FHA revises guidelines for calculating student loans

mortgageporter_student_loansTonight HUD announced that they are backing off how they have been treating student loan debts for people who are trying to qualify for a mortgage.

From HUD’s announcement:

“…FHA believes that its approach provides the appropriate balance between expanding access to credit and ensuring that the borrower is able to maintain successful, long-term homeownership.

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Fannie Mae no longer requires revolving debts to be closed

MortgageThis week, Fannie Mae issued new underwriting guidelines for conforming loans approved through DU (Fannie Mae’s automated underwriting system). One of the new guidelines that is catching a lot of attention is that Fannie Mae will no longer require that revolving debts that are paid off in order to reduce a borrowers debt to income ratios and help them qualify, to also be closed.  The new guidelines will allow a revolving debts that are paid down to zero balance to no longer be factored for qualifying purposes.

If I can help you with your purchase or refi mortgage needs for your home located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me.

 

What are Debt to Income Ratios?

seesawLet’s begin by addressing what a debt to income ratio is.  It’s pretty much like it sounds.  It’s factoring in your monthly payments plus the proposed mortgage payment (PITI = principal, interest, taxes and insurance) and home owners dues, if any.   Your monthly gross income that is used for qualifying is divided into the monthly debt which produces your DTI (debt to income ratio).

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Coming Soon: 2015 Property Tax Bills

detctiveIn a couple weeks, King County along with others, will begin posting property tax bills for 2015. This may be a non-event for most…unless you’re in the process of buying a home and your debt-to-income ratios are tight. It’s possible that should the tax assessor decide the home you have a contract on now or during the next month has a higher value, and therefore a higher tax bill, that this may jeopardize some loan approvals and/or transactions.

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Tips on how to save up for a down payment

iStock_000009450603SmallGet Rich Slowly recently posted How to Save Up for a Down Payment Fast.  I’d like to respond to some of the ideas offered in GRS’s post from a Mortgage Professional’s viewpoint and offer my advice.

Here are some of the suggestions on How to Save Up for Down Payment Fast along with my 2 cents (in italics).

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CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule and the Ability to Repay

Today the CFPB released the “ability-to-repay” and “qualified mortgage” rule which is set to go into effect next year on January 10, 2014. These new laws will require that lenders consider a borrowers ability to repay a mortgage.

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Should I refinance my car before buying a home?

Short answer: probably not.

Why? The refinance of the car will impact your credit score as if you have purchased a new car. Credit scoring favors established older debt over new debt. Once you have that new loan, even if the payment is lower and interest rate is lower, the established old debt is paid off and eventually loses the positive impact to your credit scores.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac improve HARP 2.0 Underwriting Guidelines

On Friday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced much needed updates to underwriting guidelines for HARP 2.0. The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) has helped many Washington state homeowners with conforming mortgages (securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009) take advantage of historically low mortgage rates regardless of their home’s current equity (or lack thereof). You can learn more about the HARP 2.0 program by clicking here.

The recent updates to HARP 2.0 will allow more home owners to have access to this program by reducing documentation requirements for some borrowers. Here are some of the improvements:

  • Reduced documentation for income and assets. NOTE: Form 4506 and verification of employment will still be required. Lenders will not be required to verify large deposits.
  • Allowing borrowers with assets to not have to document income. This is available when a home owner has at least 12 months of their proposed new mortgage payment (PITI) in savings. The assets may come from checking or savings, stocks or vested retirement accounts.
  • Improvements to when a borrower is removed from the mortgage. Previously if a borrower was being removed with the HARP 2.0 refinance, guidelines required proof that the remaining borrower made the mortgage payments for the last year with their own separate funds (except in the case of death). Now with HARP 2.0, in the remaining borrower can qualify on their own (debt to income at 45% or lower and credit scores of 620 or higher) they may qualify for a HARP 2.0 refinance.

Remember, banks and lenders may layer their own underwriting guidelines to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s HARP 2.0 program.

If you have been turned down for a HARP 2.0 refinance before, it may be worth checking with your local, licensed mortgage originator to see if you are now eligible. HARP 2.0 is available for owner occupied, vacation homes and investment properties.  I can help you if your home is located anywhere in Washington State – click here for your HARP 2.0 rate quote.