Veteran first-time homebuyer with 548 FICO score and NO down payment looking for VA LOAN

Asked by MoonChild, Atlanta, GA Tue Apr 22, 2014

I am self-employed Veteran and I have been renting a condo in Atlanta for the past 9 months. After just barely getting settled into the condo, the owner lets me know she has decided to sell. Long story short, this has been my life over the past 4 years and I am so exhausted with the uncertainty/instability of renting. Not to mention, I pay $1875 in rent towards someone else's mortgage.

I am mid-30s and have put off buying simply because my credit is awful. It has improved some from where it was, but it is a slow process. In the meantime, I am at my wits end (I literally cannot sleep) and really just need my own place. My lease ends in June and I would like to buy a condo in the same building I'm renting. I have no down down payment, my debt to income ratio is excellent, I am looking for $175K loan and my FICO score hovers at 548. Do I have ANY chance at all in getting a VA loan, or should I just suffer for the next 1-2 years until I get my credit in better shape?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Brian Nguyen, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Mission Viejo, CA
Fri Apr 25, 2014
When it comes to VA loans, lenders like myself can go as low as 580 for credit. Since you are below this I recommend that you work on your credit. The simplest way to fix your credit would be to pay off your debt and revolving credit balance on time. Once your scores are at 580 or above you will be in much better position to obtain a VA loan. If you need additional assistance, feel free to reach out. Good luck!

Brian Nguyen
Sr. Mortgage Banker
NMLS # 659743
Phone: 949.667.2887
0 votes
Cleaning up my credit is obvious the answer. Thank you for attempting to enlighten me, as if this wasn't something I knew already. Happy self-promoting!
Flag Sat Apr 26, 2014
MoonChild, Home Buyer, Atlanta, GA
Wed Apr 23, 2014
Still waiting on individuals who can actually answer my question and provide REAL assistance. It would be great if they are also located in Atlanta, GA. NO more textbook responses or self-promotion please (and thanks).
0 votes
I will give you a call early next week. Thank you!
Flag Sat Apr 26, 2014
Mood Child,
I can appreciate your frustration, bottom line we cannot diagnose your problem without speaking with you. Your credit scores are an issue, there isn't any way to help you until I can identify what is on your credit report that is causing your credit scores to be where they are at, then I need to look at the types of accounts you have and determine what I can do to help elevate your scores. I do business all over the country, if you are free call me I am still working.
H. Roy Bhiro
Flag Wed Apr 23, 2014
Johnetta Dil…, Other Pro, Morrow, GA
Wed Apr 23, 2014
You are in a bit of a wrinkle with that high rent. I can see why you'd want to turn that into a lower mortgage payment -- and that's certainly possible. The best thing to do is to connect with a team who can counsel you toward making the right next moves. Sometimes people think paying off a particular credit card will do the trick, but that may not be the right answer. I have helped many people in your situation turn that frown into a smile. There's more good news for you MoonChild -- Not having a down payment is not the problem that it used to be -- depending on where you buy. You see, there are programs still available to help you in that regard. Visit Lets see what we can work out.
0 votes
Kirsten Well…, Agent, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 22, 2014
Hi MoonChild,

It will be tough but maybe not impossible to meet your goal. A lot depends on what is causing your score to be what it is. Second, where did that score come from (scores you pull online yourself will not be the same score as a lender will pull due to different scoring models). Third, a lender uses the mid score of the 3, so you could have a 550, 580, 600 you may be able to work with Something. But, if you had a 480, 520, and 550, you would have a longer road. There are things that can be done to boost your score fast depending on your situation.

Let me know if I can answer further questions!

Kirsten Wellborn
Garrett Realty
0 votes
Sally Grenier, Agent, Boulder, CO
Tue Apr 22, 2014
I would talk to a local lender who also helps with credit repair. As Dan said, it doesn't necessarily have to take a long time. It depends on what's on your credit report and why. Some people have very legitimate and valid reasons for having a low credit score and those issues can get cleared up quickly. Or the lender may be able to manually underwrite it.

But if you've just incurred a bunch of debt, and have acted irresponsibly (i.e. not paying your bills on time, for no good reason) it could be more difficult to bring up your score. Talk to a lender and get the process started. Good luck!
0 votes
Correction: "...didn't have"
Flag Tue Apr 22, 2014
I was homeless for almost 3 years. That was the biggest issue, I suppose. During that time I stayed persistent with a business I started and ultimately landed on my feet. I wouldn't necessarily say I was irresponsible. I just did haven't money. What can you do? Don't get me wrong, there are still some dings on there from my late 20s (i.e. an early cellphone termination fee from 2007), but the biggest dings come from the time I was homeless and living in a motel. Thank you for the advice!
Flag Tue Apr 22, 2014
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Tue Apr 22, 2014
Credit repair does not take as much time as you think and would be strongly encouraged even if you find an option now. When I did loans I helped buyers get into position to qualify for financing and often better rates. Some lenders still do this. One method is using a service only available through lenders called RapidRescore. (I have no personal interest in this company. I've only benefited as a result of their service to my clients).
They review your credit report for free and tell you what steps they can take and how much your score may go up if they are successful. Often by paying credit balances down to 1/3 or less and disputing some errors they can raise scores 30 to 60 points, putting you into a much better position to get what you want.
Even with RapidRescore it takes some time, so start soon. The lender may suggest other things that can help you get qualified in time to meet your goals, but time is going to go by very quickly.
This is a REAL Solution you can take. I hope you do.
0 votes
Thanks, Dan.
Flag Tue Apr 22, 2014
MoonChild, Home Buyer, Atlanta, GA
Tue Apr 22, 2014
And please, NO textbook answers or self-promotion. I am looking for LEGITIMATE help from individuals that may have REAL solutions. Obviously, repairing my credit is ideal. But I'm interested in learning if I have any options at this current time. Thanks!
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more