- Learn what and who needs an ITIN number to buy a house in Chicago
- Understand Illinois-specific laws that allow you to buy a property with an ITIN mortgage loan
- Determine your eligibility for ITIN loans in Illinois, from proof of income to down payment requirements
- Follow a step-by-step guide to the ITIN mortgage application process in Illinois and Chicago
- Find out what lenders look for when approving ITIN mortgage loans in Chicago
- Get pro tips to boost your chances of getting your ITIN mortgage approved in Chicago
Nearly 30 million people in the U.S. could benefit from an ITIN loan, be it for a home, car, business, or personal needs. But many Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) holders shy away from seeking financing, thinking they’re ineligible.
But let’s set the record straight:
You absolutely can buy a house in Chicago with an ITIN number! Here, we’ll dive into all the essentials you’ll need—from getting familiar with ITIN eligibility criteria to insider tips for securing ITIN mortgage approval—to learn everything you need to know when buying property in Chicago with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
What is an ITIN Number and Who Needs It?
An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who do not have and are ineligible to obtain a social security number to file taxes.
ITINs are commonly used by undocumented immigrants, resident aliens, and non-resident aliens who earn income in the US. Foreign nationals, migrant workers, spouses, and dependents of foreign visa holders may also have ITINs.
If you belong to one of these groups and want to buy real estate in Chicago, an Illinois ITIN mortgage loan may be your ticket to homeownership. For extensive coverage of the topic, see our complete guide to Illinois ITIN Mortgage Loans.
Eligibility: Who Can Buy a House in Chicago with an ITIN Number?
There are specific legal provisions in Illinois that enable ITIN holders to purchase residential property, making homeownership possible even without permanent residency. Here’s what you need to know:
Illinois Lenders and Mortgage Types for ITIN Holders
You’ll need to apply for an ITIN mortgage loan through one of the lenders or mortgage brokers that offer them in Illinois. Make sure to work only with ITIN lenders that are licensed in Illinois. State license confirmations are available online.
Did you know? Comparing rates from three different ITIN lenders in Chicago can save you thousands of dollars over the loan term. It's important to compare different lending programs with a qualified ITIN mortgage consultant.
Legal Provisions in Illinois for ITIN Mortgages
Chicago ITIN real estate transactions must comply with all applicable state and federal real estate laws. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) oversees licensing for mortgage brokers and loan originators in the state. The Illinois Real Estate Division regulates real estate brokers and agents.
Pro Tip: Work with an experienced real estate attorney from the start. They can advise you on the ITIN documents and paperwork needed to fulfill state compliance requirements. Additionally, gain insights into the benefits and limitations of Illinois ITIN loans here.
What Lenders Look for in ITIN Home Loans
When reviewing an ITIN mortgage application, lenders typically want to verify:
Credit History – The credit report is a financial mirror reflecting your repayment habits. Solid income sources and low debt help offset low or no credit scores.
Employment – Job consistency is crucial. Lenders expect proof of current employment and stable income for the last two years in the same line of work. If self-employed, prepare to show two years of tax returns, 1099, or 24 months of business bank statements.
Debt-to-Income Ratio – Another key factor is your debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Lenders use DTI to assess your ability to manage your monthly payments, including your projected mortgage payments. A lower DTI generally improves your prospects.
Loan-to-Value Ratio – The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, or how much you’re borrowing, impacts your mortgage terms. A lower LTV, generally achieved by increasing the down payment amount, lessens the lender’s risk, potentially leading to better loan terms.
Documentation – Last but not least, proper documentation is essential to expedite the ITIN approval process.
Providing documents to substantiate these lending criteria is key to ITIN approval.
Did you know? The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) provides Opportunity Loans that accept tax returns with ITINs instead of social security numbers. These programs aim to help hardworking families in immigrant and minority communities realize the dream of homeownership.
Chicago ITIN Mortgage-Required Documents
To qualify for an ITIN mortgage in Chicago, you’ll have to provide the following documentation during the pre-qualification and underwriting process:
- Proof of identification – Driver’s license, state ID, passport, ITIN letter etc.
- Proof of ITIN: Your valid, current Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- Credit Report: A specialized credit report tied to your ITIN.
- Income Verification: Pay stubs or bank statements from the last 12-24 months.
- Employment Records: Two years of W-2s or tax returns, or 1099 forms if self-employed.
- Down Payment Source: Documentation of your down payment funds.
- Gift Letters: If part of your down payment is a gift, a letter stating it’s not a loan.
- Debt Documentation: Records of existing debts like car loans, credit cards, and student loans.
- Previous Rental History: Documentation of consistent rental payments, if available.
- Collateral Assessment: Property appraisal report for Loan-to-Value ratio assessment.
- Co-Signer Information: If applicable, their financial and employment details.
Having these ready ahead of time speeds up the lending process but also gives you a competitive edge in the fast-moving Chicago real estate market.
For detailed information on application requirements, see our guide on Illinois ITIN Mortgage Requirements.
ITIN Credit and Loan Guidelines
Chicago ITIN mortgage eligibility and loan terms are credit score-driven.
However, some lenders offer ITIN mortgage programs even with limited, or no credit history at all, so if you do not have an established credit history, do not fret; ITIN financing might still be available, but expect higher interest rates and down payments.
Other common ITIN mortgage requirements include:
- Minimum Credit Score: 620.
- Minimum Down Payment: 15% to 20% down payment is required.
- Debt-to-Income Ratio: 50% allowed, but aim below 45% for best rates.
- Employment History: A stable two-year employment history is required.
- Property Type: Owner-occupied or an investment property
- Loan Amount: Typically, loan amounts must fall within Illinois conforming loan limits.
- Mortgage Insurance: Required if the down payment is less than 20%.
- Reserve Requirements: Some lenders may require cash reserves equivalent to 2-6 months of mortgage payments.
- Proof of Rent: Your lender may require 12-24 months of verified rent payments.
- Gifted Funds: Funds gifted for down payment need to be sourced and documented.
As long as you meet the lender’s minimum eligibility criteria, there are viable ITIN home financing options waiting for you in Illinois. A qualified mortgage advisor can help you choose the right ITIN mortgage product for you.
To understand the application process in detail, see our Step-By-Step Guide to Your Illinois ITIN Loan Application.
Tips for a Successful ITIN Number Mortgage Loan in Chicago
Implementing these practical tips can go a long way towards ensuring your ITIN mortgage experience is positive:
- Seek an ITIN mortgage pre-approval letter – This shows sellers you can finance the purchase.
- Opt for fixed-rate financing – Locking in a fixed rate eliminates uncertainty.
- Make a sizable down payment – Lenders favor larger down payments as it means less risk for them.
- Work with an experienced real estate agent – Leverage their expertise in documentation and negotiation.
- Select the right neighborhood – Factor in affordability, amenities, transportation, and school districts.
- Get help from a buyer’s attorney – They can review documents to protect your interests.
- Stick to a realistic budget – Careful financial planning ensures you buy what you can afford.
- Check interest rates – Compare mortgage rates from multiple ITIN lenders.
- Start gathering documents early – Promptly supply required paperwork for faster processing.
How to Apply for an ITIN Number Mortgage Loan in Chicago
To ensure your Chicago ITIN mortgage application goes smoothly, it’s important to follow a set plan and work closely with a certified mortgage professional who can assist you with each step. Here are the milestones you’ll need to complete to become a Chicago ITIN homeowner:
- Get pre-qualified – Work with a licensed ITIN lender or mortgage broker in Chicago to get pre-qualified. This helps you set the right expectations and know your affordable price range.
- Find a property – Once you have been prequalified, start looking for homes within your budget. Narrow down to a few favorite options before making an offer.
Pro Tip: Prioritize proximity to public transit when selecting Chicago neighborhoods. Transportation access boosts long-term livability and property resale value.
- Make an offer – Submit your offer and negotiate a fair price with the seller. Avoid contingencies that may complicate or delay your closing.
- Sign a purchase agreement – Work with your agent to craft a purchase agreement when all terms are finalized.
Pro Tip: Have your attorney review the purchase contract before signing it. They can identify any areas of concern or needing revision.
- Complete your ITIN loan application – Your ITIN mortgage advisor will formally initiate the mortgage application process. Prepare all required documents beforehand to accelerate approval.
- Get an appraisal done – The lender will arrange for an appraisal to confirm the property is worth the purchase price and free of any major defects.
- Obtain ITIN loan approval – The lender will underwrite and approve your Chicago ITIN mortgage once they validate all documentation.
- Final walkthrough – Complete a final walkthrough before closing to ensure the property’s condition matches contractual terms.
Pro Tip: During your final walkthrough, snap photos of any visible flaws and discrepancies tied to your purchase agreement. Create a checklist for quick cross-referencing, ensuring all repairs or changes are complete. This approach simplifies last-minute negotiations and protects you if issues arise later.
- Close on time – Set a realistic closing date on your purchase agreement and ensure all parties involved meet the required deadlines.
Caution: Delays in the closing process — whether they stem from you, other parties involved, or glitches in the loan underwriting — can jeopardize your secured ITIN mortgage interest rate. Collaborate diligently with both your mortgage advisor and realtor to guarantee timely completion.
Buying a house in Chicago with an ITIN number mortgage loan and achieving homeownership without being a permanent resident is 100% possible. Illinois has specific provisions that allow ITIN holders to buy real estate after meeting certain eligibility criteria.
Work with a specialized Illinois ITIN mortgage broker or a lender for the most competitive deals. If you approach the home buying process strategically, your chances of approval are very high. Reach out to us today to start the process or get pre-qualified for an Illinois ITIN purchase loan.