I am a prospective first-time home buyer with a score of 614. Are there any lenders left who lend below 620?

Asked by Portlandia, Clackamas, OR Wed Apr 15, 2009

I live in Clackamas County, Oregon. I am gainfully employed (6 yrs at same job) with good income...just not so great credit. I'm already in the process of cleaning up my credit with the guidance of a broker who declined my app, but I was trying to see if I have any other options. My lease expires soon, and I'd like to get the process underway. Any guidance is appreciated...thank you!

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Bonnie Reyno…, Agent, Stratford, CT
Thu Apr 16, 2009
I agree with another agent who answered this question, hold off for a few months until you bring up your credit score a few points. This will allow you to have access to more options at better rates. I would recommend you find a mortgage broker you can trust and feel comfortable with and get some guidance from them. They will be able to help you figure out how to bring up your score--there are sometimes a few very easy ways to do this. Good luck in your search!
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Mark Miller, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Not all mortgage brokers have the same pool of loan sources available to them so checking with other brokers might uncover a program that will work for you. Here's a few I recommend: Allan Mohr at Mortgage Express (503) 517-2415, Clayton Scott at Windermere Mortgage Services (503) 497-5060 and Debbie Patton at Umpqua Bank (503) 598-5662. All three are experienced, friendly and will know program availablilty.
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Barbara Weis…, Agent, Tenafly, NJ
Thu Apr 16, 2009
Yes you most certainly can get a mortgage with your credit score but I would advise you strongly to keep working on your credit because credit issues have a severe impact.

So many things are more expensive if you have credit issues - did you know that your car insurance can cost more becaues of low credit scores? Your car lease or purchase payments are likewise affected as are all credit cards plus some health insurance companies won't insure you, utiltiy companies may ask for a security deposit or for an increase, you might get turned down for a rental and it will hurt you if you're looking for a job and on and on and on.

Here's a question for you - how's your down payment? If you have a low credit score and a low downpayment, the best thing you can do is to wait a while and save up some more to increase your down payment. That's the fastest way to improve your mortgage picture.

The reason you're having a problem is because the guidelines were recently raised from 580 to 620 by the FHA which has the most liberal guidelines. Frankly, I think you should continue to work with the banker who's spending time helping you - the advice is correct. Work on raising your credit score and also work on trying to save a bit more for your down payment if you can. The real estate market is not changing quickly so you have the luxury of enough time to put yourself in a better position.
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Dirk Knudsen, Agent, Hillsboro, OR
Thu Apr 16, 2009
get some credit repair. You can bump a credit score up a few points and if you are at 614 you are right there.
A good lender should be able to help you get some credit repair and pop that score by at least 15 points.

That would be my first move. Call Wells or Countrywide. I think either can do a 614.

Good luck to you!


Dirk Knudsen
Re/Max Hall of Fame
Web Reference:  http://www.theknudsens.com
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Allison James…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Hi - I am dual licensed as a Real Estate Broker and Loan Officer and I'm on LinkedIn networking with many others in both fields. I recently saw a post by a loan officer at US Bank saying they had an FHA program with no credit score requirements. While I can broker loans to US Bank - they don't offer this product to brokers. You have to go through them directly. Might be worth making a phone call them to get more info.

If you need help finding a home once you have your approval - give me a call. My team at Keller Williams all live in Clackamas County and any of us would be happy to help.

Kelly Gebler
Real Estate Broker & Loan Officer
Keller Williams Realty & Sunset Mortgage
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Sam Shueh, , San Jose, CA
Wed Apr 15, 2009
Talk to your local bank lender(not a broker. FHA could be a possibility.
Best thing is wait about 6 months to improve your score before rushing into a commitment.
Good luck
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