A lot of us have made mistakes in our lives, some more regrettable than others. While some people never turn away from a life of crime, quite a number turn their lives around and try to live normally and peacefully. That means these people also want to have a stable job, their own car, and their own home to raise a family in. The question now is, if a person has a criminal record, can he or she get a mortgage? Let us take a look.
The short answer for this question is yes, a person can get a mortgage even if he or she has a criminal past. You are not automatically disqualified just because you have a record. However, there are some added difficulties in securing that loan if the lender finds out you have a criminal record. Some of these are higher interest rates, additional fees or charges, and a requirement of additional loan insurance, which, when all added up, can be very costly.
Most lenders do not necessarily check if you have a criminal record or not, as they typically do not conduct background checks. They are more concerned with credit score and source of income, as well as check your residency up until 10 years. It is typically during this check that they will find out if you have a record, since it will show up in the residency. If they see a poor credit rating (could be as a result of your prison time), crimes against banks and other monetary crimes, or arson, then the chance of them refusing to grant you a mortgage is much higher.
What can I do?
This is the question of some, especially if they are trying to build their life back. The most obvious answer would be to make sure you get a better credit rating. You can do this by securing a job (which can also be difficult to do if you have a record), paying debts and bills on time, and having a steady source of income. Lenders have to be convinced that they will be paid back, which is why you need to convince them that you are capable of doing so.
Another thing you need to keep in mind always is to never lie at any point during the mortgage application. Never say that you have no criminal record, when in fact, you have one. It’s better to be honest and truthful, as opposed to lying and trying to get away with it. Your application has a great chance to be denied outright if lenders find out you’re lying.
If you already have a steady source of income and are getting a better credit rating, you might want to consider having your criminal record expunged, so that lenders will not doubt you when they check your past. Michael Henderson, a DUI defense attorney, said that expunging a criminal record is very much helpful when you try to secure a loan, as well as getting a loan that is more advantageous (lower fees, lower interest rates, etc.). Expunging a record is not a difficult thing to do. The best way to do it is to first consult a lawyer so that you will know the entire process and can make a more informed decision.
If you had a criminal past and are worrying about getting a mortgage, do not. You can turn your life around by getting a job, paying the proper taxes, paying your debts, and working hard – you will then be able to get a home loan and your future home in no time.