How a First Time Home Buyer Can Qualify for a Home Mortgage Loan
Buying your first home is a big milestone, but you’re going to have to jump through a few hoops in order to qualify for financing. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of first time home buyer qualifications so you can better assess your position and decide if the time is right for you to get into your first home.
One of the biggest determinants of interest rates, or even getting a loan at all, is a borrower’s credit score. While different loans have different credit restrictions, and those restrictions are changing constantly, what doesn’t change is the direct impact a credit score can have on the interest rate of your mortgage. If you have good credit, you’re already in a great position. If you have bad credit, have blemishes like foreclosure, bankruptcy, or have accounts in collections, or if you are lacking a credit history, consider taking steps to repair or bolster your credit before applying.
There are loan options out there for certain otherwise-qualified individuals with less-than-perfect credit, and credit can be repaired relatively quickly, so don’t despair if you aren’t confident in your credit score.
A borrower’s income determines how much a lender will offer, which makes it one of the most important first time home buyer qualifications because it determines the kind of house you can afford. Joint income is allowed here, as long as you’re buying jointly with a spouse or someone else. A lender will compare this amount to your expected monthly mortgage payment, and will usually not allow that payment to exceed 44% of total income.
Lenders will also calculate your debt/income ratio, which is the ratio of any ongoing monthly payments (other than mortgage payments) that extend beyond 11 months into the future to your total income. If the ratio exceeds what lenders consider a safe limit, they will reduce the amount they offer.
The savings required for a down payment on a home are another qualification of sorts. Buyers previously needed to put down close to 20% of the home’s selling price, which is a substantial amount of money even on a modest home.
With new programs buyers don’t need to necessarily put 20% down and there are many options for no money or little money down:
At Blue Water Mortgage, we have helped many first time home buyers qualify for their first mortgage. If you are looking to qualify, or if you have questions about first time home buyer qualifications, please contact us today. We also offer a variety of tools, tips and resources that can help you throughout the home buying process.