Trouble Getting Pre-Approved? Check Out These 3 New Loan Products That May Help

Trouble Getting Approved?


These three new loan products just came across my desk. I love how lenders are thinking outside the box, and using down payment assistance to help buyers get approved.

There is always a tradeoff for these loans in the form of higher interest rates. But remember – all loans we are doing now are short-term loans. We can refinance you into a better rate when rates go down again.

In This Post

1. Common Sense Mortgage - A Return to Common-Sense Underwriting.

Common Sense Mortgage Common Sense Mortgage is an innovative product that uses common-sense underwriting to address the regulatory rules that limit prime borrowers’ access to lending. It eliminates unnecessary documents that are not part of the credit underwriting decision.

The Common Sense Mortgage is a unique mortgage product that fills the void and addresses the issues limiting prime, credit-worthy borrowers’ access to credit through common-sense underwriting.

Program Highlights

  • No income check
  • No employment check
  • Debt to Income ratio not used
  • Approval relies on down payment amount (at least 20%), FICO, and reserves.
  • Primary or second homes only. No investment properties
  • Minimum 640 FICO

Ideal For:

  • Self-Employed/Small Business Owner
  • Volatile or Irregular Income
  • Retired
  • Seasonal & Gig Workers
  • Real Estate Investors
  • Owners & Employees of Cash Businesses
  • Newly Self-Employed
  • Transitioning from Recent Health, Family,
    or Other Life Events
  • Looking to Tap Trapped Home Equity
  • Recent Immigration
  • Disqualified Income
If you’re having trouble getting approved for a conventional mortgage, this loan may a good option for you. This will get you into a home, and we can refinance you later. If you want to see if this loan is a good fit for you, schedule an appointment and let’s run some numbers.


You don’t have to be an expert in getting a home loan – that’s my job. I’ve been doing this so long, I know how to navigate through all of the rules and guidelines to find you the best loan at the best price. Schedule an appointment so we can get you ready to start shopping for your dream home! Or if You’re ready to get the process started, start an application to get the ball rolling. I’ll take it from there.


2. FHA 3.5% Forgivable Down Payment Assistance

Geared towards first-time homebuyers or first responders, medical professionals, civil servants, and educators. This Grant is a REAL Grant. This is NOT a Silent 2nd; nothing will be recorded on the title. It goes away when buyer refinances or sells.

Eligible Borrowers:

  • Is a first time homebuyer


  • Is a current, retired, or volunteer in the following professions, even if they are a janitor or cafeteria worker at one of these employers:
    • First responder (police officer, firefighter, paramedic, EMT, or similar)
    • Medical (doctor, nurse, x-ray tech, red cross, or similar)
    • Civil Servant (city, state, county or federal employee)
    • Educator (teacher, tutor, Sunday school teacher, day care provider)
    • Military personnel



Loan Highlights

  • Min 620 FICO
  • 1-2 Unit Primary Residence
  • Up to 6% seller concessions allowed
  • Borrower must completer a HUD counseling class
Because the 3.5% grant is forgivable right away, the interest rate is high on this one. But remember, we can refinance you after 6 months, or we can wait until rates really go down and get you a great rate. And the grant goes away.

Not available in WA state.

3. 20% Down Payment Assistance

20 Percent Down Payment AssistanceThis loan is with the state of California’s CalHFA program, and the 20% can be used for both down payment and closing costs. Loan is paid off when the borrower either refinances or sells the home.

Geared towards California first-time homebuyers, this program may allow buyers to increase their buying power and get into a home they thought they couldn’t afford.

It’s funded by the State of California, and the funds are limited, so don’t hesitate on this one. Funds may get used up quickly.

This is a conventional loan, and so the buyer still has to qualify using conventional loan standards. The program just supplies the down payment assistance.

Income Limits

Income limits are very generous, but they depend on which county the property is in. For example, a first-time homebuyer in Sacramento can make up to $202,000 and still qualify for the program.

Paying the Loan Back

This down payment assistance is not a grant, it is a lona, and needs to be paid back when the home owner refinances or sells the home. There is no interest on the loan, nor a monthly payment. This is a shared appreciation loan.

Instead of the interest or monthly payment, when you pay off the loan, you also pay back a portion of the appreciation that your home accrued during the time of the loan. For most borrowers, the shared appreciation payback will be 20% of the appreciation that your home earned during the time of the loan,

For example, if you bought a home for $600,000, your down payment assistance would be 20%, or $120,000.  Your first mortgage would be $480,000. Let’s say you sold your home for $750,000 six years later. Once you pay back the first mortgage and the 20% loan, your appreciation would be $150,000. The shared appreciation that you would pay back would be 20% of $150,000, or $30,000.

Still not a bad deal if the 20% down payment allows you to buy a bigger home, or one in a nicer neighborhood.

I’m Your first Call.

Your first step should always be to talk to a mortgage professional. Schedule a time speak with me today, it doesn’t matter if your’e already under contract, or if you are buying until next year. I need to make sure we get you ready, and that you’re doing the right things today, so when you do make an offer, you are all set. I see too many people that take advice from the internet or non-professionals and mess up their chances to buy. 

Talk to Jesse – Mortgage Expert 


Jesse Rivera - Mortgage Broker

My name is Jesse Rivera. I’m licensed in the State of California and I live and work in beautiful Long Beach, CA. I can do loans for the whole state of California, but I specialize in SoCal, especially Long Beach, Los Angeles County and Orange county.

And please check out my Google 5-Star Reviews by Clicking here.