Excellent credit histories are pretty rare these days. Even mortgages, arguably the biggest single debt anyone will take on in their lifetime, are being applied for by applicants with low credit scores. But is it even possible to get home loans with bad credit?
The simple answer is yes. Approval for any kind of loan depends on the strength of the application, not on the credit score the applicant has. Employment and affordability are much more significant factors in any loan approval process, so securing mortgage approval is about having a good income and a healthy debt-to-income ratio.
But that is not to say matters cannot be improved in advance of submitting an application. The right moves (and 3 in particular) can strengthen the home loan application overall, increasing greatly the chances of success. These three involve knowing your financial reputation; taking time to improve your credit score; and offering a large down payment.
Know Your Financial Reputation
Knowing your own financial reputation is a very useful thing when it comes to building a strong loan application. This is done by reading your own credit report, which details the nature of your credit history, and reveals the weaknesses that lenders will take note of. Knowing where the faults lie can help greatly when seeking home loans with bad credit.
The credit score is only a calculated value of the risk factor of a particular applicant, but the accuracy of that evaluation has come into question in recent years. But they still have a limited influence, with low scores meaning higher interest rates charged, which in turn affects the affordability of the required repayments. So, the chances of securing mortgage approval can still be affected.
When the score is very low (around 500), then it is obvious that some effort needs to be made to improve it if a home loan is to be secured. But if the score is high (around 700) the application is going to be pretty strong in any case.
Increase Your Credit Score
But how can these scores be improved? Well, the only way is to reduce the amount of debt that exists by paying at least some of them off. With every debt cleared, the score is adjusted upwards, so gradually the score rises to a higher level. This can help to secure a home loan with bad credit, with the interest is lowered and the debt-to-income ratio improved.
Clearing debts can be done in two ways. Firstly, with a single consolidation loan paying all of the remaining balances in one go. Because 4 individual loans come with 4 individual interest rates, the overall cost can be quite high. Replacing them with one loan and one interest rate creates considerable savings. So, securing mortgage approval becomes easier.
Also, because the amount of debt falls, the debt-to-income ratio improves. More funds become available for any new debt, so a home loan can be deemed affordable.
Consider a Larger Down Payment
A down payment is important, not just because it seals the transaction, but because it lowers the amount needed to borrow to complete the transaction. This can be very beneficial when seeking a home loan with bad credit, with smaller loans meaning lower monthly repayments.
For example, a 10% down payment on a home worth 0,000, means a mortgage of 5,000 is required to purchase the property. But a down payment of 20% lowers the required home loan to 0,000. This effectively lowers the monthly repayments from 0 to 0 (over 30 years).
And with greater affordability, securing mortgage approval becomes that little bit easier. Of course, saving ,000 to make a 20% down payment is the difficult part, and can typically take years to do.