Army Vet & First time home buyer, low credit score

Asked by Ball State Alum, San Antonio, TX Sun Jun 10, 2012

I am an Army VET, and first time homebuyer. Looking for a home around $200k and under. Im currently in Afghanistan as a civilian contractor. My Annual salary is $163k, however my credit score is dismal, 500's. Can I get a loan somewhere, even if it means a higher intrest and downpayment?

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Brenda Mullen’s answer
Brenda Mullen, Agent, Garden Ridge, TX
Sun Jun 10, 2012

As a retired Vet myself, I thank you for your service. I helped a couple buy a home who were also Civilian Contractors in Afghanistan. There are a couple of things that will may hold you back.

First, although you are entitled to a VA loan because of your Army Service, the lenders will still require a decent credit score.

Additionally, the only way your income will count with the contractor job in Afghanistan will be if you have a spouse here in the States that you can give a power of attorney to buy the home. If you are not married, you will be required to reside in the US and use the home as your primary residence no matter what type of loan you get.

I can direct you to a great lender that can help you get your credit score up and discuss with you the possibilities of home ownership and steps you need to take. Just send an e-mail or give a call :)!

Brenda Mullen
Realtor®, ABR, e-PRO
RE/MAX Access
1 vote
Royce Simmon…, Agent, Cibolo, TX
Sat May 25, 2013
Frankly, I would not worry about so called wonderful mortgage companies that can somehow magically get you approved for a VA mortgage - a couple of responses discusses to get your credit FICO score improved and I think that is the answer. You make a great income and just need to improve your credit situation. Call me and I can refer you to individuals who can really help you over the medium term haul.

Royce Simmonds, Broker-Owner
Simmonds Real Estate Inc. Schertz (NE San Antonio)
210-269-8086 Direct Cell]

36 years Air Force Active Service (15 Enlisted/21 Officer)
0 votes
Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Sat May 25, 2013
Save for 2 years and pay with CASH, congratulation on your salary.
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0 votes
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Fri May 24, 2013
Good afternoon,

We see many credit reports with low credit scores (anything less than 620), and often many scores in the 500's. This is BAD credit. If you are one of the folks affected by this terrible economy, you have a low credit score and you have a dream of buying a home, here's some simple advice for you.

It is unlikely you could be approved for mortgage financing with that credit score at this time.

Beware of any mortgage professionals promising you an approval with such a low score. Wait on buying a home. I recommend you take the time to resolve your credit issues.

First, settle any outstanding debt. If you owe money on collection accounts, charge-offs and/or judgments, make payment arrangements and get these accounts paid promptly.

Next, begin rebuilding your credit. If you have current accounts with good payment histories, or even some previous late-payment-blemishes, make sure you continue to pay those accounts on time. If you do not have any existing credit accounts then you'll need to establish several in order to create a viable credit history.

I have found that CONSUMER ACTION is an excellent resource for objective advice on all things credit related. You'll find free and sincere advice on everything from settling collection accounts to rebuilding credit to building credit from scratch on their website.

Beware of anyone offering to "repair" your credit! The Federal Trade Commission issued a stern warning last year that such offers are scams. Find more from the FTC HERE.…

The best way to buy a home is to have a decent credit history combined with sufficient Income and Assets for a home purchase.

The best way to have a decent credit history is to settle negative outstanding obligations and pay all your bills on time for at least two years.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140

*If you thought my answer was helpful, please give me a “Thumbs Up” or “Best Answer.” Thanks!
0 votes
AL Aranda, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Fri May 24, 2013
What if... you can buy a home with NO Credit Check?
Al Aranda 210-867-8270
0 votes
Doc & Ellen…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Tue Jun 12, 2012
Thanks for your service! There are a number of approaches to take that will get you a great home, without paying through the nose. Start now working on raising the credit scores. VA loans aren't driven by credit scores, but they do look at why you had delinquencies. A good lender will help you through the process, and monitor your results. If you don't have one, we can recommend several that are great.

Be careful to avoid "Seller Financing" schemes that usually over price the property, charge exorbitant interest rates, etc. Get yourself a great agent to coordinate the process here, and you should be ready to go when you get back to the world.

Best regards,

Doc Stephens, REALTOR®
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0 votes
Jason Campbe…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Mon Jun 11, 2012
Best thing you can do is get your credit scores up so you are not limited as to which homes you can choose from... being stuck to homes that are owner finance only leaves a lot to be desired..

Best thing to do is to get to work on this and take it really seriously...

Start here: - Kasey is the most aggressive lender in San Antonio. She has an in-house credit clean department called the "HomeBuyer's Club"

Fill out the app online... all she needs to do is get you to a 580 credit score and she can get you done VA Texas Vet. Then you can choose any home you want.. and your interest rates will be in the low 3s. Your down payment will be $0.00.

They will guide you step by step on what to do and how to do it... and when your loan is approved.. I'll pull you a detailed list of all the homes that fit exactly what you are looking for, and we can go see some homes.. Easy as pie!

Jason C Campbell
Option One Real Estate
0 votes
Norma Tillem…, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Mon Jun 11, 2012
I have an investor and lender helping one of my clients in a similar situation. Email me your estimated date of return to San Antonio, preferred part of town, and downpayment amount, so I can present financing ideas to the investor partners.
My nephew in Colorado, is an Army Vet, worked similar salary as civilian contractor in Afghanistan, and now owns 3 condos. I would love to help you find a good home.

Norma Tilleman
Realty Executives - Select Properties
Cell: 210-452-6480
0 votes
Darrell D. D…, Agent, Schertz, TX
Sun Jun 10, 2012
As one army veteran to another - Thank You for your service! With that type of income, you should be able to pay down some of you debt, but the only way to take guesswork out of the equation and get the facts is to speak with a competent and knowledgeable lender.

As a preferred realtor for the Texas Veterans Land Board, I would highly recommend Lisa Warren. Here is her info:

Lisa Warren
Senior Mortgage Banker - SWBC Mortgage
NMLS# 227358
8400 Blanco Rd, Ste 100
San Antonio, TX 78216

She is super easy to work with and is very committed to assisting veterans - you can even find her on facebook as 'TX Vet Loan Girl.' Let her know Darrell recommended her and when you are set to find a home, I'll be glad to assist.


Darrell D. Drouillard
Home Team of America
16719 Huebner Rd., Bldg 4
San Antonio, Texas 78248
210-881-6760 (Fax)

'Serving all Your Real Estate Needs'
0 votes
Diana Ayala, Agent, San Antonio, TX
Sun Jun 10, 2012
Hi Sir:

I just wanted to Thank -You for serving our Country. We appreciate it. I would be glad to assist you and help you to get the answers you need. We would have to get with a Loan Processor to help you with your credit scores. We have Loan Officers who specialize in VA requirements. Please let me know if I can help you... Thanks Diana 210-392-3386...
0 votes
Royce Simmon…, Agent, Cibolo, TX
Sun Jun 10, 2012
The fact that your likely eligible for a VA loan is a positive. I would have a mortgage "professional" evaluate your current FICO score and credit information up front before considering a purchase. It is highly likely you can obtain a pre-approval if not now, downstream and then connect with a real estate professional.
Royce Simmonds, Broker-Owner, Realty Executives Lone Star Inc. Schertz (San Antonio)
36 Years Air Force Officer and Enlisted Service
0 votes
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