Can You Get a Mortgage with an ITIN?
The fact is, despite a very hotly contested immigration debate today in our nation, there are likely several million people in the United States who do not have a Social Security number (SSN), but pay billions in taxes every year. These individuals might be non-resident foreign nationals who receive taxable income from a US business. Or they may be dependents or spouses of citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) or foreign nationals on work visas. But if they earn income here, how would they file a tax return without an SSN, you might ask? The answer is the Individual Taxpayer Identification Number or "ITIN."
Now again, we're not going to takes sides in the immigration issue here. We are not going to report ITIN borrowers to Immigration and Customs. ITINs do not provide legal immigration status or work authorization --- they are merely an IRS tool for permitting an individual to comply with tax laws and as a result when they do, some of them become eligible for a mortgage via specific programs that accommodate this type of identification. Many ITIN holders and real estate professionals are not aware of this and the aim of this post is to outline what is required to obtain a home loan with a combination of an ITIN, employment documentation, residency documentation, and, of course, a down payment. Let's take a look at what's possible.
On the purchase of a home, an ITIN buyer will typically need to put between 25% and 30% of the purchase price down, and these funds will need to be documented with bank statements and/or gift letters, just as for a US citizen. Money from abroad can be used, but must be sourceable. We'll also look at income and employment with a combination of one year of tax returns and written and verbal verifications of employment. Our borrower must be working and able to repay the loan.
Since an ITIN borrower will not, by definition, have a Social Security number, our investor will pull a version of a credit report using the ITIN number. And herein lies an important caveat for the ITIN borrower. If his/her tax return contains a false SSN or otherwise invalid ITIN, the borrower would not be eligible. We are not interested in financing those who are working outside of the tax system and perhaps fraudulently using another's ID forms. Our borrower must be legitimately filing with an ITIN for the last year. In order to calculate liabilities correctly a complete list of obligations will be used to determine debt-to-income (DTI). We will often reference the history on any credit cards, auto loans, etc., to verify satisfactory payment history.
We offer fixed rate loans to our ITIN customers and loan amounts can go from $100K all the way into jumbo territory. For details on programs, rates and terms, don't hesitate to get in touch. But know that if you've been working in the US and paying into the system, yet don't have a Social Security number, you are not, by definition out of luck.
Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone,
Robert J. Spinosa
Vice President of Mortgage Lending
Marin Office: 324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA 94960
Berkeley Office: 1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA 94709
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