9 Things to Know About DACA and the Dream of Home Ownership

The conversation around the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and its recipients has left many people wondering about their dreams of home ownership.

In this article, we’ll discuss the myths and questions about DACA recipients and their ability to buy a home. At On Q, we believe in making the dream of home ownership a reality – for everyone. The Dream is Inclusive.

Q: “Can I buy a home even though I’m a DACA recipient?”

Yes! Some mortgage lenders may tell you it’s not possible for a DACA recipient to get a loan, but that isn’t true.  At On Q, our Mortgage Consultants will be able to give you all of your loan options based on your legal status, credit score, employment history, income, and other qualifying factors.

Q: “I’m self-employed; does that mean I can’t get a mortgage?”

No! Some people believe you need to have more than a 2 year work history to qualify for a mortgage, but that’s not true. You can be self-employed and still qualify for a home loan, as long as you meet some other requirements.

Q: “Is it true that there’s more paperwork for DACA recipients?”

Not at all! Being a DACA beneficiary doesn’t necessarily affect the amount of paperwork or documentation needed to get a mortgage. DACA members don’t have to fill out additional paperwork due to their residential status. Your mortgage consultant will need things like:

  • A non Expired Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or other documentation showing immigration status (e.g., Green Card, Visa, etc.)
  • Employment Verification
  • Pay Stubs
  • Social Security Card
  • Bank statements

For a full mortgage checklist, click here.

If you haven’t been verified as a DACA recipient yet and you’re still going through the process, feel free to reach out to an On Q Mortgage Consultant for more information.

Q: “Does On Q offer bilingual services and support for DACA recipients?”

Absolutely! On Q is the first mortgage lender to have a fully Spanish website with everything you need to know about the mortgage process. We also have critical home loan documents available in Spanish, including the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosures, and the loan application.

We want to make this process as easy and transparent for you as possible. Like getting married or starting a family, buying a home is an important milestone. We truly believe all home buyers need to be informed and understand the documents they’re signing.

Q: “How much work history is necessary for me to get a mortgage?”

The amount of work history required is 2 years. Some people only have a couple of years of employment history due to their DACA status, but there are many ways to get a mortgage even with a limited work history. If you’re not sure you’ll qualify based on your work history, contact your Mortgage Consultant or connect with us at onqfinancial.com.

Q: “What’s my first step when I’m ready to buy a home?”

Once you’ve decided you’re ready to buy a home, your first step will be getting prequalified. Using factors like your credit score, income, and debt. A prequalification gives an idea of your options and how much home you can afford. Our Mortgage Consultants can help you plan for the future and advise you on next steps if you’re not certain you’ll qualify.

Q: “I’m not sure if I should buy a home right now; should I wait?

Right now is a great time to buy a home. The economy is doing well and home loan rates are rising. A higher interest rate could mean a higher mortgage payment each month. The cost of waiting to buy a home, as interest rates go up, could increase your monthly mortgage payment by hundreds of dollars. It’s a great time to lock in your rate now, while rates are still at all-time lows.

Q: “My FICO credit score isn’t the best; can I still qualify for a mortgage?”

On Q provides several programs that accommodate low-to-moderate FICO credit scores. Contact us to review your options and find the best loan for you.

Q: “Can I use gift funds from my family to help me buy my home?”

Gift Funds can apply to all or part of a down payment or closing costs. The only people that can give you gift funds are relatives, children, dependents, and spouses or partners. In most cases, the person providing the gift needs to work with you and your Mortgage Consultant to follow certain steps and requirements.

For more information about Gift Funds, contact your Mortgage Consultant.

Now that we’ve touched on the basics of home loans, here’s some insight from a few DACA recipients and other home buyers we’ve helped achieve their dreams of home ownership.

Manuel wasn’t sure where to turn when he began his home search. Many mortgage lenders and corporations turned him away due to his DACA status. Luckily he found Juan Sandoval, a bilingual Mortgage Consultant with On Q in Plano, Texas. He helped Manuel and his family achieve their dream of home ownership. Juan Sandoval said, “We got his loan closed in a heartbeat; they’re very happy and grateful.”

Arizona based Mortgage Consultant, Lulu Zamora, talked about an experience she had with a DACA recipient who believed he wouldn’t qualify for a loan based on his status as a DACA beneficiary. “He was certain he wouldn’t be able to qualify for a mortgage and he didn’t have money for a down payment. I asked him for the proper documentation and found him a down payment assistance program that worked for him. Now he lives in his dream home in a great area.”

Juan Sandoval shared another experience with a client who immigrated to the United States from Venezuela and applied for a home loan. Luis met with Juan after not having much luck anywhere else. With some guidance and helpful resources, Luis got approved for a mortgage and found his dream home. Juan said, “My team and I were able to help guide him through the whole process from prequalification to close. We’re so happy that we could make his dream of home ownership a reality.”

On Q is proud to make the dream of home ownership a reality for families across the country. At On Q, The Dream is Inclusive. We offer a variety of tools, including our mortgage calculator, information about mortgage rates and loans, and mortgage news available in Spanish. We’re helping more and more families find their way HOME.

For more information on how to make your dream of home ownership a reality, visit us at onqfinancial.com.



About the Author

Before opening On Q Financial in 2005, John Bergman originated and funded 450 units a year as a loan officer. He founded the company with just $1M of personal life savings—committed to his vision for building the best independent mortgage organization in the industry.

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