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1st Time Buyer (veteran) questions

I live in Florida and am unsure where to start in regards to buying our 1st home. Do I want to start at our Bank or try a broker online? Do I need a real estate agent first before I speak to a lender? Our credit scores are between 600-620. We had major issues due to illness in 2007/2008 that hurt our credit(2 repo's but no bankruptcy). Since then we've had no collections or defaults. Have had 3 car loans since then and have never been late on credit card payments nor anything else since early 2008. Our combined income yearly is $95000. Looking for a loan between 140k and 162k. Monthly payments for loans/cards is $1460. With that being said would we qualify for a $0 down VA loan still with that low of a score and any rough estimates of what interest rate we might expect? Have been using mortgage calculators but kind of hard to know what houses we could comfortably afford without having a ballpark estimate on an interest rate. Thanks for any help you can provide.
  • November 03 2013 - US
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Answers (4)

Best Answer

Find a lender local in Florida that you can sit and talk with. Someone who will take the time to help you fix your credit before you start making offers.
You can get a loan but with a low FICO score you will pay a higher rate.
First "opt out"  of all credit card offers today. With a lower score you get card companies doing soft pulls of your credit and offering nonsense.
Here is the federal link  from the Federal Trade Commission
http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0148-prescreened-credit-and-insurance-offers
There is no cost and it will raise the score 10- 20 points in a month and stop all that junk mail.

Don't go pay a credit counselor. Pay everyone on time.
Interview a couple lenders- find one who has been in the business more than eight years and closed many VA loans. I would NOT apply online. You need a little more attention than a cookie cutter deal.
Speak with a direct lender who will run your mortgage credit ( different than
a consumer report) and sit with you and read all the line items to work on. Then set aside 45 days to raise your score to get a rate close to 4% or 4.25%

Your income sounds fine for the goal. But get some of that credit debt down. Look for single family in good to average condition.
  • November 03 2013
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It seems that your credit score should fit for a VA loan. Lenders like myself have been able to give out VA loans with credit scores as low as 560. In order to give you a guarantee on your loan and interest rate, lenders would need to know more information about your finances. The best thing for you to do to figure out if you can qualify for a loan and what loan amount you will qualify for, it would be best to speak with a lender directly. Lenders like myself who would be glad to speak with you to help you get the loan that you need. If you have any further questions or if you would like a loan, feel free to contact me.

Good Luck!
  • November 04 2013
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Either find a real estate agent who can refer you to local lenders who offer VA or find a local lender yourself.

Local Realtors know which lenders are reliable and can be trusted.  They work with them all the time.

No INTERNET approvals.  That could really adversely affect your credit score.

  • November 04 2013
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Profile picture for Rebecca Marvel
Lender first.  Make sure it's even possible for you to buy a home EVEN BEFORE YOU START LOOKING.  No sense in getting your hopes up for no reason.
  • November 03 2013
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