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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Getting Stated Income Credit

By Pat Johnson

If you own your own business, are self employed or get most of your income from commissioned sales, then you have probably run into trouble when applying for credit. Specifically when you are looking for mortgage refinance options you have difficulty being approved because you can't prove your income by traditional means. Financial institutions are beginning to realize this problem and are coming out with unique solutions called stated income loans and lines of credit.

If you want to borrow against the equity in your home you may be eligible for a stated income line of credit. The lender will not require you to provide proof of your income, but instead will take your word for it. Then, once approved, they account will be administered like any other.

It is a common business objective to strive to keep taxable income as low as possible by deducting eligible expenses. This is at odds with lenders who like to see as big an income as possible. They more income the easier it is for the borrower to service their total debt. Stated income credit products solve this.

The lender does not ask to see pay stubs, W2s or other income documents. What they require instead however is very strong credit. Your credit rating needs to be well above average to offset the additional risk the lender takes by not verifying your income.

Interest rates and fees on stated income loans are often greater than on usual loans. This helps to offset some of the increased risk the lender takes as well. All in all, however they are by no means excessive.

Given that the lenders can't verify income, they will often endeavor to shore up and verify everything else they can. For example, they sometimes put in place restrictions on the minimum number of years in business or by what percent the new monthly shelter payment can go up by.

You can meet with a broker or search online for a mortgage lender that offers stated income products. It is encouraging to know that the financial institutions are taking the unique needs of the small business owner seriously. You might just have to work a little to search them out.

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