Will I Qualify for a Mortgage on Part-Time Income Alone?

I only work part time but want to buy a home – will I qualify for a mortgage on part time income alone?

In today’s economy, many people make their income by working one or more part-time jobs versus a traditional full-time 9-5 job. While there are some assumptions made that people working part time are mostly retired persons or college students, the reality is that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 32 million Americans work an average of less than 34 hours a week – the generally accepted cut-off for part-time versus full-time work. As you can see, “part time” doesn’t have to mean 10-20 hours a week. It can, in fact mean work that’s quite close to full-time work hour-wise and full-time pay as well. If you work two or more part-time jobs, you can also have the same income as a prospective home buyer who works one full-time job – but will mortgage lenders look at you the same way and offer you the same mortgage programs as a buyer with traditional full-time employment?

Can you qualify for a mortgage on part time income alone?

Mortgage lenders will look at your work history and income, whether you have 1 full-time job or 2 part time jobs. So yes, you can qualify for a mortgage even if you only work part time. Of course, having a part time job is no guarantee that you will qualify for a mortgage, but working part time only in and of itself does not disqualify you for mortgage eligibility.

Documentation, documentation, documentation!

In the home buying process, lenders will need documentation of your income and work history, again, regardless of whether you work full or part time. If you work part time, there may be some additional documentation that your lender will look for. Most lenders want to see about 2 years in your additional part time job (i.e., your second part time job, or the part time job on top of your full-time job) before they will count your income towards mortgage-qualifying income. Lenders want to ensure that they are basing your mortgage on a full and true picture of your income, not just a period of time where you had a bump in total household income because you worked part time for several months on top of your normal part or full-time job. Lenders also want to see that the workload they are basing your mortgage on is sustainable – while you may be able to put in super long hours for a short period of time, that probably isn’t sustainable over a long period of time. If your mortgage is based on that high hour workload and that income your lender may be concerned that you may run into trouble repaying your mortgage once you drop the second part time job.

If you only work one part time job, there may be no more additional documentation requirements made by your lender than if you worked a full-time job. If your part time job generates the income needed to satisfy the lender’s income requirements and the lender can determine that the income is stable and likely to continue, they can treat a part time employed applicant the same way they treat a full time employed applicant.

As you can see, if you are a part-time worker you don’t need to discount your dream of home ownership. Many part-time workers are closer to home ownership than they may think. If you work part time – whether that’s one part time job or a second part-time job on top of a part-time or full-time job – and you are interested in buying a home this year; call a professional, experienced mortgage lender today. You may have more options for home ownership than you think!

Did you qualify for a mortgage based on part time income only? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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