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Wells Fargo Partners with Fannie Mae & Self-Help to Launch "yourFirst" 3% Down Payment Mortgages

• New home loan will help more qualified first-time homebuyers and low- to moderate-income consumers become homeowners

• One key factor in the new program that makes it different than the rest of the market is that it only requires a 620 FICO score.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company today announced yourFirstMortgage℠, a new home loan program that offers a down payment of as little as 3 percent for fixed-rate mortgages, lower out-of-pocket costs, expanded credit criteria and incentives for homebuyer education to help more first-time homebuyers and low- to moderate-income families achieve sustainable homeownership.

“There are a lot of conventional loan products with low down payment options, but the criteria are so complex that it creates barriers for many qualified borrowers”

“yourFirst Mortgage” includes some of the best features of previous affordable homebuying programs while reducing the loan application complexity that made such programs less attractive for borrowers. Building on Wells Fargo’s history of responsible lending, “yourFirst Mortgage” is a conventional loan program that requires full documentation and underwriting to verify a borrower’s ability to repay.

“There are a lot of conventional loan products with low down payment options, but the criteria are so complex that it creates barriers for many qualified borrowers,” said Brad Blackwell, executive vice president, Wells Fargo Home Lending. “With yourFirst Mortgage, we wanted to provide access to credit and simplify the experience while maintaining responsible lending practices. We partnered with credit experts such as Fannie Mae and Self-Help, an affiliate of the Center for Responsible Lending, to develop an easy-to-understand affordable loan option that gives homebuyers the best offering in the market.”

With the goal of expanding sustainable homeownership, yourFirst Mortgage℠ specifically:

Lowers down payment and out-of-pocket costs:

• Customers can get a conventional fixed-rate mortgage with as little as 3 percent down.

• Down payments and closing costs can come from gifts and down payment assistance programs.

Encourages buyers to make informed choices:

• Customers who have a down payment of less than 10 percent may earn a 1/8-percent interest rate reduction when they complete a homebuyer education course.*

• Working with Wells Fargo’s Home Mortgage Consultants throughout the process helps customers make choices that lead to sustainable homeownership.

Offers additional income and credit guidelines:

• Credit history is expanded to include nontraditional sources, like tuition, rent or utility bill payments.

• Income of others who will live in the home, such as family members or renters, can be considered.

Builds on Wells Fargo’s history of responsible lending:

• Applicants must demonstrate their ability to repay.

• Loan is fully documented and underwritten.

“Wells Fargo’s “yourFirst Mortgage” will provide fair mortgages to qualified working families and that’s good for families and neighborhoods,” said Martin Eakes, Self-Help CEO and co-founder. “For people of modest means, homeownership is the most effective path to building wealth and stability. We are eager to partner with Wells Fargo and Fannie Mae to spur more homeownership opportunities for deserving borrowers.”

“We are pleased that Wells Fargo chose Fannie Mae as its partner on this important program. Fannie Mae is proud to support our customers’ efforts to make sustainable affordable housing a reality. Together with Self -Help, we will expand homeownership opportunities for qualified homebuyers,” said Andrew Bon Salle, executive vice president of Single-Family Business at Fannie Mae. “We are a leader in serving this market and we are committed to responsible lending practices that allow our customers to lend with more certainty and less risk. The yourFirst Mortgage℠ product gives creditworthy borrowers access to affordable mortgage financing and guidance to help them succeed for the long term.”

yourFirst Mortgage℠ joins Wells Fargo’s existing suite of homebuyer services such as yourLoanTracker℠, yourHome Matters℠ and My FirstHome® , an interactive online program designed to help first-time homebuyers prepare to purchase a home and become responsible homeowners.

“With the industry’s largest team of mortgage experts, yourFirst Mortgage℠ responsibly expands access to credit with trusted guidance from America’s largest home lender,” said Franklin Codel, head of Wells Fargo Home Lending. “We developed yourFirst Mortgage℠ to serve the broad population of qualified first-time homebuyers, including the low- to moderate-income customers and the diverse Millennial population – which is more than 2/3 of first-time homebuyers today. 1 This is good for our customers and benefits the economy by building stronger communities through sustainable homeownership.”

As the WSJ explains, the new Wells Fargo product could save borrowers money

The new Wells Fargo product might save money for some borrowers who would have otherwise taken out an FHA-backed loan. For example, a borrower who buys a $200,000 home and has a credit score of 715 would pay about $1,040 a month with an FHA loan from Wells Fargo, assuming the borrower includes the FHA program’s upfront costs in the loan amount and makes a 3.5% down payment, the minimum the agency requires. The same borrower under the new program would pay about $994 a month with a 3% down payment.

By taking a housing-education course, the borrower could reduce the mortgage rate by an additional one-eighth of a percentage point, making the payment about $979 a month.

*Homebuyer education must be provided by a certified U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved counselor.

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