People who live with members of their extended family – or have boarders living with them – may have an easier time getting a mortgage, under new rules from Fannie Mae.
Previously, if you applied for a mortgage, only your own income could be counted to see if you qualified, even if you had family members or others living with you who contributed to your housing payments on a regular basis.
Now, however, under Fannie Mae’s “HomeReady” program, the income of extended family members who live with you can be considered on your mortgage application – even if the family members don’t sign the loan and aren’t legally responsible for the payments.
According to Fannie Mae, the reason for the change is that such arrangements are common among minority families, and in the past these families have been prevented from getting a loan even though their overall family income is stable and they would otherwise qualify.
Live-in extended family members contribute to house payments in about 19 percent of African-American households, and about 24 percent of Hispanic households, according to Fannie Mae.
The company also said that if borrowers have a boarder living with them who pays rent, the amount of the rent may be considered when applying for a HomeReady mortgage.