Mortgage Myths

Getting a mortgage can be a stressful process, especially if you've never done it before. To make matters worse, there's a lot of incorrect and outdated information out there. We've decided to set the record straight. Below are most common mortgage myths. We've debunked them for you so that you can go into the mortgage process feeling informed.

You need perfect credit to buy a house

Your credit may not be perfect, but that doesn't mean you can't buy a home. While conventional loans require a score of at least 620, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) only require a score of 580 for approval. In addition, there are options like finding a co-signer or agreeing to make a bigger down payment.

That said, the interest rate that you will pay on the loan is also determined by your credit score. For that reason, you'll end up saving in the long run if you make sure your credit is in the best possible shape before you apply for a mortgage loan. You can increase your credit score by making sure to make your payments on time and paying as far above the minimum payment as possible.

You can't be in debt and buy a home

Yes, debt will impact your ability to buy a home. However, with the vast majority of people carrying debts like, credit card, car payments, or student loan it would be unrealistic to assume that everyone who applies for a mortgage loan will be debt-free. What matters is how much debt you're carrying in comparison to your income.

When underwriters analyze your financial situation, they look at something called debt-to-income ratio. This is calculated by taking the total of your recurring monthly debts and dividing it by your total monthly income.

If your debt-to-income ratio is too high to be approved, you have two choices. You can either pay down some of your debts or find ways to generate more income. Don't be afraid to ask questions about which solutions will have the biggest impact.

You need to put 20% down

There was a time when putting 20% down was the gold standard when buying a home. Those days have come and gone. In today's market, most loans require less than 5% down. In fact, most FHA loans require as little as 3.5% down and, if you qualify, loan programs through the Veteran's Administration (VA) often don't require any down payment at all.

Beyond that, there are many down payment assistance programs and grants that can help you come up with the cash, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. Please feel free to talk to us to see what programs are available in your area, but help is out there.


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