Countrywide Home Loans has introduced a new home loan that enables borrowers to finance a home even if special circumstances make qualifying under traditional guidelines a challenge.

The Optimum Loan Program, now available through Countrywide’s retail division and in the near future through its wholesale channel, addresses common obstacles such as no funds in a savings account for a down payment or a salary based on commission that varies from month to month. Other potential borrowers through the program have not yet built a credit history by borrowing from traditional sources or have a higher than normal debt-to-income ratio.

The program will be rolled out to mortgage brokers on a staggered schedule through Countrywide’s wholesale lending division.

The program’s special features include:

  • Nontraditional credit history – sources such as history of rent, utility, telephone or even cable television payments – may be used to establish a favorable credit history.

  • Cash on hand or pooled funds – cash savings arrangements within a community or family – may be used as a down payment source.

  • Income from stated secondary sources, such as childcare, cleaning services, auto or home repair or other hard to verify sources, may be considered.

  • Income from non-occupant co-borrowers may be included to help meet income qualifications for one-unit properties.

  • Income from rent being paid to the borrower by a live-in boarder for at least 12 months may be considered.

Countrywide expects the program to benefit such customers as single parents and families with household members whose individual incomes may be modest, but whose combined household income enables them to buy a home.

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