This ARTICLE On Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Guidelines And Requirements Was PUBLISHED On January 26th, 2020
There are two types of home loan programs:
- Government Loans which are home loans insured by government agencies
- FHA, VA, USDA are government loans
- Conventional Loans which are not insured and/or have government/agency insurance
In this article, we will cover and discuss the Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Guidelines And Requirements.
With the overwhelming variety of mortgage products available, many Americans do not know about the Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage program by Fannie Mae.
- This is an amazing mortgage product designed to help low-to-moderate income borrowers
- It also gives lenders the confidence to make these loans
- There are some advantages to using the Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage program over FHA financing
- Some benefits include such as able to cancel mortgage insurance
In this blog, we will go over more details about the Fannie Mae HomeReady product and some of the requirements.
What Is Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage Program?
Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage is a conforming loan program created and launched by Fannie Mae to help and assist lower-income homebuyers and homeowners with decent credit to purchase and/or refinance their homes. Freddie Mac’s equivalent of Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage is called Freddie Mac Home Possible.
- Fannie Mae does not require buyers to be first time home buyers
- Buyers can own other real estate and qualify for Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage
- Candidates need to enroll in home buyer education required (online). HomeReady offers reduced down payment on the home purchase
- Lower private mortgage insurance premiums
- There are Loan Level Pricing Adjustments (LLPA) for borrowers with lower credit scores
- Maximum LLPA is capped at 1.5%
- There are no minimum borrower contribution requirements
- The down payment funds can be contributed by gifted funds and/or non-for-profits
- Homebuyers can purchase one to four-unit owner occupant properties
- Potential rental income on 2 to 4 units can be used as qualified income
- Potential rental income is the income the home appraiser will note on the appraisal
- Income from occupant household member who is not on the loan may be considered as compensating factor by mortgage underwriters
Non-occupant co-borrowers allowed but both incomes cannot exceed the qualified income limit.
Fannie Mae HomeReady Versus FHA Loans
Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage product by Fannie Mae is a great alternative to FHA financing for low down payment mortgages.
- Home Buyers can actually put down less than an FHA loan
- Buyers must put down at least 3% to use the HomeReady loan versus 3.5% with FHA financing
The home ready mortgage was designed for Borrowers with limited cash for down payment. here are a few basic requirements:
- Have low to moderate-income (must meet income eligibility requirements)
- First time home buyer or repeat home buyers are allowed
- Must have a credit score greater than 620, ideally above 680 or more for more favorable interest rates
- Have limited cash for the down payment
Home Buyers who feel they meet these requirements, please reach out to Mike Gracz of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage Group at 630-659-7644 or text Mike for faster response. Either I or one of my teammates will assist and help answer any questions.
Roles Of Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac
Conventional Loans are called conforming loans because they need to conform to Fannie Mae and/or Freddie Mac Guidelines.
- Many often get confused about why conventional loans need to meet Fannie and/or Freddie Guidelines if they are not guaranteed by the government
- The role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is to provide market liquidity to mortgage bankers and purchase loans lenders originate and fund
- All lenders fund conventional loans with their warehouse lines of credit which is like a giant credit card
- Once they use their warehouse lines of credit, they sell the loans and relieve their lines of credit to originate and fund more loans
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not purchase mortgages that do not conform to their guidelines
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is the government regulator that regulated both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Benefits Of HomeReady Mortgage
What are some advantages to the HomeReady program?
- There are instances where Conventional Loans is the only route for home buyers
- This holds true with borrowers with higher student loan balances
- Conforming loans allows for Income Based Repayment (IBR) where FHA requires 1.0% of the outstanding student loan balance to be used
- Homebuyers with a prior mortgage included in Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, the waiting period is four years from the discharged date of Chapter 7 with conventional loans
- The recorded date of the housing event does not matter
- The mortgage cannot be reaffirmed after the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
- FHA requires a three year waiting period after the finalization of housing event (foreclosure, deed in lieu, short sale)
Here are additional benefits of Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage:
- Cancelable mortgage insurance
- This is the main advantage over FHA financing
- FHA mortgage insurance does not go away when borrowers pay the loan down to 80% LTV (loan-to-value)
- Once Equity position reaches 20% the overall mortgage payment will go down homeowners can eliminate mortgage insurance
- Lower Mortgage Insurance Requirements
- In today’s rising rate environment, mortgage insurance premiums have skyrocketed
- The mortgage insurance coverage is only 25% for loan-to-values of 90% – 97% with the HomeReady program
- Low Down Payment
- Home Buyers can put down as little as 3%, plus the funds can come from multiple sources
- Funds can be own funds, a gift, grants, or community second
- NO MINIMUM PERSONAL FUNDS REQUIRED!
- No geographical loan amount restrictions
- Does not follow the County loan limits like FHA loans
- Can you use supplemental border rental income to qualify
- Use the income by renting out a room of the house for qualification purposes
- Non- occupying co-borrowers are allowed
Income Limits On Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage
Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage income limit caps will be different depending on where the subject property is located. Use this link to determine the income limits for Home Ready.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac created the Fannie Mae HomeReady Mortgage and Freddie Mac Home Possible Loan Program to promote homeownership for first time home buyers with lower to moderate household income. Both HomeReady and Home Possible are a great program for homebuyers with families who are living paycheck to paycheck and have little down payment towards a home purchase.
How To Start The Mortgage Pre-Approval Process
The process for acquiring a Fannie Mae HomeReady loan is the same as a regular mortgage.
- The only addition is buyers must complete the Framework online education program
- This is a home counseling education course, offered in both English and Spanish
- This course is designed to give future homeowners the knowledge for sustainable homeownership
- It will give home buyers the knowledge and expectations of things that may pop up while owning a home
- Completion of this course is part of the reason private mortgage insurance is lowered
Below is a list of common items we will require:
- Last 60 Days Bank Statements – to source down payment
- Last 30 Days Pay Stubs
- Last Two Years W2’S
- Last Two Years Tax Returns
- Driver’s License
Homebuyers who feel this program might be a good fit please reach out to us at Gustan Cho Associates. Please call us directly with questions, we’re available 24/7 or apply at