Policy change gives seniors mortgage break

Here’s a heads-up for the growing ranks of seniors whose post-retirement monthly incomes aren’t sufficient to qualify for a mortgage under today’s tough underwriting standards: Thanks to a rule change by the largest players in the home-loan business, you may be able to use imputed income from your 401(k), IRA and other retirement assets to qualify for the loan you want. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



Policy change gives seniors mortgage break

Posted 6/10/13

Here’s a heads-up for the growing ranks of seniors whose post-retirement monthly incomes aren’t sufficient to qualify for a mortgage under today’s tough underwriting standards: Thanks to a rule change by the largest players in the home-loan business, you may be able to use imputed income from your 401(k), IRA and other retirement assets to qualify for the loan you want.

That, in turn, could open the door to a money-saving refinancing to a lower-rate loan or a downsizing purchase of a new house or condo.

Top credit officials at Freddie Mac – the giant, federally controlled mortgage-investment company – said last week that a “little known” policy revision now allows seniors and others to use certain retirement account balances to supplement their incomes for underwriting purposes – without actually tapping those balances or drawing down cash.

Freddie’s revised rule is aimed at the tidal waves of baby boomers heading into retirement status – 8,000 a day for the next 18 years, according to one industry estimate. Many of these seniors have seen their monthly incomes – heavily dependent on Social Security and limited pension-plan payouts – plummet following retirement. Yet on paper, they look relatively comfortable financially. They’ve got growing IRA and 401(k) retirement account balances, swelled by recent stock market gains. They often have solid equity in their homes, good credit scores and at least modest savings.

But if these same people apply for a refinancing or a new mortgage to buy a home, suddenly they’re told they don’t look so great. They often can’t qualify under the “debt-to-income” standards required for today’s post-recession underwriting. Those rules sometimes set the bar for total household debt-to-income too low for retirees who are still making payments on auto loans, credit cards, home-equity lines of credit and other debts.

Freddie Mac’s plan – and Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage investor has a similar option for seniors – offers them a little extra boost on qualifying income if their financial assets permit. Take this hypothetical example provided by Freddie Mac credit officials: Say you’d like a new, low-interest rate mortgage but your debt-to-income ratio doesn’t make the grade. You do have $800,000 sitting in a retirement account that you haven’t touched yet and that could be accessed by you with no IRS penalty.

Next Page
No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Register today for the First Annual PBN Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Click here for more information, including the list of winners.
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News