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How non-citizens can get a U.S. mortgage

People who are not U.S. citizens may wish to purchase residential, commercial or investment property in Wisconsin. Contrary to what some might believe, it is perfectly legal for non-U.S. citizens to buy real estate. In addition, these individuals may be able to obtain mortgages.

Permanent legal residents in the U.S. have access to many of the same mortgage products as citizens. These include FHA and Fannie Mae loans. In addition, individuals who have temporary work visas may also qualify for these programs; although, they may need to document that their visas are likely to be renewed. For these reasons, individuals who are not citizens should allow extra time for getting a mortgage approved.

It is even possible for people who do not have work visas to qualify for some types of mortgages; however, the loans must be for investment properties. A particular challenge for a noncitizen will be the underwriting process. Lenders often want to see documentation showing that the borrower is fiscally responsible. This could include tax documents as well as bank statements. Credit histories can also be difficult to verify. While every country has its own credit bureaus, some lenders may be willing to consider credit scores from international reporting bureaus.

Individuals who are considering buying real estate or taking out a mortgage may benefit from speaking with an attorney. An experienced real estate lawyer may be able to evaluate the client situation and make recommendations regarding mortgages that best suit the buyer's needs. In cases where the buyer is not a U.S. citizen, legal counsel could provide direction in choosing a loan product.

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