Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting

This BLOG On Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting Was UPDATED And PUBLISHED On March 20th, 2020

Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting
Gustan Cho Associates

There are instances where mortgage borrowers’ applications need to be manually underwritten. Not all lenders do manual underwrites. VA and FHA Loans allow manual underwriting. Conventional loans do not.

The following loan programs are very popular with manual underwriting:

  • FHA Loans
  • VA Loans

Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting is started when the Automated Underwriting System cannot render an approve/eligible per AUS FINDINGS.

  • When AUS renders a referred/eligible per AUS FINDINGS, it means that the automated system cannot render an automated underwriting system approval
  • The lender can proceed with approving borrowers with a downgrade to manual underwriting
  • A large percentage of our borrowers at Gustan Cho Associates do manual underwriting on FHA and VA Loans

In this article, we will cover and discuss Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting on FHA and VA mortgages.

How Mortgage Underwriters Process Manual Underwrites Versus Automated Underwriting

There is not too much difference between manual underwriting versus automated underwriting. Both types of underwriting are processed the same way. Underwriters will have more scrutiny during the mortgage approval process on manual underwriting versus automated approvals.

There are many case scenarios from borrowers.

To qualify for a residential mortgage loan, there are two extremely important things borrowers need to meet:

  • Income
  • Qualified income 
  • Credit
  • Minimum credit score requirements 
  • Income is probably the most important factor


  • Credit is super important as well
  • Borrowers need to meet the minimum credit scores and have timely payments in the past 12 months
  • Lenders can work on helping improve credit so mortgage applicants can qualify for home loans

As long as borrowers have the income they will qualify because credit scores fluctuate month to month.

Qualified Income Versus Bad Credit

What is the difference between qualified income and bad credit?

Borrowers with qualified income but bad credit can qualify for a mortgage loan as follows:

  • The key is when and not if they will qualify for a mortgage 
  • However, if borrowers have excellent credit but no income, they will not qualify for a mortgage loan until they have a stable income source

Income needs to be stable and likely to continue for the next three consecutive years.

Mortgage Guidelines On Manual Underwriting

Income and credit are not the only requirements only two factors underwriters analyze:

The borrower needs to meet the federally mandated mortgage lending guidelines for the mortgage loan program they apply for:

  • FHA
  • VA
  • USDA
  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • Portfolio
  • jumbo
  • Other mortgage loan programs

Every mortgage loan program has two sets of mortgage lending guidelines:

Mortgage Lender Overlays

What are mortgage lender overlays

Just because borrowers meet the required federal mandatory lending guidelines for a mortgage does not mean that they are home free.

  • Not all lenders have the same Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting
  • Most lenders have mortgage overlays on government and conventional loans
  • Fortunately, Gustan Cho Associates has zero lender overlays on government and conventional loans
  • Every lender needs to meet the minimum mortgage guidelines by FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae, and/or Freddie Mac
  • However, lenders are allowed to have higher lending standards called overlays
  • Each lender might have their own mortgage lender overlays, which are additional extra guidelines on top of the federal guidelines
  • For example, FHA only requires a 580 score for a borrower to qualify for a 3.5% down payment FHA Loan
  • However, a bank might require a 640 credit score which is 60 points above the federally required minimum credit scores of 580 to qualify for FHA Loans
  • There are mortgage lenders like Gustan Cho Associates have no overlays

Whatever the federal minimum requirements are will be mortgage loan approval as long as borrowers can meet the conditions of AUS.

Borrowers who are looking for a direct lender with lenders can contact us at Gustan Cho Associates at 262-716-8151 or text us for faster response or email us at Or visit us at

Case Scenarios On Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting

There is more scrutiny with Mortgage Approval Process On Manual Underwriting versus borrowers with an automated underwriting system approval.

I get calls everyday from folks who have unique case scenarios and who are interested in purchasing a home.  I will be covering individual unique case scenarios in future blogs.

Some examples of case scenarios we will be covering are the following:

Quitting job during the mortgage approval process:

  • Gaps of employment is allowed


  • Some lenders deny those with any overdrafts in past 12 months

Recent late payments:

  • Late payments in the past 12 months is not a deal killer but most lenders require timely payments in the past 12 months

Open collections:

  • Outstanding collections and charged-off accounts do not have to be paid to qualify for home loans with Gustan Cho Associates

Judgments And Tax Liens:

Divorce during the mortgage loan process where future ex-spouse refuses to sign paperwork:

  • Currently living on a home that is under spouse’s name but needs to qualify for a new mortgage loan: 
    • Case of where mortgage lenders can classify as a bail
  • Inheriting a home that is under foreclosure
  • Timeshare foreclosure
  • High debt to income ratios and solutions

Waiting periods after the following:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure
  • Short sale
  • Mortgage included as part of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Late Payments After Bankruptcy And/Or A Housing Event

Which means late payments after a bankruptcy and / or housing event

Late payments after bankruptcy and foreclosure:

Late payments after bankruptcy and foreclosures are frowned upon by lenders but are not deal killers. The following line items may become issues when applying for a mortgage:

  • Open collections, charge offs, late payments
  • What constitutes a mortgage bail
  • Mortgage lender overlays
  • Bad credit, no credit, no credit scores and the use of non-traditional credit
    • Non-Traditional Credit Tradelines accepted on manual underwrites
  • Low appraisal, appraisal rebuttal, appraisal review
  • Sellers concessions and lender’s credit toward closing costs
  • Our new Home Buyers Preparation Program for home buyers with bad credit and very poor credit history

Contact us to discuss the above case scenarios and discuss a solution on how we can help structure a solid plan for borrowers to qualify for home loans.

Qualifying For Manual Underwriting With Lender With No Overlays

Gustan Cho Associates are experts in originating and funding VA and FHA manual underwriting borrowers. Both VA and FHA have the same Manual Underwriting Guidelines:

Here are the requirements for manual underwriting:

  • Meet minimum credit score requirements of 580 for both VA and FHA Loans
  • Timely payments on all payments in the past 12 months

Verification Of Rent:

  • Payment Shock is extremely important 
  • Verification Of Rent is only valid if the renter can provide 12 months canceled checks and/or bank statements paid to the landlord
  • Cash payments to the landlord are not valid and will not be accepted as rental verification
  • Those living with family may get an exemption on Verification of Rent requirements but is not viewed favorably

Gift funds are not viewed favorably:

  • Reserves and larger down payment is viewed as compensating factors 
  • Debt to Income Ratios is capped at 50% DTI with compensating factors
  • VA and FHA Borrowers can qualify for manual underwriting one year into a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Repayment Plan
  • There is no waiting period after Chapter 13 Bankruptcy discharged date with Manual Underwriting on VA Loans and FHA Loans

VA and FHA Borrowers who need a direct lender with no mortgage overlays on VA and FHA Manual Underwriting can contact us at Gustan Cho Associates at 262-716-8151 or email us at We are available 7 days a week, evenings, weekends, and holidays.

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