Mortgages and grants for homebuyers with disabilities
- Conventional, FHA, USDA, and VA mortgages all have low or no down payment options, making them an affordable choice for homebuyers with disabilities.
- Renovation mortgages allow borrowers to make improvements to their home to increase affordability.
- There are a variety of grants and other programs that can help with repairs, adaptations, or cover a down payment and closing costs.
The stability and wealth creation that comes with home ownership can benefit everyone, including people with disabilities.
Some types of home loans are better suited to certain needs than others. For example, someone who needs a home that accommodates their mobility needs might find a renovation mortgage a better option than a standard conventional loan.
Also, if you need help beyond a mortgage to get into a home, there are many different forms of help that can help you become a homeowner if you are disabled.
Can I get a social security disability mortgage?
When you go through the mortgage approval process, you will need to show proof of income. Lenders will use any qualifying income you earn to determine how much loan you can afford.
If you receive disability income, either from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other sources, you can use that income to qualify for a mortgage.
Sources of disability income that can be used to qualify for a mortgage include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Private disability insurance
- workers compensation
- VA Disability Award
How to Use Disability Income to Qualify for a Mortgage
Shashank Shekhar, founder and CEO of InstaMortgage, says the process of verifying disability income with your lender is usually straightforward and shouldn’t be too cumbersome.
According to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored companies that set the guidelines for mortgage compliance, lenders need to know:
- That you are eligible for disability benefits
- How much you receive and payment frequency
- That you will continue to receive these benefits over the long term
Your lender will likely ask for a letter that verifies your benefits (like an SSA award letter). If you do not have it, you can provide other documents proving that you receive a disability pension.
“Even something as basic as a current proof of receipt, which can be your bank statement, in most cases that shows you’re receiving the money from the SSA, will work too,” Shekhar says.
Home loans for disabled buyers
You have your proof of disability income online, all you have to do is decide what kind of mortgage you want. Many options are available to all home buyers. Which one is right for you depends on what you qualify for and what suits your needs.
If you need extra funds to make the home you’re buying more affordable, look for lenders who offer home improvement mortgages. These combine the funds to buy and renovate a home into one loan, meaning you only have to worry about one monthly payment.
1. Conventional loans
Conventional loans are mortgage loans that are not guaranteed by a government agency. If a conventional mortgage meets Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) loan limits and meets Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines, it is considered a conforming loan.
These types of mortgages are very popular because they allow lower down payments than many others. You will need to put at least 3% down payment and have a minimum
of 620 to obtain a conventional loan.
For renovation mortgages, look for lenders that offer Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation or Freddie Mac CHOICERenovation mortgages. Some lenders may also offer their own home improvement mortgage products.
2. FHA Loans
FHA loans are mortgage loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. They are a good option for borrowers with less than ideal credit.
You can get an FHA loan with a
just 3.5% and a credit score of 580. If you have a larger down payment, you may be able to qualify with an even lower score.
The FHA also insures a renovation mortgage product, called a 203(k) rehabilitation loan.
3. USDA Loans
USDA loans, which are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture, can be great for low-income people in eligible areas.
You can use a USDA mortgage to get into a home with no down payment. To qualify, you will need to meet income limits and be in an eligible rural or suburban area. Lenders generally look for a credit score of at least 640.
If you are on a very low income, you can also check out the USDA Direct Lending Program. With a direct loan, the USDA is the lender, rather than guaranteeing a loan from a private lender.
USDA Direct Loans are available for those who currently do not have “decent, safe, and sanitary housing” and are unable to obtain a loan through other sources.
4. AV Loans
VA loans are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. They are only available to veterans and military personnel who meet minimum service requirements. Some surviving spouses may also be eligible.
You can use a VA loan to buy a home without a down payment, and they usually come with lower rates than conventional mortgages.
In addition to meeting service requirements, you will need to meet your lender’s credit requirements. This means you’ll likely need a credit score of at least 620, although some lenders have lower or higher requirements.
Grants and other programs
If you need additional help getting into a home, there are many different types of programs that can help.
The USDA Section 504 Home Repair program offers loans that very low-income homeowners can use to “repair, improve, or upgrade” their home. It also provides grants that senior homeowners with very low incomes can use to address health-related issues. and home security.
This program offers loans up to $40,000 and grants up to $10,000. It is possible to qualify for both.
The VA also has a few grants available for military members or veterans who have a service-related disability. They can be used to buy, build or change your permanent residence:
- Subsidy for adapted housing: up to $101,754
- Special home adaptation grant: up to $20,387
If you are temporarily living in the home of a family member to whom you need to make adaptations, you may be eligible for a temporary residence adaptation grant. You could potentially get up to $7,318 or $40,983, depending on the type of service-related disability you have.
Your local or national housing authority may also be available to provide down payment assistance and other assistance. Your local independent living center may also have resources to help you.
Check with your national housing finance agency to see if they have affordable mortgage programs you qualify for.
If you are currently a beneficiary of the Section 8 Housing Choice voucher program, you may be able to use your voucher to become a homeowner.
Non-profit organizations may also have programs to help you find and pay for accessible housing. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together may be able to renovate or repair your home. For veterans, Homes for Our Troops builds specially adapted homes for veterans injured after 9/11.