All people have made mistakes at some point during their lives, some worse than others. Oftentimes, people get up and learn from their mistakes, but some mistakes can be bigger than others, and unfortunately, could land them in prison as a result. However, some people do bounce back strong in life, even after facing criminal charges at some point, and go on to lead successful lives – getting an employment, purchasing vehicles, and even buying their own home. So, can you get a mortgage even if you have a criminal record? The short answer is yes, but it is not as easy as it seems.
Despite having a criminal record or background in the past, lenders won’t directly take a look if you have one or not. They may however, find out when you answer their questions, especially when they verify your residency for the past number of years (usually 6 to 10 years). That is not to say they will deny your mortgage automatically, but it may be more difficult for you to secure, especially if the crimes are of the financial nature, such as fraud, robbery, and the like.
A more common crime such as a prior DUI conviction is not as looked down upon by lenders when compared with financial crimes, but that does not mean it is good. DUI convictions typically mean that there are certain fees and penalties you have to pay, and if at any point you do not comply with these, it can negatively affect your credit record, which is what the lenders look at primarily.
Expunging court records such as DUI convictions is possible and will likely be helpful in securing a home loan. It involves petitioning the court and the best way to do it is to hire a DUI attorney to take care of the process, since it involves a lot of paperwork that could be a hassle for you.
The best way to go about a mortgage application is to be 100% honest when filling it up. Not only will you be denied an application if the lenders are able to prove that the information is false, but it could also land you in prison. False information in a home loan application is considered a type of fraud and is a criminal act.
Mortgage lenders always consider the level of risk when deciding on a loan (whether a person qualifies or not) as well as its interest rates. Having a prior criminal record may hike up your interest rates, thereby making it harder for you to own a home. However, it is not impossible to get a mortgage, especially if you have the patience to look around for the best deal you can get.
Even with a prior criminal record, a good credit rating can be achieved if you work hard, save money, keep yourself employed, and do anything possible and practical to improve your credit (always paying bills on time, paying off any debts, raising credit card limits, etc.). By having a good credit score, you automatically make yourself more appealing to the lenders.
If you are one of those persons with a criminal past and you want to own your own home, do not be dissuaded when people say that it’s impossible to get a home loan thanks to your past. It may be a little bit more difficult to get one, but if you can show that your credit standing is good and you have the capability to pay for the loan, then the lenders most likely will approve your mortgage.