Can I still get a mortgage? |

Can I still get a mortgage?

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado

ASPEN ” The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that, unlike in recent years, you probably will have to verify your income and assets, demonstrate good credit and put at least 5 percent down.

Credit has contracted, and standards have tightened, acknowledged Bob Young, chairman of Glenwood Springs-based Alpine Bank. Fewer loans may be made in the near future, and rates might not be “as generous” as in years past, he said. But while risky borrowers may see more denials, credit-worthy families with a modest downpayment and the proven ability to pay back a loan shouldn’t have a problem, he argued.

Juan Grobler, a mortgage banker with Affiliated Financial Group, which operates in Basalt, Glenwood Springs and Aspen, agreed, noting that his company is closing more than $12 million in loans this month ” “a really good month.”

“The main criteria everyone is looking for is really good credit, good job stability, good reserves ” and if you’ve got that, you’re going to get a loan,” he said.

Still, in this era of tightening credit, there are a few things would-be borrowers can do to improve their chances.

Grobler recommended being honest about one’s financial constraints before applying. Monthly debt payments, including a mortgage, car payments and credit card payments, should be no more than 45 percent of one’s pretax income, he explained. (Add the proposed monthly mortgage payment to your current monthly debt payment and divide by your monthly gross income. The answer should be 0.45 or less.)

Grobler also emphasized the growing importance of one’s credit score. Consumers should work hard to make sure their credit report shows no late payments for the past 12 months, he explained.

“The bottom line is that you need to make your minimum payment, even if it’s going to kill you,” he said.

Consumers should keep all credit card balances at or below 25 percent of their limit, Grobler said. To that end, he recommended that borrowers always take credit limit increases when they are offered ” but fight the temptation to use them.

The Federal Reserve Board recommends that consumers check periodically to make sure their credit reports are correct. Federal law requires that each of the three credit reporting agencies supply a free credit report to consumers every 12 months. To check yours, go to

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