If you have bad credit, it can be difficult to find the best mortgage options available to you in New Jersey. To find a mortgage that works for you and your financial situation, there are certain steps you’ll need to take and certain requirements you’ll need to meet. Here are three ways to get mortgages with bad credit in NJ!
1: Shop Around
If you want to get approved for a mortgage, you must shop around and seek multiple offers. Mortgage companies are willing to negotiate on rates and fees, so ask lenders how much they can reduce your interest rate or your monthly payments.
A few good questions to ask include:
- What is your best offer?
- Can you discount my closing costs?
- Can I pay off my loan faster?
- How many points will you charge me?
- How long will it take to close?
Don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if you don’t like what’s being offered. Remember, mortgage companies compete against each other for business—so shop around! And if you’re working with a mortgage broker, use them as an advocate who negotiates on your behalf.
An extra benefit of shopping around is that once you’ve received offers from different mortgage companies, you’ll have more clarity about which lender has made an offer most similar to what you’re looking for. It might also help narrow down which features matter most to you (e.g., lower interest rate vs. lower monthly payment).
2: Do Some Homework
When it comes to financing, most conventional mortgages require no less than 20% down on your home purchase. If you’re putting less than that down and don’t have any other type of collateral—like cash reserves or stocks/bonds—you might consider an FHA loan. This particular mortgage doesn’t require you to make a down payment, but it will require you to carry mortgage insurance. FHA loans are backed by the federal government and are often easier for first-time buyers who haven’t been able to build up equity yet, or who have bad credit scores. You can get more information about FHA mortgages from rapcredit.com. Another option is to seek out mortgages for bad credit in New Jersey. The state has some pretty generous guidelines when it comes to offering mortgages to people with low credit scores (as low as 620). To qualify, you need at least 10% down and at least two years of verifiable employment history (or a letter from your employer stating they intend to keep you employed). Your debt-to-income ratio should be below 45%, which means your monthly debt payments shouldn’t exceed 45% of what you bring home each month. Finally, if your income is unstable or sporadic (due to self-employment), lenders may ask for one year’s worth of tax returns instead of employment verification.
3: Consider Renting Instead
If you have bad credit, your options for buying a home are limited. You may want to consider renting instead. In New Jersey, for example, if you make less than $45,000 annually and can rent an apartment without paying more than 30 percent of your income on housing, you can qualify for Section 8 housing. This program provides subsidized housing based on family size and income level. Because it involves government subsidies, qualifying isn’t easy—but if you do meet qualifications, your rent will be covered by Section 8 and could cover most or all of what you’d otherwise spend on rent. If you’re still interested in buying a home despite having bad credit, some programs can help.
If you’re not eligible for any other assistance, try searching for private lenders who offer mortgages for people with bad credit. These loans aren’t guaranteed—and they typically come with higher interest rates than traditional mortgages—but they do exist. And remember: Having poor credit doesn’t mean you can never own a home. Instead of giving up on homeownership altogether, focus on building good financial habits until your score improves enough to qualify for a traditional mortgage loan from a bank or lender.