The Loan Doctors Team

Is There A Rule-of-Thumb Regarding The Number Of Credit Lines To Have Open?

While the actual credit score has a big impact on a loan approval, it’s not the only component of the credit scenario that underwriters consider for a mortgage approval.

Since loan programs, individual lenders and mortgage insurance companies all have their own credit report restrictions, it’s difficult to define a standard Rule-of-Thumb to follow.

However, the number of “Open and Active Trade Lines” seems to be the common denominator in most approvals.

A trade line is basically a credit card, installment loan or other credit liability that is reported to the credit bureaus and displayed on a credit report.

Credit Trade Line / Approval Bullets:

  • Banks usually won’t count a trade line that is less than 12 months old.
  • The minimum number of trade lines most lenders find acceptable is 4 open and active trade lines.
  • Lenders like to see at least one credit line of $5,000, or all credit lines to total $1,000 or more.

Exceptions to Trade Line Rules:

Interestingly enough, a recent list of Mortgage Insurance requirements included a favorable trade line requirement, which read:

Min 3 trade lines @ 12 mo reporting. Cannot be ‘authorized user’

Basically, this means as long as the lender, and the loan program allow for less than 4 trade lines, this mortgage insurance company will accept only 3 trade lines that are in the borrower’s name.

Another exception to this rule is if you have no FICO score, and no negative trade lines.

In this case you may qualify for an “alternative credit” loan. The most common loan of this type is insured by FHA, but there are select programs that are usually targeted to assist people whose culture does not trust or use banks.

Borrowers applying for a non-traditional credit loan will still need to prove they have successfully paid their bills on time for 12 months by clearly documenting at least four creditors.  A verification of rent from a property management company, power, utilities, cell phone… are alternative sources of credit that can be used.

*A letter from a landlord or creditor stating that the bills were paid on time is not acceptable forms of proof.  Lenders will need canceled checks and / or copies of bank statements to start out with.

Since not all companies report to credit bureaus, it’s possible to get a free credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com to verify your total reported trade lines.

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March 28, 2010 by · Leave a Comment

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About The Loan Doctors

The Loan Doctors is a team of very experienced Senior Loan Officers who have mastered the art of qualifying clients that would not otherwise qualify anywhere else. Much of our business comes from builders, when they cannot qualify their clients with their in-house lenders, and our Real Estate Agents, when their clients get declined with other mortgage companies. We understand that many potential home-buyers do not have perfect credit or perfect job history so we have built our whole entire business helping these home buyers that no one wants to help. We believe that credit should never be the reason why you are not able to achieve your dream of purchasing a home. When it comes to rebuilding your credit & restoring your dignity you need a team of experts behind you every step of the way. We are prepared to listen to you with compassion & understanding to help you move forward to a brighter future. During our consultation, we create a customized written plan for each client. Our staff will then follows up with each client regularly to ensure that the borrower is properly following on our recommendations. Our goal is to help our borrower's to get back on the road to financial recovery straightaway as soon as possible.

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