spouse, pull a copy of your free credit report from each of the three bureaus. This way you can see where you stand. Do you have bad credit that needs some fixing? Do you have too many debts outstanding? Are there errors on your credit report? This is the time to work on these issues. You want your credit score as high as possible when you apply for a mortgage. Remember, lenders use the lowest middle credit score between the two of you. Even if your credit is great, but your spouse has some credit issues, the lender will likely use your spouse’s credit, which could mean trouble. Working on your credit ahead of time can help offset any of these issues. Save for a Down Payment Unless you move into a rural area and qualify for a USDA loan, which is for low to middle-income families, you’ll need a down payment. The FHA requires at least 3.5% down and Fannie Mae requires 5% down. Of course, the more you put down, the lower your payment and the more equity you have in the home. Lenders often give lower interest rates to those that invest in their own homes too. You’ll also need money for closing costs. Estimate approximately 5% of your loan amount for closing costs. This could mean several thousand dollars, so don’t overlook the need to save for the closing costs. You may be able to negotiate some of the costs, but you will inevitably still pay quite a bit in fees. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Now it’s time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This could be the tricky part. Hopefully, by this point, you and your partner have straightened out your credit. You should also make sure you both, or at least one of you, have stable employment and income. If you don’t need income from both spouses to qualify for the loan, you can use just one. This helps if one spouse has bad credit and no income – there’s no reason to put that spouse on the loan. You can always have him/her to the title later on down the road. For now, though, your focus is on getting the mortgage. It’s a good idea to check with several lenders. This way you have offers from different banks and you can compare them. Some lenders offer lower interest rates and fees than others. Make sure you read the fine print and know the terms of the loan, though. Do Your Research Once you know the type of home you want, the features it should have, and the amount you can afford, it’s time to start shopping. We recommend that you start on the internet. Do your research on various areas. Where do you plan to live? Do you plan on having children? Do you need to be close to the highway? You can look for neighborhoods with the features you need and probably even read reviews on each area. This way you go into the actual home search knowledgeable and ready. Start Shopping Finally, it’s time to shop. We recommend that you work with a licensed real estate agent so you can get the best chance at the hottest listings. If you are buying in a seller’s market, it means there are a lot of buyers and possible bidding wars. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the emotions of the process. Take a step back and truly think if this home fits your needs. If it doesn’t or you lose the bid, there are other homes out there. The most important thing to do while searching for a home is to have patience. The right home will come along. Remember, this is one of the largest investments you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s not something you can return at the store if you don’t like it. Make sure you are happy with the home and feel comfortable with the mortgage before you sign on the dotted line. Source: https://www.blownmortgage.com/home-purchase-tips-newlyweds/

How to Pay Off Your 30-Year Mortgage Faster?

How to Pay Off Your 30-Year Mortgage Faster?

You took out a 30-year loan because it seemed like a good idea at the time. You wanted to keep your monthly payments as small as possible. That’s what many new homeowners do, especially if they’ve never had a mortgage before. To get Matched with a Lender, Click Here. Now that you are established in the home and have a grasp on your financial future, you want to know how you can pay that loan off faster. If 30 years seems too far off to own your home free and clear, use the following tips to pay your 30-year loan off faster. Make an Extra Payment Each Year If you can afford to make one extra lump sum payment each year, make it equal to your principal and interest payments. This way you make 13 mortgage payments per year rather than 12 payments. This one extra payment can knock a few years off your loan. It will also decrease the amount of interest you pay on the loan since you’ll pay the balance off faster. Make an Extra Payment Each Month If you would rather make smaller, extra payments, you can pay extra towards your principal each month. Let’s say you can afford an extra $100 each month. That would come out to an extra $1,200 each year towards your mortgage. While it doesn’t seem like a lot, after just five years, you would knock off $6,000. If you do this consistently, you may knock a few years off the term of your loan. Make Bi-Weekly Payments Some mortgage companies offer a service that helps you make bi-weekly payments. It’s not necessary to pay for that service, though; you can do it on your own. Simply take your full mortgage payment and divide it by 2. You then make that payment every other week. This is in place of your monthly mortgage payment. When you pay your mortgage every two weeks, you make 26 mortgage payments, which equal 13 months of payments. Without even realizing it, you just made one extra mortgage payment each year. This is possible because there are 52 weeks in a year, which translates into 13 months, but because some months have more than 4 weeks in them, you don’t make that 13th payment on a regular schedule. Apply Your Windfalls If you receive any type of lump sum money, such as tax refunds, work bonuses, or commissions, consider applying them to your mortgage. If it’s money you don’t count on for living expenses and truly is ‘extra money,’ you can use it to pay that 30-year mortgage down faster. Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates. If your windfall is large enough, it could knock many years off your loan balance. Even if you don’t get large lump sum windfalls, but get several smaller ones, applying them towards your mortgage will help you reach your goal of paying the loan off faster. Make 15-Year Payments If you wish you had taken out a 15-year term rather than a 30-year term once you own the home, you can still get the benefit of the 15-year term. Using a mortgage calculator, determine the amount of your 15-year payment. You can then make that payment each month, applying the extra money towards the principal balance. The nice thing about making voluntary 15-year payments is that you can go back to the minimum 30-year required payment if the going gets tough. Let’s say you had to stop working for a few months because of an injury. You might want to cut back on your mortgage payment during that time. Since you didn’t officially refinance into a 30-year term, you can do this. If you had refinanced, though, you’d be stuck with the 15-year required payment. Combining Several Methods You can also take several of the above methods and combine them together to get your loan paid off the fastest. For example, if you receive tax refunds each year of several thousand dollars and you make one extra mortgage payment each year, you could knock many years off your loan. The quicker you pay the principal balance down, the less interest you pay, and the faster you own the home free and clear. The key to paying your mortgage off faster is consistency. Pick a method or method and stick with it. Of course, if it gets too hard to make the extra payments, you can cut back. But, if you are able to afford it, stay consistent. Also, don’t refinance your loan into another 30-year term. If you do choose to refinance, make sure the term is either equal to or less than the amount of time you have left on your current loan. Resetting your loan term back to 30 years would just start you back at square one, which is what you want to avoid. Source: https://www.blownmortgage.com/pay-off-30-year-mortgage-faster/

How to Protect Yourself When Hiring a Contractor for Home Renovation

How to Protect Yourself When Hiring a Contractor for Home Renovation

Do Your Research Before you even start talking to individual contractors, you should do your research behind the scenes. Use the internet to your advantage and see what others have to say about specific contractors. Use reputable sites, such as the Better Business Bureau to do this research so that you know what you are reading is legitimate. Ask for Credentials When you do start talking to contractors and determining if they will be a good fit for the job, ask for their credentials. It’s not enough for them to say they are licensed and insured, though. Ask them for proof of both. You want to see for yourself that they have the credentials necessary to do the job. Anyone can hang a shingle outside their home and claim they are a contractor, but only those that are truly contractors will be licensed and insured. Get Everything in Writing Don’t accept verbal estimates or promises to do the work. Everything must be in writing. You need a formal contract that dictates the scope of the work, how it will be done, when it will be done, and what it costs. Make sure your contract is properly broken down and doesn’t have just one lump sum fee listed. You need to know exactly how much each step costs and the approximate dates each step will be completed. If you don’t have it in writing, don’t expect it to be done. You can’t take a contractor to court on the basis that he told you something – if it’s in writing, though, it’s another story. Talk About Your Budget Don’t be shy about talking to contractors about your budget. The more honest you are upfront about what you can afford the more honest answers the contractor can provide you. If a contractor knows that your budget isn’t enough to cover the scope of the work you want done, he/she can tell you that. Click to See the Latest Mortgage Rates. If you don’t disclose your budget though, you could find yourself in over your head once the project starts. Letting the contractor know what you are working with will help him tailor his services to meet your budget. While you may have to cut out some things you wanted done, keeping it within your budget is the most important way to protect yourself financially. Have a Contingency Fund Even the best contractor cannot predict what will happen when he starts the job. If there are issues behind the walls, the contractor won’t know that until he breaks the walls down. If there’s more work that needs to be done, that means more money. If you set aside 10% – 15% of the cost of the work ahead of time, you can prevent yourself from getting financially overwhelmed when unexpected things do come up. Don’t Pay Large Deposits up Front If a contractor seems to be ‘all about the money,’ you may want to move on to another contractor. Typically, contractors will ask for a small deposit to ensure that you want the work done and to help them get the materials. Beyond that small deposit, though, contractors shouldn’t ask for too much upfront. If you find a contractor that wants half or even all of the cost of the work up front, walk the other way. These are usually scams. The contractors collect the funds and then leave town, never starting the work or ordering the materials for your project. Consult With an Attorney If you are having a large job done on your home, it’s not a bad idea to have an attorney look over your contract. While it’s another expense you’ll incur, it’s meant to protect you. The attorney can review the contract and let you know if he sees any issues or loopholes that could leave you with an unpleasant surprise when it’s all done. Take these tips to help protect you from a contractor that isn’t honest or doesn’t offer the quality work he claims to offer. The more steps you take to protect yourself, the happier you may be with the outcome of the renovations on your home. Source: https://www.blownmortgage.com/protect-hiring-contractor-home-renovation/

Can You Lower Your Mortgage Interest Rate Without Refinancing?

Can You Lower Your Mortgage Interest Rate Without Refinancing?

What is a Loan Modification? When a lender agrees to modify a loan, they typically do so because you are facing default. Whether you are already behind or are about to become behind, the lender can modify the terms of the original loan to make the mortgage payments more affordable for you. Lenders aren’t under any type of obligation to agree to a loan modification. If they do agree to modify your loan, though, they can change the interest rate, term, or even lower the principal balance in an effort to make your loan more affordable. Lenders are sometimes willing to do this rather than face foreclosure. The last thing that banks want is to take possession of your home. They would rather that you stay in it, but in order for you to do so, you may need more favorable terms, which is where the loan modification helps. How to Get a Loan Modification There are two ways that you can qualify for a loan modification. The first is through the government program ‘Home Affordable Modification Program.’ This program has strict requirements the lender must follow in order to modify your loan. If you meet the parameters, the lender can lower your interest rate to help you avoid foreclosure. Another way is to use a bank’s private program to modify your program. If your bank owns your loan, in other words, you have a portfolio loan, then the bank is free to do whatever they want with your loan. They may have a program in place that allows them to lower your interest rate without going through the refinance process. The one common denominator between the programs is the need to show financial distress. You have to show the lender that you cannot afford your monthly payment as it is now. This could be because you lost your job, fell ill, or had unexpected major expenses. Whatever the case may be, you will need to provide plenty of proof of the hardship. The lender needs to see that the hardship is making it difficult to afford your loan and that you will eventually be at risk of foreclosure. It’s important that you get in touch with your lender right away to discuss your options, though. If you wait until you’ve missed two or three mortgage payments, you could end up facing foreclosure proceedings. Letting the lender know right away that trouble is brewing will allow them to give you more opportunities to save your home. While it is possible to lower your interest rate without refinancing, it’s generally reserved for homeowners in financial distress. In some very rare cases, you may find that a lender is willing to lower your interest rate, especially if you are about to refinance your loan elsewhere. Oftentimes lenders will take a slight loss of profit in order to keep your business, so it never hurts to ask. Source: https://www.blownmortgage.com/can-lower-mortgage-interest-rate-without-refinancing/