Can't get a mortgage because I travel???

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    I have been traveling for the last 4-5 years, and recently have decided to buy a home and stay in one place.
    My husband and I have wonderful credit scores, a respectable income with a very low debt to income ratio but I am having trouble getting approval for a home mortgage. The reason given is that "travel nursing is not a steady income." I guess technically that is true, since nothing is garenteed after the end of a contract. It doesn't seem to make a difference that I have NEVER been unemployed during my years of travel, except for the time off to travel from place to place.
    Has anyone else encountered this and how did you convince the mortgage underwriters to give you a home loan?
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I had the same problem. It was not easy. The process took weeks. I had the same situation. I had to explain to my loan officer what a travel nurse was and does. He said his mother was a nurse and new about travel nursing and she helped him to understand it better. She even lived near the home base of the travel agency.
    My loan officer had to convince the underwriter that I would be living in the home and not leaving it for long periods of time. I explained that long truck drivers, salesmen, flight attendants may leave their homes for weeks at a time and get mortgages too.
    My loan officer wanted to see proof of steady consistent income, (no gaps of time without paychecks), proof of employment and that I would be living there, employeed within the area and not commuting more than 50 miles. What it came down to was the steady income - that I've been working with the same company for years without gaps in time. Plus it helped that my husband was not a travel nurse and that his name was also on the mortgage. He can be there while I'm away.
    Shortly after the underwriter approved the mortgage, we went into closing.
  5. 0
    I am trying to buy a home right now. I thought it would be no problem. My credit score is 750, my take-home pay is $1500 a week. I have been a nurse 20 years. I found a beautiful little house and fell in love. I put it under contract and applied to quicken loans. They had me hopping trying to get all of the paperwork in, but I did. I sent them bank statements for 2 years, I sent them copies of my travel contract so they could see how I get paid. I have been with the same agencies for up to 7 years. Lots of other stuff. They said that everything was a go.
    Then they called me and said that because of my unstable job history.......yes. and because of the fact that my pay had decreased.......I explained that I worked up north in the summer, which pays more, and came back down to Fl for the winter and that up north pays more. I said that each contract is negociated with each new hosp.
    They said that I was a high risk for default on a mortgage because of my unstable job history and my declining salary. They would not lend me ANY money. I was livid. I have applied with a couple of other brokers, but am trying not to get my hopes up. This is descrimination! It is not right. I have worked very hard to keep my credit good. I prooved my high income. What more do they want????? Now the home owners want me to get lost and give me my deposit back. They said "You've been turned down by the bank. Obviously you misled up about your history. How humiliating!!!! I just don't know what to do.


    Quote from RNontheroad
    I have been traveling for the last 4-5 years, and recently have decided to buy a home and stay in one place.
    My husband and I have wonderful credit scores, a respectable income with a very low debt to income ratio but I am having trouble getting approval for a home mortgage. The reason given is that "travel nursing is not a steady income." I guess technically that is true, since nothing is garenteed after the end of a contract. It doesn't seem to make a difference that I have NEVER been unemployed during my years of travel, except for the time off to travel from place to place.
    Has anyone else encountered this and how did you convince the mortgage underwriters to give you a home loan?
  6. 0
    I have continued to research and talk with banks and other travelers since I originally posted. Here is what I have found out since then.
    First, try getting the mortgage thru a small town bank. Stay away from the big lenders. The smaller places more likely to lend.

    Second, a large down payment helps alot. I was told to plan on 30%.

    I am still looking for the right place to settle and will update about the process once I attempt it again.

    Best of luck and feel a bit better knowing that I am not in the boat alone!
  7. 0
    RNontheroad - were you able to secure a home loan with a small bank in the end?

    I'm a mortgage/real estate professional, who focuses exclusively on a working with nurses in the MD/VA/DC metro.

    I thought amy0123 shared some good points. It comes down to proving to a lender that you've got stability. It is an unusual loan scenario, but presentation of your strengths [good credit, good assets] and showing a history of income in the same industry [as a nurse] without gaps in employment, should get you through the process.

    Having a sizable downpayment will always be a greater incentive to a lender.

    I'm not certain of the details that caused Quicken to deny LCDRN12, but all borrowers want to keep in mind the balance of debt to income, and how that lender will compute the income, so you don't end up with a really high ratio that the lenders will steer away from.

    Best to you in your quest to secure a home loan and purchase your home sweet home.

    Stephen
  8. 0
    My solution to the problem has been to take a staff position to avoid the "instability". I have now been employed full time at a hospital for a little over 6 months and have saved a sizable down payment. My serious house hunt begins again in the spring and I anticipate that any of the previous obstacles will no longer be an issue.


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