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5 Ways to Qualify for a Mortgage as a Young Adult

By Sari R. Updated on 6/12/2017

qualify for a mortgage as a young adult or college studentIn our economic climate, home loans can be difficult to obtain for young adults. For recent college grads and other young adults looking to own a home, the mortgage approval and financing process can be complicated and confusing. 

However, with some knowledge and some preparation, young adults can obtain home mortgage loans and purchase property.

Here is a list of five things that lenders will consider when determining whether or not to fund a loan for a young adult borrower:

1. Gifted Down Payment

Following the housing market collapse, zero-down loans have essentially disappeared. Today, lenders expect borrowers to share the risk by putting more money up front toward the home purchase. For conventional loans, borrowers can anticipate a down payment of at least 5% of the property’s purchase price, although some lenders may require down payments as high as 20% or even 25%.

Young adult borrowers who can't afford to make a sizeable down payment should consider putting off first home purchase until they can acquire the funds. 

Another option is to use gift funds from a relative. As long as the borrower has 5% of their own money, gift funds can be used for the rest of the down payment.

2. Have A Savings

In addition to down payment, lenders are much more likely to approve younger borrowers with money set aside, either in a savings account or in assets, to cover any unforeseeable emergency situations. Emergency savings can be used to make mortgage payments during times of unemployment, periods in between employment, and other timed of financial hardship. 

Without some money stored away in savings, young adult borrowers may find lenders reluctant to issue them a loan.

3. Solid Employment History

Lenders will require proof of steady, full-time employment before approving you for a loan. This proof may be established through pay stubs or previous income tax returns.

Young Adult Mortgage Qualify

On the other hand, part-time workers are perceived as higher risk and may not qualify. For the self-employed, borrowers will need to provide ample proof to substantiate stated income and to establish reliability. 

These entrepreneurs may be slowed during the approval process by requirements for additional tax returns and extra documentation.

4. High Credit Score

In any loan transaction, higher credit score translates to lower mortgage rates and a more cost-effective loan. Typically, the optimal interest rates are reserved for borrowers with credit scores exceeding 740, far above the credit score range of most young adults. 

While qualification can still be possible with a FICO score within the 600 range, even minute differences in interest rates can translate into tremendous savings over the course of a loan.

As such, young adult borrowers should consider whether it would be more advantageous and financially worthwhile to purchase a home immediately or wait several years to build up a respectable credit history.

5. Diminishing Student Loan Debt

To develop a higher credit score, young adult borrowers should make consistent and on-time payments for any outstanding student loan debt. When attempting to prove reliability to a lender, student loan debt can be exceptionally valuable for younger borrowers as a means to build credit.

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About The Author:
Sari R.
Sari R. is a mortgage editor for Lender411com. She graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Screenwriting and Public Relations/Advertising from Chapman University. She can be reached at sarelyn@lender411com.

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