By Chris Birk
Credit score requirements have loosened in recent months, a sign that at least some mortgage lenders are starting to take a softer approach after years of tight lending. But let’s not call it a comeback quite yet. Plenty of consumers with and without credit are still struggling to secure home financing. Before you start shopping for a home, it’s important to get familiar with your credit reports and credit scores. The bottom line is some home loans are still generally easier to obtain than others. Here’s a brief survey of the field:
Conventional Loans: Consumers with sterling credit and the assets necessary to put down 20% will often be hard-pressed to find a more competitive loan product than this one.
FHA Loans: The program recently altered its three-year “seasoning” policy to allow qualified homeowners to purchase just one year removed from a foreclosure.
VA Loans: In some respects, VA loans are both the easiest and most difficult loans to land. Nine in 10 come with no down payment, and the typical VA borrower has less than $7,000 in assets. But just becoming eligible for this program requires a level of service and sacrifice to which few Americans commit. Less than 1% of the population currently serves in the U.S. military.
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