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Fannie Tightens DTIs, Credit Scores

Minimum 580 score on government loans

December 18, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff


Fannie Mae will begin requiring minimum credit scores on government mortgages it acquires. In addition, the secondary lender has instituted a new maximum debt-to-income ratio on manually underwritten conventional loans.

Fannie has established a minimum representative credit score of 580 for any government mortgages it acquires, according to Announcement 08-35 issued today. Impacted loans include those insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The changes are effective on loans purchased or issued on or after March 1, 2009.

Manually underwritten mortgages with nontraditional credit are exempt from minimum credit scores. The exemption applies to both conventional and government loans. Some streamlined refinances are also exempt.

The Washington, D.C.-based company said it will now cap the maximum debt-to-income ratio at 45 percent for all manually underwritten conventional loans. However, strong compensating factors must be present if the ratio exceeds 36 percent.

Maximum DTI ratios don't apply to government loans and case files underwritten through Desktop Underwriter.

Fannie noted the community seconds rider has become obsolete and will no longer be accepted. It also clarified that when a borrower is affiliated with the builder or seller on a new property, only owner-occupied properties will be allowed.

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