FHA Trims Waiting Period for Borrowers Who Experienced Foreclosure

 

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is allowing borrowers who went through a bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or short sale to reenter the market in as little as 12 months, according to a mortgage letter released Friday.

 

Borrowers who experienced a foreclosure must wait at least three years before getting a chance to get approved for an FHA loan, but with the new guideline, certain borrowers who lost their home as a result of an economic hardship may be considered even earlier.

 

For borrowers who went through a recession-related financial event, FHA stated it realizes “their credit histories may not fully reflect their true ability or propensity to repay a mortgage.”

 

In order to be eligible for the more lenient approval process, provided documents must show “certain credit impairments” were from loss of employment or loss of income that was beyond the borrower’s control. The lender also needs to verify the income loss was at least 20 percent for a period lasting for at least six months.

 

Additionally, borrowers must demonstrate they have fully recovered from the event that caused the hardship and complete housing counseling.

 

According to the letter, recovery from an economic event involves reestablishing “satisfactory credit” for at least 12 months. Criteria for satisfactory credit include 12 months of good payment history on payments such as a mortgage, rent, or credit account.

 

The new guidance is for case numbers assigned on or after August 15, 2013, and is effective through September 30

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Credit Scoring to Change!

CoreLogic and Fair Isaac Corp known as FICO, recently announced a collaboration that will result in a separate score that will be available to mortgage lenders and incorporates information that will include payday loans, evictions and child support payments.  In the future, information on the status of utility, rent and cell phone payments may also be included. 

Separately, last month, the Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, began providing estimates of consumer income as a credit report option.  And, earlier this year, Experian began including data on on-time rental payments in its reporting. 

This new information could either help some potential homeowner’s to obtain a loan or could be detrimental to those who are on the board of qualifying for a loan. 

The CoreLogic – FICO partnership won’t result in a credit score that will rule out a borrower for a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the FHA, which together own or guarantee at least 90 percent of the mortgages being written.    That’s because the Experian, Equifax and TransUnion “tri-merge” report required for such a loan does not rely on CoreLogic data.  But it could mean either more or fewer mortgage fees or a higher or lower interest rate charged by lenders that in today’s cautionary lending environment have heartily adopted risk-based pricing.

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WHY ARE MY CREDIT SCORES DIFFERENT?

Factors contributing to someone's credit score...
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Your credit score is a three-digit number that helps lending institutions assess their risk associated with lending you money.  They are used for loans, credit cards, renting, insurance and background checks on employment.

People with lower credit scores may pay higher interest rates or may not be approved at all.  Those with higher, less-risky credit scores often qualify for lower interest rates and special options.  Credit scores are calculated based on computer “predictability” models that analyze credit information and patters from your credit report against those of other consumers.

There are trillions of score combinations used in the calculations.  Most scores are calculated and provided individually by each credit bureau, including the three major ones in the United States, which are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.  Additionally, many lenders use third-party credit scoring systems, such as FICO, NextGen, CE Score and VantageScore.  For consumers, the variations in scoring models and score ranges can create some confusion.

In 2006, the three major bureaus joined forces to create a single credit scoring system called the VantageScore.  The VantageScore and FICO model lead the industry as competitive rivals in credit-scoring systems.

Your VantageScore may not be exactly the same if your lender only orders a credit report from one of the bureaus.  This is because the data each bureau receives may be slightly different.  If your lender does not report your payment history to Equifax but does report to Experian and TransUnion, it will create a difference in scores.  The VantageScore should be more consistent across all three bureaus since the mathematical formula is the same.

Unlike FICOs traditional 300-850 credit score range, the VantageScore ranges from 501-990.  There is no way to compare the results of the VantageScore to a FICO score especially when the formulas are constantly changing.  However, to put some perspective in place a 650 FICO score approximately compares to a low, 800-range VantageScore.

The one constant for both scoring systems is that paying your debts on time will typically be the primary factor that positively impacts your credit score.

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How to Improve your Credit Score before Searching for a Home

If you are thinking about purchasing a home, it is best to look at your credit report at least SIX months prior to purchasing a home.  It is a good idea to give your credit score a check-up and then take positive stps to improve your credit score if you find problems.  Make sure you check all three of the national credit reporting agencies: Experian, Trans-Union and EquiFax.

Review your credit carefully for items that may be reported incorrectly.  If you believe something is in error, you have the right to contest it.  You will need to contact the credit reporting agency and explain why you believe the item is inaccurate.    Alternatively, you can engage a credit report repair services firm to fix your credit report.

If there are derogatory items on your credit report that are accurate but which could cause problems in your loan application, you cannot have them removed; however, you can take steps to counteract them.  If you have missed payments in the past, take steps now to get your bills current.  Even if it means using the funds that you might be planning to use for a down payment.  It is extremely important that you get your accounts current and keep them current.  There is nothing which can lower your credit score more quickly than late payments.  Over time, this can make a significant difference in your scores.

Also keep in mind that removing all of your credit balances is really not the solution.  In fact, credit can be your friend when you are looking to purchase a home.  Make sure your credit is POSITIVE, not NEGATIVE.  Toward that end, avoid closing out your accounts.  Instead, make an effort to pay down your balances and keep them paid down below the minimum or completely paid off, but DO NOT CLOSE THE ACCOUNT. 

After reviewing your credit report and you see that most, if not all of the credit cards are nearly maxed out, it is time to sit down and plan an agressive strategy for paying some of them down.  One of the critical factors that often determine your ability to be approved for a mortgage is your debt to income ration.  In addition, high credit card balances can drag down your credit score.  Therefore, it is important to look at paying off some of your balances.

By following these steps, you can improve your credit score and improve your chances of being approved for your home loan

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How does a Foreclosure, Deed-In-Lieu of Foreclosure & Short Sale Seller’s Credit Affected?

Fair Isaac released a report that says credit scores are affected about the same, whether a seller does a short sale or foreclosure. Fair Isaac says the average points lost on a FICO score are as follows:

  • 30 days late: 40 to 110 points
  • 90 days late: 70 to 135 points
  • Foreclosure, short sale or deed-in-lieu: 85 to 160
  • Bankruptcy: 130 to 240

Foreclosure or Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Both of these solutions affect credit the same, says David Steep of Vitek Mortgage. Sellers will take a hit of 200 to 300 points, depending on overall condition of credit. This means if a seller’s FICO score before foreclosure was 680, it could dip as low as 380.

Short Sale
Steep maintains that the effect of a short sale (providing the sellers are more than 59 days late) on a seller’s credit report is identical to that of a foreclosure. The ding on credit will show up as a pre-foreclosure in redemption status, Steep says, which will result in a loss of 200 to 300 points. This means a short sale seller with a previous FICO of 720 could see it fall from 520 to 420.   If your loan stays current during a short sale, your credit will not be effected as much as not making your payments and your chances of purchasing another home sooner than two years is possible.

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What your FICO Credit Report Score Consists of

It seems today that everything revolves around your FICO score (i.e.  Insurance, Auto Loans, Mortgages, Employment).

Your FICO Score consists of five different categories:

 35% – Payment History
30% – Amounts Owed
15% – Length of Credit History
                                                          10% – New Credit
                                                          10% – Types of Credit

Payment History
– This is the most important category, it gives the overall picture of how well a person handled loans, credit cards and other types of accounts in the past.  Are the payments made on time versus payments that are delinquent.  Time does play an important factor.  If you have a history of past due amounts, the amount of time should play an important role in how a FICO score will be affected in addition to the number of occurrences.  On the other hand, good payments on your past accounts and the number of accounts that were paid on time will be reflected positively on a person’s credit score.

Amounts Owed –
This portion consists of how much you owe, or have a balance on, what types of accounts the amounts owed are a part of as well as the capacity of unused credit a person currently has available to them.  Each type of account is weighted according to the type of loan per se a retail store account versus a mortgage.  This is all taken into consideration when calculating your score.  The amounts owed on card balances and other accounts or loans are totaled and expressed a s a ratio of what you currently owe versus what your currently have avaialbe to you.

Length of Credit History – This portion looks at the length of your overall credit history.  It is calculated by gathering up data on all previous and current accounts and analyzing how long you have had the accounts as well as the time of your most recent activity on the accounts.  Also taken into consideration is the types of accounts that you have been using or have not been making payments on, such as mortgage versus payments on new purchases on your credit card.

New Credit – This section reviews the number of new credit inquiries or new credit that has been obtained and/or applied for, such as new credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc., as well as any repaired credit or re-established credit for those who have made an improvement on their credit score after their credit score had dropped due to past delinquent account activity. 

Types of Credit – The types of credit has a lot to do with how much of an influence it will have on the actual credit score.  Credit cards or other revolving debt, installment loans, consumer financing and mortgages are all considered when observing the types of credit a borrower has established and/or is currently making payments on.

 Even with the breakdown of categories and the percentages each category bears on your FICO score, it is nearly impossible to figure out on your own.  You can obtain a free credit report online and for an additional fee, you can obtain your FICO score at several sites.

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1/3 of Americans Unlikely to Qualify for a Mortgage Today

According to an analysis of more than 25,000 loan quotes and purchase request on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace during the first half of September; almost 1/3 of Americans are unlikely to qualify for a mortgage because their credit scores are too low. 

They found that 29.3% of borrowers have a credit score less than 620.  The lowest rates went to 47% of borrowers with excellent credit scores of 720 or above. 

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace quoted that during this period, borrowers with excellent scores got an average rate of 4.3% for conventional 30 year mortgages.  Mid range borrowers with credit scores between 620 and 719 received rates between 4.73% and 4.44%.  Those with credit scores below 620 received too few loans to calculate the interest rates received. 

For each 20-point credit score increase, the average annual percentage rate (APR) declines 0.12%.

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