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What Is A Piggyback Mortgage and Is It Right For You?

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

A loan program that was popular several years ago is making a comeback and many lenders are now offering options for a mortgage loan program called "the Piggyback mortgage".

The following will give you some insight into just what a Piggyback mortgage is and also it will give you some information to help you decide if a "Piggyback" loan is a good option for you, if you are searching for a home loan.

Definition of a Piggyback Mortgage

Also called a “purchase money second mortgage,” a piggyback loan is used by homebuyers with less than 20 percent down to avoid paying for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Types of Packages

Typical packages might be called 80-10-10 (80 percent first mortgage, 10 percent second mortgage, and 10 percent down payment from the buyer), 80-15-5 (a 15 percent second mortgage, and a five percent down payment) or even an 80-20 (80 percent first mortgage, 20 percent second mortgage, and no down payment from the buyer).

Buyers considering this financing should compare the costs of a second mortgage (they do have higher interest rates than first mortgages) with the cost of a bigger first mortgage plus mortgage insurance. They should compare the after tax costs, because borrowers with higher incomes may not be able to deduct mortgage insurance, but they may still be able to write off mortgage interest.

Piggyback Loan Explained

Essentially, a piggyback loan helps homebuyers who don't have the traditional 20 percent down payment when applying for a mortgage.

A piggyback loan occurs when a borrower takes out two loans simultaneously: one for 80 percent of a home's value, and the other to make up for whatever cash is lacking to make up a 20 percent down payment. This is used as an alternative to private mortgage insurance. A piggyback loan is also known as a second trust loan.

The most common type of piggyback loan is an 80/10/10 where a first mortgage is taken out for 80 percent of the home’s value, a down payment of 10 percent is made and another 10 percent is financed in a second trust loan at a higher interest rate. In some cases, you may even qualify for a piggyback loan with as little as a 5 percent down payment (known as an 80/15/5).

Many lenders will finance loans with down payments of less than 20 percent, but you'll pay a price. Usually, the lender insists you buy private mortgage insurance (PMI) which guarantees that the outstanding balance of your loan will be paid off if you default. You will either pay a lump sum each year for PMI or add the cost to your monthly mortgage payments.

Piggyback loans eliminate the need for PMI. You combine this loan with your down payment to reach the 20 percent down needed for a conventional mortgage. This can significantly lower the interest rate of your mortgage.

If you get a piggyback loan, you will close on it the same time as you close on the mortgage. You will most likely have to pay closing costs, which will require additional upfront cash.

You will probably also have to make two loan payments each month — one for your mortgage and one for the piggyback loan. The interest rate on the piggyback loan will probably be higher. But, the monthly payments of both loans are often still less than they would be if you were paying PMI.

Another benefit of a piggyback loan is that the interest may be tax-deductible, potentially saving you even more money. Check with a tax adviser on how a piggyback loan would affect your tax situation.

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Credit Score: How Low Is Too Low To Buy A Home?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Frequently, I get questions from would-be homebuyers in regards to credit scores and home purchases. There are requirements for any home loan on specific credit scores needed to obtain a loan.  The following is a great article from "Realty Times" that explains the credit score process for home financing.

When it comes to your credit score, how low is too low? The number you really need to buy a house.

We all know that when it comes to buying a house, there are a few things we need, like a down payment and a good enough credit score to qualify for a loan. But what does a "good enough credit score" really mean? Does your credit history have to be impeccable? Can you have a couple of boo-boos? And, if you do have issues on your report, how much of a hit will you take? Your credit score is "a number, roughly between 300 and 850, that summarizes a consumer's creditworthiness," said Bankrate. "The higher the score, the more able and willing a consumer is to repay a loan, lenders believe. The best mortgage rates and terms go to borrowers with credit scores of 740 and higher."

But most of us can't measure up to that number. Thankfully, we don't have to. There's room for lower scores - even really low scores - depending on the type of loan you're applying for, with a number of other factors (your income and work history, the amount of your down payment, the state of the economy) thrown in. Knowing where the bottom is will help you figure out how to proceed.

FHA loans

The advantage to a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan for many buyers is the low down payment. You may need only 3.5% down to purchase a home with this type of loan, which is backed by the government. But, you'll need a minimum 580 credit score if you're only planning to put 3.5% down. Can't meet that benchmark? You'll need more cash up front.

"If your credit score is below 580, however, you aren't necessarily excluded from FHA loan eligibility," said the FHA. "Applicants with lower credit scores will have to put down a 10 percent down payment if they want to qualify for a loan."

For FHA loans, your credit score can be as low as 500. But, "Those with credit scores between 500 and 579 are limited to 90 percent LTV," which leaves a lot of people out of luck.

Non-government-backed loans

The issue with FHA loans for many buyers: That pesky private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can add several hundred dollars to the monthly payment and is "required any time you put less than 20% down on a conventional loan," said My Mortgage Insider.

If you have a larger down payment, you may be able to avoid paying PMI by going with another type of loan - but only if you have the credit score. "To qualify for a conventional mortgage, a borrower generally needs a minimum credit score of 680 and at least 5 percent down," said Bankrate. "Many lenders require at least 10 percent down."

There may be more wiggle room in that credit score if you can come up with more money for a higher down payment. But, if it's too low, you'll likely be pointed right back to FHA loans. On the other end, a higher score will get you the best possible interest rates.

Subprime mortgages

Have a credit score below 500? You're officially in the "bad credit" zone. But, you may still be a candidate for a loan, even if you can't qualify by FHA standards, by going with a subprime mortgage. The word "subprime" still sends shivers down the spines of many people because loans extended to what many industry professionals considered to be unqualified applicants were largely blamed for the last housing crash. Accordingly, many of these opportunities dried up in the aftermath.

Today, though, subprime mortgages are available. Keep in mind that minimum credit scores will depend on the individual loan and lender, and each borrower's unique set of financial circumstances. And, you'll pay for the privilege of being extended a loan with higher rates and/or fees.

"Subprime mortgage lenders mostly use collateral like equity earned when considering a ‘refinance' or a more significant down-payment when talking about a ‘purchase money' transaction," said First Time Home Financing.

Private Money Lenders

If all other avenues fail, you may still be able to get a loan with your bad credit from a private money lender. These are individuals with money to spend who are looking for investments. Because your low credit score makes you risky, you'll be charged more for your loan.

"Your personal credit is usually a smaller factor in these types of loans. However, you should know that the interest rate on these loans is much higher - in the range of 10-15%," said First Time Home Financing. "If you really have bad credit, this could be your only option for the time being."

Have An Awesome Week!

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AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

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Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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