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Top 5 Subprime Mortgage Loans from US Lenders

by Jon Silver

Many potential homebuyers may not be sure if they have good enough credit to get home loan rather than a subprime mortgage. Actually, lending standards have been loosening for the last three years, and you may find it easier to get a mortgage than you think. It is imperative that you locate subprime mortgage lenders or alternative lending sources that specialize in subprime loans, so you don't waste your time, money and energy. Not every person fits in a perfect box and that's why so hard money, stated income and non-qualified loan programs are so popular again. BankRate defines a "subprime mortgage", as a home loan offered to people with credit scores under 620. Typically, consumers that have had incidents in which they were reported late paying bills. When people are over 30, 60 or 90 days late making their monthly obligations, there fica score will suffer. For people looking for the best subprime mortgage loans in the United States, consider these:

1. FHA and Non-Prime Financing

Not all subprime mortgage lenders are approved to originate FHA loans, but most are. Many conventional home mortgages are not available to buyers who have past credit problems; they are a higher risk for the lender. However, the Federal Housing Administration or FHA is a great first top to consider if you have average to poor credit. The FHA backs the subprime mortgage that is offered to you by the lender. This makes it easier for you to qualify. Some FHA lending standards enable struggling borrowers to get a loan with as low as a 500-credit score, although you would have to put down 10% to do so. It is better for you to have a credit score of at least 580; at that point, you should be able to qualify for this subprime mortgage loan with just a 3.5% down payment. Many Non-QM and subprime mortgage lenders that are HUD approved also offer low interest rates, often better than what you could get from conventional lenders.

2. VA Guarantees Low Rates on Subprime Mortgages for the Military

If you are a veteran of the US military or a current active duty member, you can qualify for a 100% financing home loan that is backed by the Veteran's Administration. Similar to an FHA loan, this government agency will pay back the lender if you default on the loan. This leads to VA and subprime mortgage lenders giving quite generous terms to military members and veterans. You can expect interest rates under what the FHA offers, and there is no minimum credit score. The VA has helped millions of veterans become homeowners with affordable 100% home loans. You will still need to prove that you have the income to repay the loan, but a VA loan is quite easy to qualify for as long as you have enough income. The vast majority of veteran mortgages are offered with zero down payment, so this is a great option for many military members and veterans. It is important to note that VA loans typically have very competitive interest rates even though they have equity and credit parameters similar to other sub-prime home loan programs.

3. Fannie Mae and Non-QM Loans

This is the Federal National Mortgage Association, and it exists to make buying a home easier for more Americans. Even after the last mortgage crisis of 2008, Fannie Mae had backed nearly 200,000 mortgages in the first quarter of 2015. Fannie is not actually part of the main mortgage market in the US. Its loans come from private lenders. Fannie Mae loans are bought from lenders and they put them into mortgage backed securities. It sells those securities to investors. This makes the prime and sub-prime mortgage market more liquid. It would be a stretch to call Fannie Mae a backer of subprime mortgage loans, but in many cases, they offer loans to people with below-average credit if they have strong credentials in on areas.

Lenders then apply to provide loans to borrowers by following the Fannie Mae lending process. You will need to have a reasonable credit score of at least 620 and 640 is better, if you want to qualify for an adjustable mortgage. If you have a credit score over 640, you will be able to get a higher interest rate. You also may be able to do a 3% down payment if this is your first home purchase. If your credit score is under 600, you may be better off with going with an FHA mortgage. You also should stress with either Fannie Mae or FHA that you have made on time rental payments (assuming you have done so). Depending upon the economy, the delinquency and default rate, Fannie Mae will extend subprime mortgage loans to select group of borrowers that have credit or equity challenges but are able to show a positive trajectory. Discuss possible Fannie Mae opportunities for non-QM loans and subprime mortgages with the lenders you are shopping with.

4. Freddie Mac and Credit Exceptions

Freddie Mac is similar to Fannie Mae in that its goal is to bring stability to the US mortgage market and to expand the opportunity to own a home to more Americans. It also works in the secondary mortgage market and buys mortgage loans and securities for investing. It also issues guaranteed mortgage related securities. So, Freddie Mac loans also attracts more lenders to the secondary mortgage market and makes it more likely that average to poor credit borrowers can get a mortgage. To get a loan backed by Freddie Mac, you also will need a credit score in the 640 range, as with Fannie Mae. If you do not have that type of FICO score, consider an FHA mortgage. Like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac is considered a government endorsed agency that supports "prime" loan products, but they do at times allow subprime mortgages when they make sense with a low risk of default. Most subprime mortgage lenders have access to Freddie Mac's higher risk credit products, but not all companies choose to offer the non-prime financing.

5. Private Money Lenders Taking Risks

There are private money lenders available who will loan money based upon the after repair value of the home. Your personal credit is usually a smaller factor in these types of loans. However, you should know that the interest rate on these loans is much higher – in the range of 10-15%. If you really have bad credit, this could be your only option for the time being. Some subprime mortgage borrowers will get a private lender loan, clean up their credit and then refinance later. Be sure to talk to multiple subprime mortgage lenders that have access to private money programs. Learn more about new programs for people seeking a mortgage after a bankruptcy.

subprime loan

How Do Subprime Mortgage Lenders Manage Risky Loans?

It is well documented that after the financial crash prior to Obama coming to office, subprime mortgage loans were rare and hard to get. But things have loosened up a great deal, and the US government is trying to make it easier for bad credit borrowers to get a home loan. Government lenders have the ability to extend subprime mortgages because they have accumulated reserves from the mortgage insurance that borrowers pay monthly. In addition to that, they know that the US government will bail them out if they exhaust the reserves, as FHA guarantees these loans. Private and subprime mortgage lenders mostly use collateral like equity earned when considering a "refinance" or a more significant down-payment when talking about a "purchase money" transaction. Learn more about Subprime mortgages from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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