Getting a mortgage is harder

August 7, 2008 3:03:27 PM PDT
If you're thinking about buying a house or building out on your current home, chances are you're going to need financing. But with the sub-prime collapse, even potential prime loan candidates should be prepared to be scrutinized by the bank and maybe even rejected.

"Don't be surprised if its more difficult than you anticipate," Andrew Speiler said.

So who is even eligible for a mortgage these days?

The Hofstra University associate finance professor says you pretty much have to have "superpowers" to get one.

All joking aside, he says your credit score is more important now than its been in years.

"If you have a score of 700 or above -- 650 or above keeps you in the ballpark, Speiler said.

Other things you can expect will be put under a magnifying glass include your income.

If you don't make three times more a month than your anticipated mortgage payment, Spieler says its likely you will be rejected.

Also know your liabilities, including student loans and all credit card information.

Even credit cards with a zero balance are important.

That might look good to you, but the bank sees something else. They're seeing the limit on the card. In other words, your overall potential debt .

"The more you could draw down on the card, the harder it will be to secure funding," he said.

The bottom line if you're in the market for change today, you might have to downsize or even hold off on your plans to give yourself time to build up your credit worthiness rather than your home.

STORY BY: Emily Smith


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