Can You Get a Home Loan If You Have a Felony?

You can get a home loan despite having a felony. Having a felony conviction on your record can impact your life in many ways. Thankfully, getting a home loan is not one of them — not directly, anyway. Most banks do not run criminal record checks before approving loans, and they are unlikely to deny you if you have good credit even if they are aware of your history.

Getting a Loan to Buy a Home After a Felony

Many people struggle to find a place to live after getting out of prison. However, several years down the road and with a good job, many consider buying their own home and wonder if their criminal record will hurt their chances of getting a mortgage. If this sounds familiar, you will be glad to know that most loans do not require a criminal background check.

Even Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are available to those with a felony conviction on their record. FHA loans generally approve people who do not have a perfect credit history and may be a good choice for someone whose felony occurred at least a decade ago. Federal rules require you to wait at least ten years before applying after some types of convictions.

Private banks and lenders not associated with the government are only worried about:

  • Income
  • Credit score
  • How long you have been with your employer
  • Your ability to pay back the loan

It is unlikely that you will have a hard time getting approved for a loan and purchasing a house, assuming you meet their qualifications otherwise and have enough cash for a down payment.

Getting a Home Loan Often Requires Overcoming Obstacles

When it comes to getting approved for a home loan, the issue most people with a felony on their record run into is not a background check. Instead, it is their own financial standing. Time spent in prison can wreak havoc on your credit record. Your employment history likely has large gaps where you served time and could not work, and you may have missed substantial payments during this period as well.

In addition to gaps in employment and pay records, there is also the issue of saving for a down payment. With a good credit score, you will most likely still need at least 10 to 20 percent as a down payment. This is the minimum most banks and other lenders want you to have saved to put toward your house.

Buying a Home Is Often Easier than Renting for Convicted Felons

Many people with a felony on their record find it much easier to save and buy a home than find a home to rent. While prospective sellers and mortgage companies are unlikely to require a background check, landlords often do. All too often, those with felonies on their records have a difficult time finding an apartment or house to rent because of this.

You may have better luck if you are honest and explain your arrest and conviction before the landlord has a chance to run the background check. Many, though, have a strict no-felonies policy. For this reason, it may be easier if you qualify to apply for a home loan and purchase your new home instead of renting.

Let Goldman Wetzel Help You Fight a Felony Charge

The best way to avoid worrying about how a felony conviction might affect the rest of your life is to avoid the conviction in the first place. At Goldman Wetzel, our criminal defense attorneys can develop a strong defense strategy and help you fight the accusation you face. If the police accuse you of a serious crime, we are here to help.

It is important that you act as soon as possible. Call us if:

  • You face felony charges; or
  • Police want to question you; or
  • You believe an indictment is forthcoming

We can go to work immediately on your case. We will protect your rights and fight for the most favorable outcome. Both of our principal attorneys work on every case. When you hire one of us, you hire both of us. This means there will always be someone available to answer your questions or address your concerns.

If we cannot clear your name, we may be able to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge or get you probation instead of jail time. This may allow you to avoid many of the obstacles you could face trying to get a home loan approved with a criminal record.

Call us today at 727-828-3900 to discuss your case with a member of our team.