USDA mortgage loans are geared to those who have lower income, and perhaps, lower credit scores. USDA mortgage loans allow lower income families to fulfill the American dream of being homeowners. However, circumstances in life can severely affect one's financial matters, such as a new job with less income. A lower income can make it difficult to keep current with mortgage payments, particularly if the homeowners were already close to the debt-to-income ratio and had little extra money left to spend and save.
Fortunately, those who have USDA mortgages can refinance under a program called USDA Streamline Assist, which means they can effectively lower their monthly mortgage payments and enjoy a lower interest rate. Here's what you need to know if you would like to refinance your USDA mortgage.
Be sure to have made timely monthly mortgage payments for a full year
One of the criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for this refinance program is to have paid mortgage payments on time every month through the entire 12-month period beforehand. If you are not sure if every single monthly payment has been paid on time, delve into your records to check before you apply for USDA Streamline Assist. If you do find instances in which you paid late, use the last late monthly payment as the launch date of a new 12-month period. Be sure to pay each payment on time in the future months so you'll know exactly when you can refinance.
Your credit score and debt-to-income ratio will not be checked
One of the best things about this refinance program is that your credit score will not be checked. However, depending on the lender, your credit report may be checked to determine if you've paid your mortgage payments on time. Whether or not the lender requires this should be disclosed to you beforehand. This is important if you are considering applying for other types of credit, such as a vehicle loan or signature loan, because multiple hard pulls of your credit report can look bad to other potential creditors.
Your income will be checked to determine if you still meet the requirements of income eligibility; however, your debt-to-income ratio also will not be calculated, even though your income has lowered. Even though your debt-to-income ratio will not be calculated, it's always a good idea for you to try to reduce any bills that you can when your income has reduced, such as cutting your cable bill in half, if possible.