Mortgage Payment Shock

Mortgage Payment Shock Underwriting Guidelines

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

In this article, we will disucss and cover Mortgage Payment Shock And How It Is Viewed By Underwriters. When getting a mortgage, it is important to keep a comfortable payment for you and your family. What you may think is a comfortable payment may not be the same as determined by your debt to income ratios. Many Americans learned their lesson with higher than expected payments during the real estate crash of 2008. As a result of the real estate crash, all major mortgage agencies now have maximum payment requirements (as determined by your debt to income ratio). In this blog, we will detail mortgage payment shock and how it can affect the mortgage process.

What Is Mortgage Payment Shock?

What Is Mortgage Payment Shock?

In short, mortgage payment shock refers to a significant increase in monthly liabilities such as a housing payment. The increase in payment will heighten the risk of default. This is why payment shock is scrutinized thoroughly by an underwriter. They want to make sure that the pay increase will not stretch you too far where you cannot meet the minimum obligated payments.

Mortgage Payment Shock On Adjustable Versus Fixed Rate Mortgages

Payment shock used to be for adjustable-rate mortgages, the shock that would occur due to the increases in rate after the adjustments. Since the crash, adjustable-rate mortgages have been on a rapid decline. In fact, they are rarely used in today’s mortgage market. Payment shock is now looked at as in how much your overall payment increases. An overall increase in payment of 20% or more is considered a payment shock.

Case Scenario Of Mortgage Payment Shock

He would like to buy a home with a VA loan

Here is a case scenario to illustrate mortgage payment shock:

  • Jeff has been renting the same home for almost two years for $1,700 a month
  • He would like to buy a home with a VA loan
  • He would like the total payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and association dues) totals to $2,200
  • This increase of $500 is well over the 20% payment shock threshold
  • Jeff can buy the home as long as he has compensating factors
  • A compensating factor could be cash reserves in the bank, the longevity of employment, conservative use of consumer debt, and even the receipt of military disability benefits

The approval will be determined by a mortgage underwriter.

VA Mortgage Payment Shock Guidelines

There is no set VA guideline for mortgage payment shock. The VA will examine the residual income of the applicant. A workaround for payment shock is possible with VA loans. If your residual income is at least 20% greater than the required residual income and you have at least one compensating factor, you can get around payment shock. Since there is no set-in-stone guideline through the VA, it is the underwriter’s discretion. The majority of the time in underwriter will have the borrowers sign a letter of intent stating they understand the increase in payment and are willing to pay the increased payment. We are experts in VA manual underwriting. If you have questions about the process or concerns of your current process, please contact Mike Gracz at 630-659-7644 or text us for faster response for mortgage advice. Mike is also reachable via email 7 days a week at

Qualifying For Mortgage With Direct Lender With No Overlays

Qualifying For Mortgage With Direct Lender With No Overlays

Not all lenders have the same guidelines. All lenders need to follow agency guidelines. FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mac, Freddie Mac are agencies. However, lenders can have higher lending standards than agency guidelines which are called overlays.  Over 75% of our borrowers are folks who either got a last-minute mortgage denial or are stressing with another lender due to their overlays. Gustan Cho Associates has zero overlays on government and conventional loans. We just go off agency guidelines and have no other higher lending requirements.  Check out 5 Star Zillow Reviews by our clients.

In Conclusion

Payment shock as well as other obstacles can be difficult to understand. Please contact the experts at Gustan Cho Associates for mortgage advice. No two mortgage applications are identical, and we have seen all types of credit profiles. We pride ourselves in top-notch customer service and work with many families for 3, 6, and even 12 months or longer before they qualify to buy their dream home! We are experts in mortgage guidelines and even if you are in the process with another lender please reach out to us for a second opinion.

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