A large portion of the homeowners today are immigrants and many of them are not legal citizens. The good news is that you do not have to be a legal citizen in order to get a home mortgage today. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both have plenty of programs available for immigrants with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. As long as you have your identification number and a few qualifying factors, chances are you will find a lender that will give you a home mortgage. The challenge that many of these immigrants face, however, is how their household income is computed.
Many Family Members Contributing Income
In almost every other country, all household members contribute to the household income – even the kids! In the United States, however, this is not the norm. For the families that it does occur in, the income is typically not able to be used for qualification purposes. Typically, just the borrower and co-borrower are able to use their income to come up with the appropriate debt ratio. There are a few programs, including the Fannie Mae Home Ready Program, however, that make it possible to use household income from those that are not even on the loan. This makes it easier for these multi-generational immigrant families to use their entire income to qualify for a home mortgage.
There are certain stipulations you must abide by in order to qualify for the Home Ready Program, however. It is not as straightforward as a standard conventional loan, even one with an ITIN. You must purchase a home in certain areas or be restricted by the amount of money you are able make and still qualify. The guidelines are as follows:
- Low income areas as designated by Fannie Mae – All income can be used as there is no maximum for these areas.
- High minority areas as designated by Fannie Mae – Your total household income cannot be more than 100 percent of the average income for the area.
- Areas deemed a natural disaster – Your total household income cannot be more than 100 percent of the average income for the area.
- Any other area – Your total household income cannot be more than 80 percent of the average for the area.
Finding a Home
In order to take advantage of this program, you have to look for a home in one of the designated areas as stated above. You can find the areas on the Fannie Mae website, which show you which areas are designated by which category. Once you find a home in the right area, you can apply for the home mortgage, the same way you would apply for any other type of mortgage. This means you will have to provide your ITIN, credit information, income, and assets. If your qualifying information is not as straightforward as it would be for a citizen of the United States, you might have to be ready for the process to take a little longer or for more paperwork to be done.
The good news is, however, that you can get a home mortgage using the income of your entire family. This is especially helpful if you are just starting out in the United States and want to provide a family for your home. Your parents, grandparents, and even children can contribute income to help you qualify for a mortgage using your ITIN. There are more and more lenders offering programs to those with an ITIN, so take your time and shop around to ensure you are getting the best deal.