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Mortgage Blog

How to get a home loan

Jim Quist is the president and founder of NewCastle Home Loans. He has 20+ years of mortgage lending experience as a business owner, mortgage underwriter, and loan officer. Jim's goal is to help people buy homes.

Jim Quist is the president and founder of NewCastle Home Loans. He has 20+ years of mortgage lending experience as a business owner, mortgage underwriter, and loan officer. Jim's goal is to help people buy homes.

How to Get a DACA Mortgage Loan

Obtaining a mortgage can be scary and difficult for homebuyers in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. We totally get it. It’s a complicated process, and you probably have lots of questions. 

That’s why we’ve put together this guide: To help you understand the mortgage process and avoid the pitfalls many DACA recipients experience along the way. 

Whether you’re buying your first home, a second home or investment property, or if you’re looking to refinance and lower your monthly payments, check out our resources below to find out how to get your loan through our easy, online application. 


Do all mortgage lenders offer DACA loans?

While it’s true that mortgage rules and regulations have shifted quite a bit in recent years, we’ve got good news! As of 2021, DACA recipients can get a home loan with the same terms and rates as US citizens. 

That said, many lenders still don’t offer mortgages to Dreamers. We know this because our customers tell us: they’re often denied by banks just because of their DACA status. But even if a big bank turned you down, rest assured—it’s still possible to achieve your goal of homeownership, and we’re here to help. 

Need a DACA loan fast? You’re in the right place. We can get you the home loan you need, just like we’ve done for many other DACA recipients. Through our industry-leading online application process, you can be approved within 1-day and close in as few as 10-days. Our quick process is designed to get you the lowest interest rate and closing costs in record time, which means you’ll have the loan you need and—best of all—an affordable payment on your very own home. 

DACA Mortgage Application


Am I eligible for a DACA mortgage?

DACA recipients are eligible for most types of mortgages if they can prove they’re lawful, non-permanent residents of the U.S. In other words, as a Dreamer, you’re eligible for homeownership as long as you have the paperwork showing that you can live and work here legally. 

When you apply, you’ll be asked to provide proof of your legal status with copies of a few documents:

    1. Social Security Card. 
    2. Current Employment Authorization Document (EAD card) issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Your EAD card should list C33 under “Category.”
    3. Previous expired EAD card. This shows your lender that USCIS has a history of renewing your residency status and that they’ll continue to renew it in the future.

By providing these documents, you’ll prove that you’re eligible for a mortgage in the U.S. But keep in mind that being eligible for a loan and being approved for a loan are two different things. Being eligible to receive a loan doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be approved for the loan, but it’s a crucial first step. 


What type of property can I buy with a DACA mortgage?

We work with lots of DACA participants at NewCastle, so we know firsthand that most Dreamers are young and probably looking to buy their first home. You’re likely interested in buying or refinancing a residential house, condominium, or townhome you plan to live in. Because this is the most common reason DACA members come to us for a loan, we have an impressive record of success when it comes to single-family home loans at lower rates, saving our customers money each month. 

But we also know that every buyer’s situation is different, and we’re able to offer loans for home types that other lenders don’t usually finance for DACA recipients. In addition to single-family homes, we work with eligible Dreamers to provide mortgages on second homes, 2 to 4 unit properties, or even investment properties. 


DACA Mortgage Down Payment


We currently lend to DACA borrowers in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Tennessee looking to buy any of these above home types. If we’re lending in your state, just keep in mind our few exceptions: we don’t finance mobile and manufactured homes, commercial properties, or cooperatives.

As you shop for a loan, you’ll notice that your loan type and down-payment requirements differ based on the type of property you’re looking to buy and the loan types you’re eligible to receive. This can all get confusing pretty fast, but we don’t want you to worry about unraveling all the details of your mortgage on your own. 

Our experienced loan officers are happy to walk you through the different home and loan types, down-payment requirements, and how to decide what type of loan is best for you. Whether you’re looking to be pre-approved or already have a property in mind, schedule a free 15-minute call to discuss your best options with our team. 

Schedule a call


How much will a DACA mortgage cost?

Before you apply, you probably want to know how much your mortgage is going to cost. It makes sense to know what you should expect financially before diving in to a new mortgage, so we’ve invested in tools that’ll help. 

Basically, there are two sets of costs you’ll be responsible for with your new mortgage: a payment you’ll make each month to pay off your loan, and the cash you need on-hand to close on your home. 

Your exact monthly payment will depend on a few variables, including the price of your home, down payment amount, and your loan’s interest rate. But your monthly payment is not the only mortgage cost to keep in mind. When you close on your home, you’ll also need cash up-front to pay closing costs, taxes, and fees. This is the part of your mortgage that often adds up, catching borrowers by surprise.

We don’t want uncertainty about interest rates, monthly payments, or closing costs to stand in the way of your homeownership, so we’ve invested in the tools to help. We believe the home loan process should be as transparent as possible, so we provide our Mortgage Calculator as a free tool to give you all the loan information you need ahead of time. 

Our calculator lets you see and select loans with live interest rates, meaning you see estimated monthly payments and closing costs to the dollar, instead of the range of possible interest rates and monthly payments that many online mortgage calculators offer.

Inspired by our customer-first processes, this technology also allows us to offer you lower interest rates, which means lower monthly payments for you. With a loan estimate in hand, you know exactly how much it will cost to buy your house before you even apply for the loan, and you can plan for what’s ahead with peace of mind. 

First, enter basic information including the estimated purchase price, down payment, and credit score. You'll receive loan options with live interest rates and monthly payments—instantly. 

Search Mortgage Rates


Then, click "Show details" to see the full payment including the estimated property taxes and insurances.

Mortgage Rate Quote


Next, view the closing costs. You'll know what to expect and feel confident about buying a home.

Mortgage Closing Costs Quote


Shopping around for a loan but you can’t seem to get a firm number from other lenders? Just want to get an idea of how much cash it’ll take to go from renting to owning your own home? Take a second to input some basic information about your desired home, and you’ll receive a detailed breakdown of the cost of your mortgage.

Mortgage Calculator


Do I qualify for a DACA mortgage? 

Once you have your eligibility documents and your desired home all worked out, what happens then? Your next—and most important—step is to apply and be approved for your loan. 

These approval requirements are the same for DACA recipients as they are for U.S. citizens: You’ll need to meet the minimum required credit score, prove a history of employment, provide a record of your income, and show that you have enough money to cover the down payment and closing costs. Here’s what that looks like:

    • Credit score. Your mortgage lender will run your credit report and review your record of debt repayment as part of your application. Different lenders have different score requirements, but we require a minimum score of 600 for most applicants.

Is your score accurate? You probably have an idea of your current credit score and report from a company like Credit Karma. But these reports aren’t always as specific or accurate as the report your lender will see. When buying a home, it’s a good idea to have a mortgage lender check your credit report ahead of time. The score and report are good for 120 days, so if you plan to buy a home within the next 4 months, it’s a good document to keep on hand. 

Not sure of your current score? Check for free at our link below!

See if you qualify!

    • Proof of income. To prove you can afford the monthly payments of your new home, you’ll submit a record of your income. Typically lenders want to see copies of your recent pay stubs, W-2 forms, or federal tax return if you’re self-employed to verify you make enough money to qualify for the loan.

    • Employment history. To have confidence that you’ll repay your loan, the lender will want to see that your employment and income are both steady and likely to continue. You’ll provide proof that you’re employed as part of your application, and you’ll establish at least 2 years of work history at the same or similar jobs.

    • Proof of assets. Your down payment and closing costs are due up-front, so your lender will want to see that you can afford to pay these costs when you close. Before closing, give the lender copies of your recent bank statements verifying you have enough money to buy the home.
  • Can I use gift money to buy a home?

These qualification guidelines are standard for most borrowers across the mortgage industry. That said, we appreciate that Dreamers have a different background and that most DACA recipients are young and just starting out. You’ve worked hard, but you might not have a strong credit history, might have a shorter work history, or may receive income from multiple sources. 

Some bigger lenders will hesitate at these conditions, but we don’t want you to worry—this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t qualify for a home loan. 

Our team of experienced lenders is dedicated to helping you get your mortgage. We’ll work with you one-on-one to gather the right information and see if we can finance or refinance your home, even in situations where other lenders have said no. 

Here are just a few instances when we’ve been able to secure home loans for Dreamers with more complex qualifying conditions:


Example 1: Marco got a raise.

Marco has been working in retail management for 3 years, and he recently received a raise. His hourly wage increased from $16/hour to $21/hour. While other, traditional mortgage lenders may use Marco’s average income over the last 2 years, we used  Marco’s new, higher wage to measure his income because he has a proven history of employment at his current job. 


Example 2: Isobel just started a new career.

Isobel is a teacher who graduated recently and started working 2 months ago. In her new teaching job, she makes $51,000 annually. While Isobel hasn’t been at her current job for the standard two years, she has an additional three years of experience studying education at the university level. We used her current income on her mortgage application because of her combined years of study and work in the field of education. 


Example 3: Alex changed jobs recently. 

Alex works in sales, but recently changed jobs. He received commission income at both his previous and current jobs. He earned $10,000 in commissions in previous years and $20,000 over the last year. We averaged his commission earnings from both his new and old jobs over the last 24 months and used that amount, $15,000, to approve his home loan. 


Before applying for a DACA mortgage.

Now that you know what to expect, you’re ready to apply for your loan or pre-approval. As a DACA recipient, remember: no matter the lender, it’s important to make sure you ask the loan officer if the bank will approve borrowers with DACA status. By asking ahead of time, you have a better chance of avoiding problems later. 

Still, many Dreamers begin the home loan process through a bigger lender only to be denied within weeks or days of the closing date. This more traditional approach to the mortgage process can be rigid and slow, resulting in higher rates and surprise roadblocks that keep you from closing on your home. But if the bank says no, make sure to check with a different lender—one denial doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be denied everywhere. 

Too often, we hear stories about DACA recipients losing out on their dream homes because of a last-minute denial from the bank. That’s one reason we’ve made it easy for you to apply and be approved for a loan online, in record time, and at competitively low rates. 

Don’t lose out on your home because of your DACA status. Let NewCastle get you a faster, cheaper loan, and leave you confident in your new knowledge as a homebuyer. 

Through our streamlined, web-optimized process, borrowers in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Tennessee can be approved in 1 day and close in as few as 10-days. Our customers can back us up on this one—we know how to get your loan quickly.

NewCastle Home Loans - Review

NewCastle Home Loans - Google Review


NewCastle has invested in a team of experts and industry-leading technology so that we can save you money on your loan, too. We offer lower rates and lower closing costs than many bigger lenders, which means you have a lower monthly payment. Want proof? See our tool for live interest rates, payments, and fees.

And while faster, cheaper mortgages are central to our business, our biggest goal is to clarify the mortgage process and support our community of homebuyers. 

As a DACA recipient, you may have additional questions about buying a home, and we’re here to help. No need to spend hours of your time reading and trying to interpret the ins and outs of home loans—we’ll walk you through the mortgage process, and we’ll explain every step. Our team is dedicated to making sure you feel supported throughout your homebuying process, and we’ll keep you informed every step of the way.

NewCastle Home Loans - Google ReviewNewCastle Home Loans - Google Review


We’re committed to helping Dreamers achieve homeownership, and we know we can make it happen. Check out some of the stories behind previous DACA participants who received mortgages through NewCastle:

NewCastle Home Loans - Google Review

NewCastle Home Loans - Google Review


Get approved for a DACA mortgage, Step-by-Step.

Not sure what your next steps are or if you’re ready to apply? That depends on where you are in your homebuying process. 

If you have a home you want to buy and just need the loan to close the deal, we recommend you apply right away. You don’t want to lose out on the perfect home, and this maximizes the amount of time we have to close. 

Apply Now

If you want to buy a house but want to make sure you can get the loan first, we get it. That’s a smart way to make sure your homebuying process goes smoothly. Apply below to be pre-approved and to give yourself a competitive edge when it’s time to make an offer.

Our pre-approval process will pre-qualify you so you know exactly what to expect for your desired loan amount, then give you a pre-approval letter you can give to your real estate agent. Having this letter as part of your offer will let the seller know that you’re serious about your offer, that you can get the loan, and that you’ll close quickly. 

Either way, we want to make your mortgage experience as easy as possible, and we’re here for you—no matter where you are in the process. 


Follow our 3-step closing plan to get approved or pre-approved quickly:

  1. Apply online.

Fill out our online application to start the process. Be sure to answer the question about Your Citizenship Status correctly: Non-Permanent Resident Alien.

DACA Mortgage Non Permanent Resident

The application will give you an auto-generated approval in about 15 minutes, automatically:

      • Checking your credit history.
      • Syncing with your bank to import your bank statements.
      • Allowing you to choose a loan, the precise interest rate for your loan, and your monthly payment.

  1. Get an Approved Buyer Cert within 1 day.

NewCastle’s Approved Buyer Cert is a real mortgage loan approval, and you can get one quickly and easily online, even before you shop for a home. Here’s what this step looks like:

      • Upload your documents to our secure Loan Dashboard.
      • Our loan underwriter verifies your info and confirms that you meet the loan eligibility requirements.
      • Lock in a low interest rate and payment.

DACA Mortgage Loan Dashboard

  1. Close in 10 days.

You’ll work closely with our team as we get everything ready to close your loan:

      • Talk with one of our home loan experts so that we can help you set a realistic closing date. 
      • We will process your documents, commit to your mortgage, and prepare to close within 10 days.
      • Close your loan, move in to your new home, and move on to the exciting parts of homeownership. 

Get Approved Now!


Let’s get your questions answered.

We want to make the homebuying process for DACA recipients as easy as possible. Have questions or want more info before you apply? Schedule a free 15-minute call with me and we’ll get your questions answered.

You can also reach out to our team via email or share your thoughts and questions in the comments below. 


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