Getting a mortgage with bad credit is possible but you need to be extra careful in choosing a lender. You need to be prepared to pay higher fees than your good credit counterparts. You also need to do a lot more due diligence before you sign on the bottom line. Just because you need a bad credit loan doesn’t mean you have to settle with extremely high interest mortgage loans. Here are practical tips on how to choose a bad credit mortgage:
* Assess your financial situation carefully. Before considering applying for a bad credit mortgage, think about how a new loan can affect your financial situation. Have you made plans on how you’ll be able to keep up with your mortgage payments? Are you sure that you are prepared to take on a new responsibility?
* Compare rates. It’s important to choose from several lending companies before choosing a particular lender. Don’t just compare interest rates but compare all costs involved in your loan. Although it is expected that bad credit mortgage loans do come with higher interest compared to standard mortgage, you can still find a company that offers reasonable rates. Use the internet to shop around for possible lending companies more conveniently.
* When shopping for your home loan, talk to your potential lender before giving them your social security number. Pull your credit yourself and fax it to these lenders and ask them based on what you have sent them what the rate, term and fees will be. Let them know that you understand they will have to pull your credit later if you decide on accepting their loan. Try to limit the number of pulls to your credit as much as possible.
* Watch out for predatory mortgage lenders. Many of the people facing the loss of their home are victims of predatory lenders. These lenders are on the look out for people with bad credit and will take advantage of you if you let them. Don’t let mortgage predators take advantage of you. Read the fine print on any loan documents you receive. The purchase of a home is a HUGE step. If you have questions, ask, if you don’t feel right about the lender, get up and leave.
* Be careful with adjustable rate mortgages. Keep in mind that adjustable mortgage loans may unexpectedly rise in the middle of your payment term. See to it that you are aware of the loan’s life cap and that it is clearly included in your contract.
* Ask for a copy of Good Faith Estimate. The good faith estimate should be handed to you days before the actual closing takes place. The good faith estimate includes the fees involved in your loan that you will be paying your lender.
* Inquire how much is your down payment. Bad credit mortgage loans require a down payment. Make sure that you are aware of how much down payment is exactly needed before accepting the loan. Watch out for last minute changes. Its not unheard of that at the signing table these predatory lenders may say, wow you didn’t quite qualify for this loan amount but to help you out, since we are here at the closing table, we have approved you for a second mortgage. This tactic works for the lenders because you are so excited about getting into your new home that you say ok, I can afford the additional payment. Unfortunately you didn’t look closely at the rate and term on this second. I’ve seen some second mortgages that adjust monthly.
* Negotiate with your lender. Even though you may have bad credit, don’t be afraid to negotiate with your prospective lender. Lending companies also face tough competition in the market and although some lenders may refuse to negotiate, there is no harm in trying.
Remember that a mortgage loan involves what will become your family home. By failing to pay, not only will you ruin your credit but put your family into a severe strain, and possibly make them homeless. Therefore, if you think are not financially ready, then it’s better to wait until you gain more control with your finances. In the meantime, you can work on improving your credit. Pay your debts and be timely in your payments. Avoid incurring new debt and limit the use of your credit cards. Set aside some savings for your mortgage loan down payment. This will help you be more prepared when you finally apply for your mortgage.