How to Buy Your Dream Home When You Have Student Debt

Many people new to the workforce are strapped with student loan debt. Some are eager to purchase a home but believe that they cannot because they have not saved for a down payment or they will not qualify because of the debt.

Fortunately, there are loans and programs that are designed to help. Below are a few ways that people in this situation can buy a home.

1. Deferring student loans or getting an income-based repayment plan. Student loans are not designed to hamstring people to the point that they cannot afford to own a home. There are several programs available that allow student loan debt to be temporarily deferred or lower the monthly payment based on income.

Here is a resource for helping you navigate each of these. Note that different loan types treat deferred student loans and income-based repayment differently. You will need to go over these guidelines with your mortgage professional.

2. Co-signers. Some loan types will assign 1 percent of the balance of student loans to the debt to income ratio even if the loans are deferred or they are income-based repayment. For these folks, a viable alternative is a co-signer. Fortunately, most loan types will allow for family members to cosign. Again, it is something a good lender will advise and consult you on.

3. Gifts or low-down loans. Some have been unable to save enough money for a down payment. There are alternatives to this as well. Some loans like the USDA and VA loans do not require a down payment. Other loans, like the MSHDA loan, allow for 1 percent and loans through Fannie Mae or FHA allow folks to come in with 3 percent or 3.5 percent. Your loan officer will know all of the options available to you.

4. Budgeting. Oftentimes a simple budgeting plan can save the day. At Michigan Mortgage, we review all household income and debts with clients to make sure that they can afford a home and still make all of their monthly payments, including student loan debt. In fact, we will help them create a budget if they don’t have one so that they are comfortable with their bill and the payment of a new home.

While student loans can seem daunting and stifling, they should not stop folks from pursuing the dream of home ownership. If you are ready to make homeownership a reality, contact us today for a consultation.

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