If you want to buy a house, you have to meet certain requirements in order to secure a mortgage. What if you do not meet the requirements for income and credit history? The good news is you can ask someone to cosign on your loan, even if they won’t live at your house. Here’s what you need to know about having a cosigner on your loan.
Who can be a cosigner on my loan?
Depending on what kind of loan you are applying for, you’ll have to abide by certain regulations on who can serve as a cosigner.
With a conventional or FHA loan, you may ask your spouse, a relative, or anyone who’s going to co-own the home with you to cosign the loan. The cosigner will need to sign an application and provide full financial information to your mortgage company.
Conventional Mortgage Cosigners
A cosigner on a conventional loan may be beneficial to help get your loan approved. The cosigner will have to be related or have a close familial relationship with you that can be clearly documented for underwriting.
FHA Mortgage Cosigners
A cosigner for an FHA loan may help to get your loan approved. Similar to Conventional mortgages, the cosigner must be related or have a documented close relationship. The cosigner may be a non-occupying co-borrower meaning that they do not have to occupy the property as their primary residence to qualify. FHA cosigning example: Mother or Father cosigning for this child’s first home.
VA Loan Cosigners
If you’re applying for a VA loan with a cosigner, the requirements are a little different. If you are married, the cosigner must be your spouse. If you are not married, the cosigner can be another unmarried veteran who’s eligible for the VA Loan. You can ask a civilian (such as your parent or significant other) to cosign the loan, but the guaranty will only apply to your portion. That means you will likely need a down payment on the loan.
What are the requirements for a mortgage cosigner?
Before you ask someone to cosign on your loan, make sure the person has a good credit history and adequate income. Otherwise, they’re only going to hinder the loan process for you. For example, if you did not make enough income to qualify on your own, your co-signer will need to make enough income to cover their own liabilities and also add enough income to make up the difference for you.
- Good Credit History
- No recent bankruptcies or foreclosures
- Good Jobs History
- Low expenses
- Documentation of Income
- Relationship to you
Remember, the cosigner is just as responsible for paying the loan as you are. So if you default for any reason, they will have to make the mortgage payments.
Why won’t a cosigner help get my loan get approved?
Getting a cosigning on a mortgage allows you to qualify based off your joint income and credit history however all applicants must meet the minimum criteria for approval. Generally speaking, when an underwriter reviews your file, they will go of worst case scenario. This means that if your credit score is too low to qualify, getting a cosigner will not help you because the qualifying credit score would still be yours.
A cosigner will not be helpful if you did not qualify for financing independently due to major derogatory events such as a recent foreclosure or bankruptcy. The wait times for these major credit events is based off the most recent event date. All parties applying for financing must meet the minimum credit scores and wait periods to be eligible for financing.
How can I get a loan without a cosigner?
If you can not find someone who can (or will) be a cosigner for you, or you do not want to ask anyone else to share responsibility for your loan, the lender will require you to fix your credit history and/or increase your income before you can acquire the loan. You may still be eligible for loans with flexible credit such as low credit FHA mortgages.
To improve your credit, you may want to take out a small line of credit that you can repay to build positive credit history. You should also check your credit report to find out if there are any errors. You can correct those by contacting the creditor or going straight to the credit reporting agency.
You could also work on saving more money toward a down payment so you can borrow less on your home loan or have a larger down payment available which may help with loan approval. Another way to improve your chances of getting the loan is to pay down your debt, including your student loans to lower your current monthly expenses.
If you are not sure whether you need a cosigner, contact Riverbank Finance at (800) 555-2098 to make an appointment with one of our professional loan officers. We can help review cosigner options for all of our mortgage options.