Conventional loans JUST GOT EASIER to qualify for

Certified Mortgage Advisor
NMLS 1701021
Published 
August 16, 2021

Your Rent Is Usually Never Considered

Your rent is probably the largest monthly payment you make at the moment. And even if you make on-time payments for years, it never helps to increase your credit score or your chances of getting a mortgage approval until now what, at least on the getting a mortgage side. In a recent study of previously denied mortgage applications, 17% of those people who were denied will now qualify for a loan because of this change in conventional loan guidelines with Fannie Mae.

New Change September 18th

So starting September 18th, Fannie Mae will now count 12 months of on-time rental history as a positive factor in getting approved for a mortgage. And you might have some questions about that like "who is Fannie Mae?" and "what is a positive factor?". Fannie Mae is a government sponsored enterprise that oversees one type of conventional loan.

So there's normally two main types of conventional loans. There's Fannie Mae and there's Freddie Mac. Each have their own set of guidelines that are slightly different from each other. But basically you need a 620 or higher credit score and 3% down payment or higher to qualify for a conventional loan.

Positive Factors

And what is a positive factor? It's as cryptic as it sounds. Basically, Fannie Mae has their own software called Desktop Underwriter that they then give to loan officers and lenders. And so what they'll do is they'll take your loan application and all the data that comes with it, they'll push it into the software called DU (Desktop Underwriter) and it gives a loan recommendation basically saying is the loan good to go or is it rejected or denied?

And so that's, what's happening here. That's what this positive factor is that can work in your favor to push an approval. Essentially, what they're saying is showing 12 months of on-time rental payment history is going to help nudge and approval in your favor.

What It Doesn't Do

This isn't going to make up for bad credit or foreclosure or no down payment or, anything like that. All this is going to do as a positive factor that just adds to the approval to push it over the edge. If you are on the line, of course. Now there are some basic requirements for this to work. So first of all, you do have to be a first-time home buyer.

What Is A First Time Buyer?

And basically what a first-time home buyer means is it's someone who hasn't been on the title to a home. You haven't owned a home within the past three years. You also have to have a rental payment of $300 per month or more. Now for a lot of people, that's a very easy qualification because if you have less than a $300 a month and rent that's insane.

And we all want to know how you got that. So $300 or more. Also has to be a primary residence, meaning that you're going to live in the home for one year or more: that's has to be your intent. And then you also have to share 12 months of bank history with the lender, for them to be able to verify the actual rental payments.

One Of The Big Problems

And this is one of the big problems with why rental payments aren't included normally on credit reports or mortgage applications is they're hard to verify because you need to see this 12 month history here. So it has to be proven through bank statements which can be an issue for a lot of people, if it's not documented.

And my first thought was "won't this exclude people who don't have 12 months of on-time payments?". And Fannie Mae has made this clear that this will only help. So if you can't prove these things through bank statements, or if you don't have on-time payments for the past 12 months, then it's going to be like, it never even existed.

How It's Similar To A Credit Boost

It won't be factored in. At all. So don't worry about that. It's think of it similar to how Experian has there a credit boost thing that really only helps it's not going to take away? It's exactly like that.

Head of Fannie Mae's single family division Malloy Evans said: "It's not relaxing or credit standards.It's looking for reliable indicators of the borrower being able to meet our credit standards."

So this is mainly for people who are on the line of qualifying. So this isn't something where someone with a 580 score can now automatically get a loan approval just because they had on-time rental payments.

What This Isn't

That is not at all what this is. I know there's going to be people who are like, now anyone can get a mortgage. It's not true. What it's doing is it's taking someone who is on the line, maybe they couldn't get approved. They had a 660 score. And what this would do is bump them, nudge them closer to getting approved as if they had maybe a 680 credit score.

So it's not directly impacting the application in that way, but it's just this nudge towards an approval. It's a positive factor to offset. Maybe some of the other negative things that might be on the loan application, but it didn't no way is going to make up for these huge things.

A Nudge In The Right Direction

It's not like you had a bankruptcy and now just because you have two whole months, on-time rental payments, you can get approved for a mortgage. This is just a positive offsetting factor. All the requirements of a conventional loan with Fannie may still exist.

And it really is more about creating more predictable ways for a loan approval for people who have consistently been paying their rent, especially because I hear all the time people saying I've been paying $1,500 a month in rent for years, but the bank won't even approve them for a thousand dollar per month mortgage payment.

"How am I supposed to be able to get into home ownership if I can't even be approved for a mortgage is less than what I've already been paying and rent."

So hopefully this should change that outcome for a lot of people or at least statistically, what we've seen is 17% of people who have been previously denied.

What To Do If You Were Denied

So now, if you were recently denied for a loan. I strongly suggest you try to reapply after September 18th if you have 12 months of on-time rental history to see if that can help push the loan approval in your favor, where as maybe you didn't have that advantage before, I strongly suggest you try again.

If you do have the 12 months on-time rental plan. So to apply all you need to do. It's not like a special program or anything. All you need to do is talk to a loan officer. I have a link if you want to be connected with one a in the description, if you'd like to explore that as an option and as with all program changes in 2021, the inevitable question is raised, how will this impact the housing market?

It's probably going to increase.

Talk with a loan officer
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