Life can go sideways and that is a fact.
Illness, divorce, death, longest recession in 30 years or whatever the cause is, before you know it you can find yourself with an awful credit rating and are unsure of what to do.
These are the things we mortgage professionals wished you knew.
1. Even though a company has written off a debt, you still have to clear it up.
You will be unable to get a mortgage in place until all outstanding debts show as settled with a balance of $0. That can happen through negotiations and payment directly with the company, through an orderly payment of debts or through bankruptcy. We would advise extreme caution when it comes to anyone promising they can rebuild your credit immediately for a price.
2. You need to re-establish your credit as soon as you can.
The magical number in the mortgage universe is two. You need to get two types of credit for two years with each a minimum balance of $2,000. The clock starts counting on the date of bankruptcy discharge or OPD settlement.
3. If there was a foreclosure in your past, you are going to have a very hard time getting a mortgage.
No mainstream or near prime lenders will consider this type of an applicant anymore which would leave your only option a private lender where you will pay higher interest rates. If you think you are heading towards this then call a mortgage professional ASAP.
There are investors out there willing to buy you out and wait to turn a profit when the market turns. Alternately you could work out a deficiency sale with your mortgage lender and/or mortgage insurer which will allow you to purchase in the future.
4. After a bankruptcy or OPD, you cannot have ANY late payments. Not a single one.
The lenders will accept that you were hit with a life event but you have to prove it will not happen again. Even one late payment on your cell phone is reason for a decline. The onus is on you to show them it will never happen again.
5. You can purchase a home with 5% down after you have properly established your credit again. Make sure you have the two credit types reporting as above first of all.
The next step is to save. You are going to need the 5% to put down plus be able to show you have 1.5% for the closing costs and then you should also have an additional 3.5% in savings to show you have a fallback position in case you are struck by life again. The lenders and mortgage insurers really like to see that.
So it will not be easy but it is possible and the sooner you start the sooner you can buy a new home. Call your mortgage professional today get an action plan in place.
Pam Pikkert is a mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres – Regional Mortgage Group in Red Deer.