Applying for and being rejected for a home loan isn’t a good feeling, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the road for your potential home-ownership. If you take the right steps, you can try again in the near future.
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Follow these steps if you find yourself in this situation.
If a bank or lender turns you down for a loan, they have to give you a reason. If you don’t understand the reason provided, ask for more specifics. If it has anything to do with your credit, they have to send you a letter stating the reasons for the denial. If it was to do with anything besides your credit, most loan officers will happily walk you through the reasons that you were denied.
Once you have the reasons, it’s time to take action. You are armed with information on what is wrong with your application, now you can take the steps to fix those issues.
Fix Your Credit for Your Home Loan Application
Did your loan officer tell you that your credit was the issue? Following are the most common credit issues:
- Low credit score – If your credit score is too low, it’s time to pull your credit report and found out why. The letter your lender sends you will explain how you can receive a free copy of your credit report because you were turned down for a home loan due to a credit issue. Get a copy of your report and look for the reason for the low credit score. Was it late payments? Did you charge too much on your credit cards? Do you have too many inquiries?
- Not enough credit – If you only have a few trade lines and they aren’t currently active, a lender may not be able to make a lending decision. You’ll need to build your credit up by applying for a few credit cards and using them. Don’t take this as permission to go out and go on a spending spree, though. Instead, charge what you normally purchase and pay cash for, then pay the bill off in full each month. This will establish good spending patterns and help you build up your credit.
- Too many inquiries – Inquiries are a red flag for lenders because they could indicate that you have new credit out there that hasn’t reported yet. You may just have to wait it out a few months to prove that you don’t have any new credit lines (if you don’t) or let the new credit lines report on your credit report for the lender to get an accurate credit score and debt ratio calculation.
- Negative economic events – If you recently had a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you may not have let enough time pass. Each loan program has a specific waiting period. Ask the lender how long you need to wait. In the meantime, keep improving your credit score to enhance your chances of approval the next time you apply.
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Deal With Low Income
If the lender decided you don’t make enough money, they could turn down your application. While you might think there’s no way to fix this issue, there are a few simple ways.
- Take a side gig – Do you have a skill that you could turn into a side job? Whether you offer physical services, such as electrician work, plumbing, or painting or you do something on the internet, such as writing, crafting, or a virtual assistant, there are many ways to make money on the side. You’ll have to have the job for at least 2 years before you can use the income for qualification purposes. If that’s too long, you can use the extra money to pay down your debts and lower your debt ratio to help your chances of approval sooner.
- Get a cosigner – If you have a willing cosigner that has good credit, they can help you get approved for a home loan. Make sure it’s someone that is willing to take the obligation of paying the mortgage should you stop paying it. This is a large risk on the cosigner’s part, so make sure there is a clear understanding between both of you.
Deal With Your Debts
Did the lender tell you that you are straddled with too many debts? It’s time to work on them before you apply for another mortgage.
- Pay the debts down – It’s time to set up a strict budget to get your debts paid down. If you don’t have extra money lying around, take a second job or side gig to boost your income. Then use that extra money to pay your debts down.
- Apply for a lesser loan amount – If it was the housing ratio that was the issue, it might be time to look for a less expensive home. If your credit score was fine and your income is stable, consider a lower sales price, which means a lower monthly payment.
Increase Your Down Payment on the Home Loan
Sometimes it’s just about the amount of collateral you give the lender. If you borrow a large percentage of the sales price, the lender may see it as too high of a risk. Increasing your down payment can minimize that risk. This could take time though, since you’ll have to save money. Using some of the above strategies, such as paying down your debt or taking on extra work can help you save money faster. In some cases, you may even be able to secure gift money for the down payment from family or your employer. Most loan programs allow the use of gift funds to help boost the equity you have in the home and the collateral the bank has to rely on if you default.
Getting turned down for a home loan isn’t fun, but there are ways to overcome it. Use these tips to improve your chances of approval and get the loan that you want to buy your next home.