Everything you should know about Virginia's ITIN Loan Program for Immigrants
There’s something about owning a home that’s inherently American, but purchasing an abode is also possible if you’re an immigrant—whether you’re a citizen or not. Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) Loans are available to those not eligible for a social security number, who instead have an ITIN number.
What is an ITIN number?
You need a nine-digit ITIN number in order to file your federal taxes—which is mandatory for anyone living in the US regardless of immigration status. If you don’t have one, you can request one from the IRS. Once you have an active ITIN, you are eligible to submit an application to the ITIN loan program in Virginia.
Who is eligible for an ITIN home loan in Virginia?
ITIN mortgage loans have more specific requirements than other loan programs. You must be able to offer a down payment of at least 15% (or up to 25%) depending on your credit score. That said, gift funds are accepted. You also need to have filed 2 years’ worth of tax returns already, using your ITIN number (or bank statements if you’re self-employed), and you need to demonstrate a minimum 2-year work history in the same field. You may also be asked for a month’s worth of pay stubs. Finally, most lenders require your debt-to-income ratio be 50% or lower, and that you have a credit score of at least 600.
How to improve your chances of ITIN Loan Program approval
Although having an ITIN number helps, it doesn’t guarantee you will be granted a loan. Here are a few tips to help increase your chances:
1. Find a lender with a reputation for working with ITIN home loan candidates
Always research potential lenders. While some will be willing to grant smaller loans to those trying to rebuild their credit score, big banks may turn you down without a strong credit history. Check out lending networks online to familiarize yourself with smaller financial institutions that may be more amenable, or look into hiring a specialized mortgage broker; get recommendations from friends and reputable experts to help guide your search for the right broker!
Pay down your debt
When trying to land a home loan, your credit score can make all the difference in the world. To raise your credit score, do everything you can to pay down enough of your existing debt to improve your score, as this demonstrates financial responsibility. Start by paying off delinquent debts and then get to work on high-interest debts (such as a high-interest credit card balance).
Although this can be a very effective way of ironing out your credit score, it’s often glossed over. Frequent utilization doesn’t necessarily equal a higher credit score. Borrow only what you need, when you need it, and pay it back on time. It may sound simple, but it’s also foundational.
ITIN Loans in Virginia
Recap: if you have an ITIN number, a 2-year work history, a sizable down payment, and a minimum credit score of 600, you’re eligible for Virginia’s ITIN Loan Program. To apply for an ITIN number, follow these steps.
Everyone deserves a dream home. The sky just might be your limit if you take things one step at a time! Need help? Find a broker to help you with your ITIN Loan Program application today.