If you’re a first-time home buyer (or haven’t owned real estate in the last three years), ask your loan officer about “The 97 Loan.” The down payment required is only 3%, and it’s a cheaper loan than FHA’s first-time home buyer loan.
Too often, banks and other lenders push the FHA loan, and here are two reasons why:
- The FHA loan is a big profit-maker for lenders.
- Loan officers think about the 5 percent down conventional loan and forget about The 97 for first-time buyers.
Compare FHA to “The 97”
FHA has an upfront mortgage insurance fee of 1.75 percent. The 97 has no upfront fee.
FHA’s monthly mortgage insurance fee lasts forever. The 97 Loan’s MI fee can get dropped when you have 20-22 percent equity.
FHA down payment is 3.5%. The 97 Loan is 3%.
How to Qualify for The 97 Conventional Loan
- Credit score must be at least 620. (Some lenders want 640.)
- Bankruptcy must be discharged for 24 months.
- Debt-to-income ratio should be 43% max, based on gross income (before deductions).
- Maximum loan amount is $424,100. Maximum price is $436,216.
Getting Together the Down Payment Money
The down payment money may be from your own verified funds or from family. Unverified cash is not allowed, meaning get that dough out of your safe into a bank account now.
You can also get creative and borrow money from your retirement account. Or, you can sell something like a car or motorbike, as long as you show the bill of sale and matching deposit receipt into your bank account.
Enough already! Pick up your phone. Tell your loan officer you want to get pre-approved, then call your real estate agent and go find a home to call your own!
If you’re in California or Washington, click here to reach me.
Please share this with others who want to become a home owner.