What are your options? Everyone’s financial situation is unique. With that in mind, here are five different options for making your homeownership dreams a reality.
1. Get a Co-signer
If your income isn’t high enough to qualify for the loan you need and if you can find a co-signer with enough disposable income, part of that person’s income can be considered toward your loan amount regardless of whether
the person will actually be living with you or helping you pay the bill. In some cases, a co-signer may also be able to compensate for your less-than-perfect credit. Overall, the co-signer is guaranteeing the lender that your mortgage payments will be paid. If you decide to go this route, just make sure that both of you understand the financial and legal obligations the co-signer takes on when he or she signs the loan documents.
Sometimes conditions in the economy, the housing market or lending business make lenders less generous with loans. If you’re in a climate where everyone is panicking, then it may be best to wait things out. When conditions improve, lenders may become more accommodating. In the meantime, you can work on improving your credit score, reducing your debt and increasing your savings. While you’re waiting, home prices or interest rates could drop. Either of these changes could also improve your mortgage eligibility.
3. Set your Sights on a Less-Expensive Property
If you can’t qualify for the amount of mortgage you want and you aren’t willing to wait, switching to a condo or townhouse instead of a house, accepting fewer bedrooms or bathrooms, or moving to a less attractive or more
distant neighbourhood may give you more options. As a more drastic option, you could even move to a different part of the country where the cost of home ownership is lower. When your financial situation improves down the road you might be able to trade up to the property, neighborhood or city where you hope to end up.
4. Ask the Lender for an Exception
Believe it or not, it is possible to ask the lender to send your file to someone else within the company for a second opinion on a rejected loan application. In asking for an exception, you'll need to have a very good reason, and you'll need to write a carefully worded letter defending your case. Your letter should avoid excuses and sob stories and focus only on the facts. Explain how the incident that is preventing your loan from being approved, such as a charged-off account, was a one-time event that will never occur again. This one-time event should have been caused by a catastrophe such as a large and unexpected medical expense, natural disaster, divorce or death in the family. The blemish on your record will actually need to have been a one-time event, and you'll need to be able to
back your story up with an otherwise flawless credit history.
5. Team Up With Someone Else
Two incomes are better than one, so if you can't qualify on your own, perhaps you have a family member or friend that you trust enough and like enough to make a major purchase with and live with. It won't be enough to just put them on the loan, of course - they'll need to actually help with the mortgage payments to make it work, and chances are they won't want to pay half the mortgage unless they're living in the new home with you.
To go from rejected to pre-approved, it's important to know what lenders are looking for in an applicant. If you've been turned down for a mortgage, make sure to ask your mortgage professional plenty of questions about things
you could do in your specific situation to make yourself a more attractive loan candidate. With time, patience, hard work and a little luck, you should be able to turn the situation around and become a residential property owner.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.