We understand the financial challenges many homebuyers are facing. They can’t afford a large down payment; may have multiple student loans; or may rely on income from non-traditional sources (e.g., parents or other family members). These challenges can make homeownership seem impossible, or may have impacted their ability to buy a home in the past.
Not anymore. After much research and feedback from both homebuyers and lenders, Fannie Mae created HomeReady® mortgage, an enhanced affordable loan designed to meet the diverse financial and familial needs of responsible, creditworthy buyers.
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Know the Features & Flexibilities
HomeReady mortgage addresses common financial challenges and offers expanded eligibility guidelines, such as:
- Offering a 3% down payment option. First-time and repeat homebuyers can purchase a home with a down payment as low as 3% of the purchase price.
- Allowing co-borrower flexibility. All borrowers do not have to reside in the property. For example, parents, who won’t be living in the home, can be co-borrowers on the loan to help their children qualify for a mortgage and purchase a home. Income limits may apply.
- Accepting additional income sources. Rental payments may be considered as another allowable income source to help qualify a buyer (i.e., rental payments from a basement apartment).
Homeownership Education Requirement
We believe quality homeownership education can help buyers prepare for the responsibilities of buying and owning a home. Buyers can complete an online homeownership course offered by Framework® to fulfill the requirement*. If ALL borrowers who will occupy the home are first-time homebuyers, then at least one borrower must complete homeownership education regardless of the loan-to-value (LTV). One-on-one homeownership advising (e.g., through a HUD-approved counseling agency) may also be an option for buyers who could benefit from personalized assistance. If you seek one-on-one advising, speak with your lender beforehand to confirm that you’ll meet the HomeReady mortgage education requirement.
*In circumstances when an online format may not be the appropriate option for a potential home buyer an exception may be necessary.
Exceptions to the Framework course requirement:
- For loans that involve a Community Seconds® mortgage or down payment assistance program, buyers may complete the homeownership education course or counseling that those options require instead of the Framework course, as long as it is provided by a HUD-approved agency and completed prior to closing.
- Consumers with disabilities, lack of Internet access, and other challenges may be better served through other educational options (e.g., an in-person classroom course or a conference call). In those cases, buyers should call Framework’s toll-free customer service line (855-659-2267) for a referral to a HUD-approved counseling agency.
- Buyers who completed housing counseling prior to entering into a sales contract to buy a home are not required to complete the Framework course. A completed Fannie Mae Form 1017 can be provided as evidence that housing counseling was completed.
For more details and to see if you qualify for a HomeReady Mortgage, talk to a lender. Your lender may have other affordable financing options for you to consider as well. Always compare and shop around for the mortgage that works best for your financial situation.