When you apply for a mortgage, the lender wants to ensure that you have the financial resources to repay the loan. If you don’t have standard proof of income, like pay stubs and W-2s, then a lender might approve your mortgage based on other financial factors.
Borrowers hoping to get a mortgage with a non-traditional source of income have options. While “true” no income verification mortgages no longer exist, lenders can qualify you based on almost any kind of cash flow. So you don’t need a traditional income to qualify. Below, we’ll take a closer look at this option.
What is a no-income verification mortgage?
A no-income mortgage, sometimes referred to as a no-doc mortgage, is an option for borrowers with a non-traditional income stream or another source of assets. This type of loan doesn’t require standard income documents to finalize your loan. However, you do need to prove that you have enough cash flow, savings, or other assets to make consistent mortgage payments over the life of the loan.
How does a no-income mortgage work?
Of course, the lender still needs to know that you can afford the loan. But instead of looking at your W-2s, pay stubs, or tax returns, the lender lets you provide proof of your financial stability in other ways.
For example, you might show bank statements or investment account balances to prove to the lender that you can afford the mortgage payments. In some cases, you can even use the projected rental income of a property to qualify for the mortgage.
Types of no-doc mortgages
No documentation loans come with a few different variations.
While common before the 2008 financial crisis, no-income verification loans — also sometimes called non-QM loans — are no longer widely available to homebuyers. These loans are risky for lenders, so they require higher mortgage rates for borrowers.
Here’s a closer look at what each:
- Stated Income, Verified Assets (SIVA): For this loan type, the lender often requires self-employed borrowers to show proof of a consistent income through bank statements. Typically, self-employed individuals and high-net-worth individuals are prime candidates for this type of loan.
- No Income, Verified Assets (NIVA): With NIVA loans, lenders look at the borrower’s assets. The goal is to have enough other assets that the lender could seize as collateral if the loan goes south. A typical NIVA loan candidate is a retiree with cash reserves and limited income.
- Stated Income, Stated Assets (SISA): SISA loans are mortgages that truly require no documentation at all. Instead, the lender simply takes your word for how much income and assets you have. This type of loan is not available for owner-occupied properties. But it’s still possible for real estate investors to pursue this loan type.
- No Income, No Assets (NINA): NINA loans are geared towards mortgages for investment properties. In this case, the lender looks at the rental income potential of the property. If the rental property’s potential cash flow can cover the monthly payment, a NINA loan is a potential option.
- No Income, No Job, No Assets (NINJA): In this case, the mortgage lender relies entirely on the applicant’s reported income, job, and assets.
Pros & cons of a no-doc mortgage
As with every financial product, a no-doc mortgage has some advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind.
Standard income documentation is not required
Most lenders require a big down payment
It’s possible to qualify with assets only
Most lenders offset the risk with a higher interest rate
A change to your income won’t impact your application
Most lenders require a top-notch credit score
When should you get a no-income verification mortgage?
If it’s a challenge to verify your income, then a no-income verification mortgage is an option worth pursuing.
Here are a few scenarios when this type of mortgage makes sense:
- Your tax situation is complicated: If you have income streams spread out across multiple tax returns, verifying all of this information can be a challenge.
- Your income is irregular: Those with a fluctuating income might find this mortgage type more accessible.
- You have a high net worth without a regular income: If you have sufficient assets, you could leverage that financial stability into a mortgage without proving a regular income stream.
Step-by-step guide to getting a no-income verification mortgage
If you want to pursue a no-income verification mortgage, here are the steps you’ll need to take:
- Build your credit score: Most lenders require an excellent credit score for no-income verification loans.
- Save up a significant down payment: You’ll likely need a large down payment for this type of loan. Be prepared to make a down payment of at least 20%, and probably closer to 30%.
- Gather the necessary documents: Although you won’t need to provide a pay stub, lenders will likely expect other types of documentation. For example, you might need to provide bank statements or investment account statements to prove you can afford to repay the loan.
- Submit your application: After you have the documents in hand, you can apply for a no-income verification mortgage. As a borrower, you should be prepared to answer any extra questions the mortgage lender has about your financial situation.
Qualifying for a no-income verification mortgage
In general, it’s relatively challenging to qualify for a no-income verification mortgage. As a homebuyer, it’s often easier to work through the mortgage process if you have a steady W-2 income for your household.
It’s not impossible to qualify for a no-income verification mortgage. But be prepared to provide extensive documentation about your financial situation.
Are no-income verification loans safe?
If you have the necessary funds to repay the mortgage, then there is nothing inherently unsafe about a no-income verification mortgage. However, these are non-qualified mortgage (non-QM) programs, meaning they are controlled by individual lenders and not regulated by any government agency. As such, they might lack important borrower protections that come with standard mortgage loans.
Before signing up for a no-income verification mortgage, be sure to carefully read and understand your loan terms. Look out for any risky clauses like prepayment penalties or balloon payments that would not be included on a standard mortgage loan.
As with all mortgage types, including conventional loans and government-backed loan programs, there is a risk that the lender will repossess your home if you don’t make your payments on time.
Does a no-income verification mortgage enable you to buy a home with no income?
Yes, a no-income verification mortgage enables you to buy a home without a regular job, or steady source of income. However, you’ll need to have sufficient existing assets to repay the loan. The lender will confirm that you can make the loan payments in one way or another.
No-income verification loan rates
No-income verification loan rates vary based on the lender, loan amount, loan term, and your specific financial circumstances. A borrower with a good credit score can lock in a better rate than a fair credit borrower.
No-income verification loan rates are substantially higher than currently available mortgage rates, as they pose more risk for lenders.
No-income verification mortgage FAQ
Can I buy a home with no income?
If you want to purchase a home with no income, you’ll need a substantial net worth with enough assets to support repaying the loan. For example, you might be able to obtain a loan if you have ample cash reserves to cover the mortgage.
Can you get a mortgage without a verifiable income?
Yes, it’s possible to get a mortgage without a verifiable income. But it’s more challenging than obtaining a mortgage with a regular income stream. If you don’t have a verifiable income stream, then you’ll need enough assets to support the mortgage payments.
What loan does not require proof of income?
No-income verification mortgages don’t require proof of income. But these types of loans require proof of other assets. You always need to prove to a lender that you can afford to repay the loan.
What is a no-income verification mortgage?
No-income verification mortgages, or no doc loans, don’t require you to provide proof of a traditional income stream through W-2s or tax returns. Instead, you can qualify for the loan based on your assets. Sometimes lenders call these bank statement loans or stated income loans.
Can I get a mortgage if I get paid in cash?
If you get paid in cash, it might be possible to get a mortgage. For example, if you are reporting this cash income on your tax returns, that might be enough evidence for the lender. But potential homeowners pursuing this option will likely need a higher credit score and encounter higher mortgage rates.
Can you get a mortgage without a job?
You may be able to get a mortgage without a job. If you want to purchase a home without a job, you’ll likely need sufficient assets or another source of income to support the loan amount.
What should be your minimum income to buy a house?
There is no minimum income required to buy a house. Instead, you’ll need to prove to the lender that you can cover the mortgage payments. In some cases, cash reserves or other assets are enough proof for the lender.
What credit score is needed for a no-income verification mortgage?
Each lender sets its own specific credit score requirements for no-income verification home loans. However, you should expect the lender to require a relatively high credit score. If possible, aim to get your credit score above the 700 mark.
How can I get approved for a mortgage without proof of income?
Although you can’t get approved for a traditional mortgage without proof of income, there are other loan options when trying to obtain a primary residence. You can get approved for a mortgage loan without proof of income by providing proof of assets. If you have enough assets, the lender might be willing to move forward regardless of income.
How can I buy a house without 2 years of income?
If you want to buy a home without a two-year income history, then you’ll likely need a great credit score and a large down payment. Additionally, you’ll likely need significant cash savings, assets, and a low debt-to-income ratio.