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Posted On Sunday, 05 December 2021 07:08 Written by
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“Believe you can, and you are halfway there.” Anonymous

The top three hurdles mortgage customers must conquer are fixing credit issues, finding enough qualified income, and fast-tracking the funds needed to close the real estate transaction.  Time is a great healer when it comes to older derogatory credit accounts. An experienced mortgage loan officer can help find qualified income for a borrower, sometimes in the back pages of the tax return. A borrower who does not have enough funds to close the loan can get help from agencies and gifts from other people. 

Overcoming Credit Issues

Benton and Baily were disappointed that their payment would be slightly higher since the mortgage rates had gone up before they got their offer accepted on buying a home. So the answer for Benton and Bailey was to improve their credit scores.  

By paying down their credit cards to show they were using less than 30% of their revolving credit limits, their score rose enough to put them in a much better price level for their mortgage. Find more information about improving credit scores at

Review your credit history at and correct any errors you see on your report.  Unpaid judgments need to be satisfied before time to close on the transaction. However, collections and past due accounts do not always have to be paid right away. Consult with your mortgage officer about dealing with delinquent credit accounts on the report. 

Overcoming Lack of Funds to Close

Noah and Norah had been renting a home for over a year in a neighborhood they liked, and they enjoyed being close to family who helped them take care of their son. They made an offer to their landlord to purchase the home where they were living. The landlord accepted. 

Noah and Norah had paid off some other debt and did not have enough money to cover the down payment and closing costs.   They did not want to ask their family for a gift but got approved for down payment assistance from a HUD-approved agency in their city instead.  The down payment assistance program from the city allowed Noah and Norah to pay less than $1,000 of their own money at closing.   A great resource to find down payment assistance programs around the country is .

Gifts from family are typical sources of down payment funds for borrowers, even though gift money does not work for all loan programs.  Frequently, borrowers can get a loan secured on other assets like their 401k retirement program. Loans secured on other real estate or cash value on a life insurance policy can sometimes provide the funds needed for the borrower to get approved and closed on their mortgage. Unsecured loans are not acceptable for most mortgage programs. 

Overcoming barriers with self-employment income

On the day Mr. Palmer saw a home for sale that he knew was his forever home, he made his offer to the seller.  As a successful business owner, Mr. Palmer confidently marched into his bank to get his mortgage approved. However, he was shocked when his banker shook his head no and handed Mr. Palmer back his tax returns stating that he did not show enough qualified income after expenses were deducted. 

Mr. Palmer found an experienced mortgage loan officer who knew how to start at the back of the tax return and work forward, adding back to qualified income paper expenses like depreciation on equipment and the amount he deducted for business use of his home. In addition, mortgage programs allow certain other expenses to be added back to qualified income depending on the circumstances and the documentation supporting those circumstances. 

Find more tools and resources for overcoming common barriers to mortgage approval from the book by Jo Garner  “Choosing the Best Mortgage: The Quickest Way to the Life You Want”  on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

Posted On Wednesday, 08 December 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 08 December 2021 00:00 Written by

Last April, the Federal Reserve addressed inflation fears with the word “transitory”. The conversation was directed to the markets to believe that current inflation pressures were not severe, and in fact, would dissipate as people went back to work and the supply chain corrected itself. Many in the markets weren’t so sure that this explanation was valid, but the more the markets pushed back, the more the message persisted that inflation fears were a moot point, as they were just “transitory” and would self-correct. The more that position was shared, the harder the markets pushed back. I have been writing in this post that inflation was real, it was going to get worse, and sooner or later, the FED would have to acknowledge that the inflation pressure was in fact real, and that it wasn’t not only not going away, but was going to be a significant issue going into 2022.

This week Jerome Powell finally addressed the issue again but fell far short of admitting he was wrong, but rather the markets had a different definition of the word transitory than the FED did, so he was going to eliminate the word from use and just move on. He did admit that inflation was very real and that it would continue to be an issue well into 2022. With tapering already under way, the possibility of the FED speeding up the tapering timetable seems likely to take place. Since the FED isn’t completely transparent with its balance sheet, we can only see that data that they share, but it is likely that the markets will adjust to the fact that the FED sees that inflation is real, and that is the first step in dealing with the issue.

Big picture is that rates will continue being volatile while trending higher. The jobs report tomorrow will help set the stage for market reaction. We all must pay special attention to unit labor costs and productivity next Tuesday, as well as the CPI report next Friday 12/10. All of this is to say, please don’t play the market, if you like it, LOCK IT!

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Posted On Monday, 06 December 2021 00:00 Written by
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