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Lived abroad for five years, now back in the US, is a mortgage possible?

We have an unusual situation. I'm a US citizen, married a Brit, moved to the UK for five years (rented the entire time). Then, last year, we moved to the US.

We spent most of last year either unemployed or working part-time. I now have a full-time job back at my old employer (before I got married). My husband has been working as a substitute for the past year while attending night school for his US teacher certification.

We hope to get an FHA loan with about $5,000 downpayment towards a $100k home. Is this even possible? How long would it take to get approved assuming my husband get a full-time teaching job in the next month or two? Although I've been out of the country for several years, I kept my bank account/credit card and have a credit score in the high 700s. Husband has no US credit history. Just got his first credit card 6 mo. ago. We do not have a car loan. Essentially, we are starting from scratch.

Thank you.
  • June 04 2011 - Staten Island
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Answers (4)

Getting an FHA loan is not a problem. Even adding your husband after closing is doable. But alot of this depends on your full time job. Is it commissioned based sales? Salary? Hourly?

A clearly documented employment position, with a strong US credit history would make this loan very approvable.

Jeff Thomas
  • June 05 2011
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You could try and get this on your own without your husband's information.  It takes a solid marriage as you would be the sole homeowner until such time you refi and put both names on the deed.  If you are in a community property state you would probably have to get a signed statement from your husband as well.
  • June 05 2011
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It may be that employment would qualify before your husbands would, as you are already full time and working at an employer you previously worked at.

How long have you been working full time for now?

How much do you make/have you crunched the numbers to see if your income could qualify alone?

If your husband was a teacher in UK, and it can be documented, and he was a substitute teacher the entire time, and is going to work full time as a teacher soon after he gets his teaching credentials, then it's possible with a signed employment contract it could qualify (worst case a paystub showing he's received at least 30 days of pay YTD).

If your husband doesn't have a score yet, then it shouldn't be too long as all that is required is a 6 month credit rating in order for a score to generate.  If he keeps his balance low/$0 then his scores should be fairly decent (nearing 700's or even above, I was immediately in the 700's when my score first reported, 6 month credit rating and a $0 balance on a secured credit card).  Having a score helps options, but even if he doesn't, then he can prove he's creditworthy to a lender by providing 3 non-traditional trade lines of 12 months of age with no missed payments.  Common ones are:

- Rental history 
- Utility Companies (gas, electric, water, landline home phone, or cable TV) 
- Insurance (non pay-roll deducted medical, life, auto, renters) 
- Child care payments made to a business 
- School tuition 
- Retail stores (department, furniture, appliance, specialty, rent-to-own, internet/cell phones)
- 12-month savings pattern evidenced by regular non-payroll deposits 
- Personal loans with evidence of payment terms and 12 months canceled checks 
  • June 05 2011
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The main issues are credit history & employment. 1 person not being a US citizen is not an issue. It may serve you better to wait until husband has a year of credit history.
We both came to the US as Brits and was able to get a home loan with our first application after being here only 9 months. 1 of us was employed, the other was not allowed employemnt under immigration regulations. In theory as 1 of you is a citizen it should be simpler. We brought with us sealed credit historys from the Big 3, but Experian & the others in the US would not accept Experian & the others histories from their UK counterparts.
A good history and a minimum of 3.5% down payment will help. A higher down payment will open up other avenues than FHA.
  • June 04 2011
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