USDA makes refinancing easier

 Loan Programs, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on USDA makes refinancing easier
Jun 202016

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or

By G. Steven Bray

The USDA announced that effective 6/2, it is making its pilot streamline refinance program permanent. The program allows homeowners who currently have a USDA loan, like a Rural Development loan, to refinance that loan without going through the usual loan process.

As long you’ve been current on your mortgage for the last 12 months, meaning you’ve made the payments within 30 days of the due date, your lender won’t have to order a credit report and won’t have to analyze your income to see if you qualify. It will be assumed that if you’re making your payments on time now, you certainly can continue to make them if we lower the payment.

In addition, you won’t need an appraisal to determine the current value of your home.

Not only will the program save USDA borrowers money, it should make the refinancing process much faster.

HARP refinance program extended again

 Loan Programs, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on HARP refinance program extended again
May 192015

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or

By G. Steven Bray

The Home Affordable Refinance Program or HARP has been a boon for homeowners wanting to refinance. The program targets underwater mortgages, but its reduced documentation requirements and favorable interest rates make it attractive to all homeowners.

The Federal Housing Finance Admin reports the program has helped 3.3 million homeowners refinance their mortgages since its inception in 2009, and it was scheduled to end at the end of this year. However, Mel Watt, Director of the FHFA recently announced a one year extension through 2016. Watt claims an additional 600,000 homeowners still could benefit from a HARP refinance.

Keep in mind the two most important restrictions of the program. To be eligible:

– Your mortgage must be owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. (Fannie and Freddie have a tool on their Web sites to help you determine that or give me a call for help.)

– And, your mortgage must have closed prior to June 1st, 2009.

If you still haven’t been able to refinance, you may want to give this program one more look. The expanded eligibility requirements might allow you to qualify even if you’ve run off the road a couple times in your financial past.

Minimum credit score for mortgage falling

 Loan Guidelines, Owner-occupied, Residential Mortgage  Comments Off on Minimum credit score for mortgage falling
Jan 292015

For more information, please contact me at (512) 261-1542 or

By G. Steven Bray

It’s nice to be able to report some good news. Credit standards are relaxing just a bit. Our minimum credit score for using an FHA loan to purchase a home is now 600. This minimum applies to single-family homes and duplexes, assuming you plan to live in one of the units. The minimum score for 3- and 4-unit homes remains 620.

Even better, if you want to refinance an FHA loan, we can accept a credit score as low as 580. In some cases we’ll be able to use FHA’s streamline process, which means you can qualify regardless of your current income and debts. However, if your credit report shows a foreclosure, your credit score needs to be at least 600.

The minimum credit score for conventional loans remains 620.