Calculate the Mortgage You Qualify For and Connect with Top Lenders
Use the FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Qualification Calculator to determine what size mortgage you qualify for based on your net income and debt. When you submit your information we connect you with up to four leading lenders so that you can confirm your mortgage terms and compare multiple proposals to find the mortgage that is right for you. We also offer a version of this calculator that does not require personal information
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Key Mortgage Qualification Requirements
Your credit score is one of the most important factors that determines your ability to qualify for a mortgage. Lenders typically require borrowers to have a minimum credit score of 620 although certain mortgage programs permit lower scores. Borrowers should check their credit score six-to-twelve months before applying for a mortgage to identify and address any issue in their credit profile.
Your debt-to-income ratio represents the maximum amount of your monthly gross income that you can spend on total monthly housing expense (mortgage payment plus property tax, homeowners insurance and other applicable housing expenses) plus monthly debt payments such as auto, student and credit card loans. Lenders typically apply a maximum borrower debt-to-income ratio of 43% to 45% to determine what size mortgage you qualify for, although some lenders and mortgage programs apply higher or lower ratios. Borrowers seeking to maximize their mortgage amount may want to pay down their monthly debt before applying for a mortgage to improve their debt-to-income ratio.
Lenders usually require that borrowers have two years of continuous employment history before you apply for a mortgage, unless you recently graduated from college. Additionally, if you have changed jobs recently and your new job has an initial probation period the lender may wait until the end of the probation period before approving you for a mortgage. Finally, self-employed borrowers are usually required to provide additional documentation and some lenders may not offer mortgages to self-employed borrowers. Please note that lenders have discretion over how they apply the borrowers employment history guideline.
Lenders also require that borrower provide two years of residence history when you apply for a mortgage. Your residence history includes properties that you have lived in that you have both owned and rented. If you have not owned or rented a home prior to applying for a mortgage (for example if you were living with a relative) it can be challenging to qualify for a mortgage. Borrowers should be sure to understand a lenders residence history requirement before applying for a mortgage.
Lenders usually require borrowers to make a down payment of 10% to 20% of the property purchase price to qualify for a mortgage, although there are several mortgage programs that enable you to buy a home with a low or no down payment. Saving money for a down payment is one of the biggest challenges to buying a home even for borrowers with good credit scores and steady jobs. In addition to making a down payment borrowers are also required to pay mortgage closing costs and potentially hold savings in reserve when the mortgage closes so borrowers need to make sure they have enough money to meet the lender's down payment and other qualification requirements.
More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Review our comprehensive overview of mortgage qualification requirements before you apply for a mortgage
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