Mortgage Rates Newsletter - Market Analysis

Provided courtesy of: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/reports/mortgage_rates/archive

Mortgage Rates Find Some Support
Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:11:11 GMT - Mortgage rates have been higher almost exclusively for the past 2 weeks. Yesterday was no exception as the Federal Reserve released a rate hike forecast that was slightly more optimistic than markets were expecting. By yesterday afternoon, the average 30yr fixed mortgage rate was at its highest levels in over a month. The Fed news justified a defensive stance among prospective mortgage borrowers. When rates move initially higher following a Fed announcement, it's all too common to see that momentum continue in the following day. In today's case, we've actually seen a bit of support. Underlying bond markets were in slightly better shape vs yesterday for most of the day, thus allowing lenders to either keep mortgage rates unchanged or to bring them marginally lower. 4.0% remains the most prevalently
Mortgage Rates Highest in More Than a Month After Fed
Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:28:23 GMT - Mortgage rates rose today following the announcement and--more importantly--the Fed's updated economic projections . The Fed holds 8 meetings a year. They release an official policy announcement after all of those. Four of the meetings are "special" and are followed not only by a policy announcement, but also by updated economic projections from Fed members. These projections include an important "dot plot" of the Fed's rate hike expectations. The so-called dots have been more important than the actual announcement on some occasions. While most of today's press coverage will focus on the fact that the Fed finally enacted its plan to shrink its balance sheet. That was widely expected, however. Investors weren't sure how the past few months of economic data and events would affect the rate hike
Rates Steady Near Recent Highs Ahead of Fed
Tue, 19 Sep 2017 21:32:57 GMT - Mortgage rates remained unchanged today, on average. This keeps them in line with their highest levels in more than a month, though admittedly, there hasn't been much upward movement since the sharpest leg of the spike ended last Wednesday. Conventional 30yr fixed rates in the "high 3's" remain available for top tier scenarios, but 4.0% is slightly more prevalent now. While there were several economic reports and seemingly important news stories today (both tend to have an effect on rates), bond markets marched to their own beat. Traders were generally getting in position for tomorrow's Fed Announcement. Two weeks ago, the order of the day had been to push rates lower heading into Hurricane Irma weekend. There's been a correction in play since then. From the long-term lows in early September
Mortgage Rates Continue Pushing Recent Highs
Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:49:33 GMT - Mortgage rates resumed their recent uptrend today, after taking a quick break to end the week last Friday. The result is another push up to the highest levels in just over 3 weeks. The average scenario is being quoted rates that are about an eighth of a point higher compared to the lows seen in early September. The most prevalent top-tier conventional 30yr fixed rates still range from 3.875% to 4.0%, but the latter is increasingly in the spotlight. Context is important when it comes to this recent rate spike. The market movement that preceded it was arguably "too good," with rates benefiting from an unusual combination of geopolitical risk surrounding North Korea and event risk surrounding Hurricane's Harvey and Irma. It's not that markets responded to those events in unexpected ways--simply
Mortgage Rates Stabilize Ahead of Next Week's Big Fed Announcement
Fri, 15 Sep 2017 21:09:26 GMT - Mortgage rates were steady to slightly lower on average today, confirming the end of a somewhat abrupt correction from last week's 2017 lows. In other words, rates rose quickly during the first days of the week and spent the last 3 days leveling off. To put "abrupt" in context and reiterate yesterday's thoughts, the worst case scenario would be an eighth of a percentage point higher in rate from last week. That's $14/month on a $200k loan. We've certainly seen worse weeks day, but only 2 of them were in 2017. The flat momentum at the end of this week isn't too likely to stick around next week. The Fed will (probably) make a landmark announcement that confirms the start of its balance sheet reduction efforts. This means slightly less bond-buying each month, and could put upward pressure on rates
Self Employed Borrowers

Self Employed Borrowers

Entrepreneurship should be rewarded, but when it comes to mortgages, it hasn't always paid to be self-employed. Although over 20% of Americans are self-employed, qualifying for a self-employed mortgage is more difficult because reducing your taxable income can make it difficult to qualify for the mortgage you deserve. If you are wondering how to improve your chances of qualifying for the mortgage, providing complete and current financial documents from the past two years is essential.

Self Employed? 5 Steps to Scoring a Mortgage

While getting a loan as a W-2 employee may be cheaper and easier than if you're self-employed, you don't have to go running back to your cubicle to qualify for a mortgage. Some lenders may be concerned that you won't earn a steady enough income to make your monthly payments, and others may simply not want to deal with the additional paperwork that can be involved in providing a mortgage to a self-employed person. But don't worry; if you're self-employed, there are mortgage products available as well as steps you can take to make yourself a more attractive loan candidate.

What to Expect

As someone who is self-employed, lenders may not see you as the ideal borrower. Expect to pay higher interest rates than the ones commonly advertised on mortgage websites; those rates are for prime borrowers, or borrowers who are considered to be particularly creditworthy because of their steady, verifiable incomes and excellent credit scores. Similarly, because you may be a less attractive candidate, you might have a reduced ability to shop around and negotiate a lower interest rate. You may also have to put more work into finding lenders who are willing to work with you in the first place.

Another problem you may encounter is that if you've used lots of business expenses to reduce your taxable income on your tax returns, lenders may wonder if you make enough money to afford a home. Finally, banks may want to see a lower loan-to-value ratio (LTV ratio), meaning that you'll need to come up with a larger down payment.

Mortgage Options

Due to the subprime mortgage crisis, it may become more difficult for the self-employed to obtain mortgages as banks shy away from riskier investments to protect their financial interests and their reputations.

However, some lenders may still be willing to give you one of the following types of loans.

  • Stated Income/Stated Asset Mortgage (SISA) 
    This type of mortgage is based on what you tell the bank your income is; the bank will not seek to verify this amount. Stated income loans are sometimes also called low-documentation loans; this is because while lenders will not verify how much you make; they may seek to verify the sources of your income. Be prepared to provide a list of your recent clients and any other sources of cash flow, such as income-producing investments. The bank may also want you to submit an IRS Form 4506 or 8821. Form 4506 is used to request a copy of your tax return directly from the IRS, thus preventing you from submitting falsified returns to the mortgage company, and costs $39 per return. But you may be able to request Form 4506-T for free. Form 8821 authorizes your lender to go to any IRS office and examine the forms you designate for the years you specify. This service is free.
  • No Documentation Loan 
    In this type of loan, the lender will not seek to verify any of your income information. This may be a good option if your tax returns show a business loss or a very low profit. Because it is riskier for the bank to lend money to someone with an unverified income, expect your mortgage interest rate to be higher with either of these types of loans than with a full-documentation loan. Low and no documentation loans are called Alt-A mortgages, and they fall between prime and subprime loans in terms of interest rates. For lenders, they are considered riskier than prime loans, but less risky than subprime loans.

While many self-employed individuals and couples may choose one of the above options due to the difficulty of sufficiently documenting their incomes, those who can prove their incomes and who are willing to submit the extra paperwork can still apply for full-documentation loans, which will have lower interest rates than their low- and no-doc cousins. While a traditional employee might simply need to provide copies of W-2s for the last two years, because self-employed individuals do not receive this document, they may need to provide information about their businesses, such as previous years' tax returns, a current business license, a signed statement from an accountant, profit and loss statements, and balance sheets.

Getting a joint mortgage with a co-borrower who is a W-2 employee, such as a significant other, spouse, or trusted friend, is another way to improve your prospects of getting approved for a mortgage if you are self-employed. This provides more assurance to your lender that there is a steady income to pay back the debt.

Finally, a parent or other relative might be willing to cosign your mortgage loan. Keep in mind that this person will need to be willing and able to assume full responsibility for the loan if you default.

Can You Really Afford It?

It can be easy to get into trouble with low- and no-documentation loans because it's easy to fudge the numbers. Realize that you, not the bank, know best about whether you can really afford the loan, and that you will be the one who truly suffers if you lose your home. Learn from the experiences of all the subprime borrowers who have gone into foreclosure and don't get in over your head.

Make Yourself an Attractive Candidate

If you know you can make the payments, you can do some of the following things to improve your chances of getting a loan.

  1. Max Out Your Credit Score
    In any type of borrowing situation, a higher credit score will make you a more attractive candidate to get the loan in the first place and to qualify for lower interest rates if you're approved.
  2. Offer a Large Down Payment 
    The higher your equity in the home, the less likely you are to walk away from it in times of financial strain. Therefore, the bank will see you as less of a risk if you put lots of cash into your purchase up front.
  3. Have Significant Cash Reserves
    In addition to a large down payment, having plenty of money in an emergency fund shows lenders that even if your business takes a nosedive, you'll be able to keep making your monthly payments.
  4. Pay Off All Your Consumer Debt
    The fewer monthly debt payments you have going into the mortgage process, the easier it will be for you to make your mortgage payments. If you pay off your credit cards and car loans, you may even qualify for a higher loan amount because you'll have more cash flow.
  5. Have an Established Track Record of Self-Employment
    If you can show that you know how to play the self-employment game and win, lenders will be more willing to take a chance on you. Some advice suggests that you should have at least two years of self-employment history; other advice, however, says that when interest rates are low, you should try to get a mortgage as soon as you're ready, even if you don't have a long history of successful self-employment.
  6. Be Willing to Provide Documentation
    Being willing to fully document your income through previous years' tax returns, profit and loss statements, balance sheets and the like will increase your chances of qualifying for a loan.

The Bottom Line

If a W-2 employee loses his or her job, the person's income will drop to zero in the blink of an eye in the absence of unemployment insurance benefits; those who are self-employed often have multiple clients and are unlikely to lose all of them at once, giving them more job security than is commonly perceived. Of course, if you're self-employed, you're already used to having to work extra hard to file additional tax forms, secure business licenses, get new clients and keep your business running. Don't let anyone tell you that you'll never get a mortgage if you're self-employed, or that you shouldn't quit your day job to pursue your dream of running your own business until you've already purchased a home. Armed with a little knowledge and patience, you'll be able to have your own home and work in it, too.

I Want a Better Mortgage has the knowledge and experience to find you the best mortgage product and help you prepare and improve your changes of a mortgage. We have access to many lenders and can offer a wide range of innovative mortgage options for self-employed Americans. Our range of mortgages for Self Employed offers competitively-priced financing for business owners and those who are self-employed. Contact one of our experts today and get the mortgage you deserve.

 

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