While it can be useful to listen to the advice from others who have gotten a mortgage, you might have heard some wrong information. Or, at the very least, dated information. Here are 5 rules that no longer are true for getting a mortgage:
1. You need a 20% down payment.
I recently spoke to my grandmother about her family’s first home purchase. She told me that they didn’t get a mortgage because, at the time they bought their home, mortgage rates were at a whopping 12%. My parents often warned me that you need to save at least 20% to make a down payment on a house. Fortunately, rates are not 12% anymore, and you don’t need a 20% down payment. Some loans don’t require a down payment at all.
Related: Conventional 1% Down Mortgage
2. Your credit score has to be perfect.
We’ve all made mistakes. Some of us have paid our credit cards late or forgot a medical bill. Those mistakes can wind up hurting your credit score. But the good news is, you don’t need a score of 750 to score a loan anymore! Riverbank Finance has helped borrowers with scores as low as 620 obtain loans.
3. You can’t have student debt.
It used to be assumed that you couldn’t get a loan until that festering student loan from college was paid off. Not true! Student loan debt is no longer a hindrance from acquiring the loan you need for your home. Guidelines are becoming easier to qualify for a mortgage with student loan debt. While our loan officers will need to know how much you owe and the type of loan you are seeking, having student debt isn’t a dead end.
4. Pay it off as fast as you can.
There are numerous “Get out of Debt” gurus who advocate paying off debts aggressively. To some of them, a success story is when a family scrimps and saves to pay off their mortgage within 5 years of buying their home. While paying off a mortgage is always the right thing to do, there are wrong ways to go about doing so: In order for this particular family to pay theirs off, they stopped paying into their 401k, their college savings for their kids, and saving in general. That was not the best plan, because they stopped preparing for their future.
If you want to pay off your mortgage quickly, you must also consider early prepayment penalties. Some loans have rules as to how much a borrower can pay back early. Pay too much, and that money may go to just eating a fee instead of eating away at your interest.
5. Buy the most expensive house you can.
On the surface, buying the most expensive house you can afford seems like a good idea. A home is an investment, after all. Really, when sitting down with one of our loan officers, what you’ll find is they’ll ask questions to help fit what you can afford and what you need into a mortgage. You may not need a home with 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 20 acres of land. Think of the upkeep you’ll need to budget for landscaping alone.
It’s important to be upfront about the kind of needs you have when seeking a loan. Schedule an appointment with one of our mortgage professionals at (800) 555-2098 for more information.