HOW MUCH? - home loan

Shopping for a home loan that matches your situation.


Home loans you can afford.

Banks use complicated formulas when deciding how much of a home loan you can get approved for, but those formulas are based on one major calculation: the ratio of your debt to your income.

The so called front ratio is the housing cost and the back ratio is the personal debt. The debt to income ratio shown as 32/38 would mean that as much as 32 percent of the income can go to a home loan payment (including interest, taxes, insurance and so on), and the home loan payment plus all debt should not exceed 38 percent. Many lenders use flexibility when making a decision depending mainly on a credit score, and the size of a down payment one can put on a new home. They also adjust the formula to meet their lending objectives. Lenders evaluate your credit history, but also the investments you might have when making decisions on the size of a home loan.

Down payment affects your home loan terms.

If you can only make a minimum down payment you might not have a lot of choices for a home loan. If the down payment sum is a gift or is taken from a 401K plan, it can limit the home loan choices even further. With larger down payments, there are lots of choices including not only adjustable and fixed interest rate home loans, but also graduated payment loans, and “buy downs”. Home loan programs differ depending on the size of a down payment, and they favor larger ones. Smaller down payments usually mean that the seller will pay less of the closing costs, and lenders are certainly more willing to bend a few rules for a buyer who is able to put a larger down payment.

First time buyer home loans.

Some banks offer home loans designed especially for first time home buyers. These home loans are characterized by the fact that a borrower is paying a private mortgage insurance(PMI) as part of a FHA home loan. First time buyer home loans usually require a much smaller down payment.

There are also a lot of local government programs helping first time buyers to buy a home. Typically those are for low income people who would not qualify for a standard home loan. They offer deeply discounted home loans and grants for a down payment.

Home Loan Down Payment
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Shopping for a home loan.

There are many federal and state laws regulating home loan businesses and understanding your options might not be an easy task at first. Educating yourself about financing a home purchase is the first step one should take. While you might want to use a realtor from the beginning, there are online resources that can explain your home loan options. In general, private lenders will offer easier terms. Some offer 100 percent financing, including home loan closing costs. This path will allow you to buy a home with little money at first, but will be more costly over the years. You can choose a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loan which has more strict requirements and special fees, or more traditional home loans with a larger down payment, which will save a lot over the years.

See also: mortgage, home purchase refinancing tips, equity loan, home and taxes, new home loan, home insurance

Related topics: VA loans, FHA insured mortgage, home loan guide




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