Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac H1B Visa Mortgages: Complete Guide [2024]

H1B visa holders with a credit score of 620 or higher can qualify for conventional mortgages through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

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Unlocking the American Dream of homeownership as an H1B visa holder in the USA requires knowing the suitable mortgage options.

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s mortgage programs, two government-sponsored giants. Discover their policies, requirements, and invaluable insights for H1B visa holders on owning their dream home.

Can H1B Visa Holders Qualify for Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Loans?

Yes, H1B visa holders can qualify for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have guidelines allowing legal non-U.S. residents, including H1B visa holders, to apply for mortgages.

So, even if you’re not a permanent resident or citizen of the U.S., as long as you’re legally employed here and hold valid jobs, you can explore these options. Of course, it’s important to remember that there are specific guidelines and criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify.

These typically include factors like credit score, employment history, income stability, debt-to-income ratio, Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and the amount you can put down as a down payment.

Lenders will carefully evaluate these factors to ensure you have the financial capacity to manage the mortgage.

Freddie Mac vs Fannie Mae

Also Read: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fannie Mae Mortgages for Non-Permanent Resident Aliens

Requirements for Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae H1B Mortgages

To qualify for FreddieMac and FannieMae as an H1B visa holder, you typically need to meet the following criteria:

1. Valid H1B Visa Status

It’s crucial to have a valid H1B visa that permits legal work in the U.S. This requirement is fundamental, as these mortgage programs cater specifically to individuals employed in the U.S.

2. Credit Score: 620 or higher

A good credit score of 620 or higher is essential for mortgage approval because they offer programs for people with established U.S. credit, not newcomers. While specific requirements may vary, a higher credit score generally improves your chances and can qualify you for more favorable terms.

If you are a newcomer and have no US/US credit, then you can still qualify for an H1B visa mortgage.

3. At Least 2 Years of Employment

Lenders assess your employment history and stability. Typically, having at least two years of continuous employment in the U.S., including working on an H1B visa, is preferred for Freddie Mac and FannieMae.

4. Income Verification

Documentation of your income, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and employment verification, is necessary for both enterprises. Lenders want to ensure you have a consistent income to cover your mortgage payments.

5. Down Payment of 3-20%

Making a down payment is a requirement. While conventional loans often require around 20%, the exact amount may vary based on factors like creditworthiness, loan type, and more. However, the minimum down payment for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae is 3%.

6. A Debt-to-Income Ratio of 43%

Lenders consider your DTI, the percentage of your monthly income allocated to debt payments. A lower DTI, typically around 43% or lower, is preferable for Freddie Mac and FannieMae.

7. Residency and Work Authorization

While an H1B visa allows you to work in the U.S., lenders also want to ensure the reasonable validity of your visa. This provides your employment and income stability to support the mortgage.

8. Property Type and Appraisal

These loans are generally available for primary residences. Investment properties and vacation homes may have different criteria. The property you’re purchasing must be appraised to determine its value and ensure it meets lender requirements.

Considering these factors, you can navigate the mortgage process more effectively and increase your chances of securing a loan for your dream home.

Requirements for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae on H1B

Application Process for Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Loans

Getting a mortgage as an H1B visa holder with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae involves a series of steps to make your home-buying journey smooth and successful. Here’s a detailed overview of the process:

1. Research and Preparation

  • Understand the eligibility criteria and requirements for H1B visa holders applying for a mortgage under the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae programs.
  • Gather necessary documents, such as proof of employment, income, credit history, and legal status in the U.S.

2. Choose a Lender

  • Work with a lender who is experienced with assisting non-US citizens and understands the specific needs of H1B visa holders. HomeAbroad specializes in providing US mortgages for foreign nationals, including expats, newcomers, and non-resident investors buying primary residences, second homes, or investment property. Get a quote today!
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3. Pre-qualification

  • Contact the chosen lender to begin the pre-qualification process.
  • Provide your financial information, including income, debts, and credit score.
  • The lender assesses your financial profile and determines the potential loan amount you may qualify for.
  • Start searching for homes within your budget and desired location.
  • Remember the property type you’re interested in (primary residence, investment property, or vacation home).
  • HomeAbroad caters to your needs seamlessly and connects you with a CIPS agent. These agents specialize in finding the right property as per the circumstances sa of non-US citizens.
  • Why Should Foreign Buyers Work With CIPS Agents?

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5. Purchase Agreement

  • Once you’ve found a suitable property, draft a purchase agreement with your real estate agent.
  • The purchase agreement outlines the terms of the sale, including the price, contingencies, and closing date.

6. Loan Application

  • Submit a formal loan application to your lender.
  • Provide all required documentation, including proof of employment, income, visa status, tax returns, and bank statements.

7. Underwriting

  • The lender reviews your application and documentation to ensure it meets Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s guidelines.
  • A professional underwriter assesses your financial stability and creditworthiness.

8. Appraisal and Property Approval

  • The lender orders an appraisal to determine the property’s value.
  • The appraisal report influences the loan amount and ensures the property meets the required standards.

9. Loan Approval

  • Upon successful underwriting and property approval, the lender grants loan approval.
  • You receive a commitment letter detailing the terms and conditions of the loan.

10. Closing Preparations

  • Prepare for the closing process by reviewing the closing disclosure, which outlines the final terms of the loan and associated costs.
  • Secure homeowners insurance and fulfill any remaining conditions from the lender.

11. Closing

  • Attend the closing meeting with the seller, real estate agent, and possibly an attorney.
  • Sign the necessary documents, including the mortgage agreement and other legal forms.

12. Ownership Transfer

  • The property ownership is officially transferred to you, and you receive the keys to your new home.
  • Begin the process of moving in and making the property your own.

Navigating the application process for H1B visa holders can be smoother with the guidance of experienced mortgage professionals. Being well-prepared with the required documentation and understanding the steps involved will facilitate a successful journey toward homeownership in the United States.

Importance of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for H1B visa holders

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hold immense importance for H1B visa holders in the U.S. As government-sponsored enterprises, they help you secure mortgage financing and achieve your dream of homeownership. Let’s explore why they are vital for H1B visa holders:

1. Power Players in the Mortgage Market

They take center stage in the U.S. mortgage market. Their presence also provides an array of mortgage products and financing options. For H1B visa holders, this means access to customized mortgage solutions like:

  • Conventional Fixed-Rate Mortgages
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs)
  • Low Down Payment Options
  • HomeReady and Home Possible Programs
  • Cash-Out Refinance
  • Renovation Loans
  • Interest-Only Mortgages
  • Energy-Efficient Mortgages
  • Manufactured Home Loans
  • Second Home and Investment Property
  • Financing Conforming Loan Limits

2. LTV Ratios and Interest Rates

They offer higher loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, allowing H1B visa holders to make a lower down payment when buying a home. This is excellent news for financially stable individuals who may not have substantial savings.

These programs also provide access to fixed-rate mortgages, which means you’ll have predictable monthly payments throughout the loan term. This stability is especially reassuring for those on temporary work visas.

3. Affordable and Stable Housing

They are dedicated to empowering low- and moderate-salary borrowers. Their exceptional programs perfectly align with the financial needs of early-career H1B visa holders, offering stability and affordability hand in hand.

Both enterprises are vital for H1B visa holders. With fixed interest rates and predictable monthly payments, these programs offer crucial financial stability. Whether starting a new journey in the U.S. or continuing careers and lives here, these mortgage options provide the necessary support for newcomers and those in the continuation process.


With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offering viable mortgage options, H1B visa holders can take decisive steps toward homeownership. Understanding the requirements, application process, and unique features of each program empowers H1B visa holders to secure their dream homes and contribute to the diverse fabric of the American community.

It is important to seek guidance from reputable lenders and explore the possibilities that await on the journey to owning a home in the USA. HomeAbroad specializes in providing US mortgages for foreign nationals, including expats, newcomers, and non-resident investors buying primary residences, second homes, or investment property. Get a quote today!


  1. Can H1B visa holders apply for Fannie Mae?

    Yes, H1B visa holders looking to buy homes in the United States can apply for Fannie Mae if they meet specific guidelines, including factors like credit score, employment history, income stability, debt-to-income ratio, and the amount you can put down as a down payment.

  2. Can H1B visa holders apply for Freddie Mac?

    Yes, H1B visa holders looking to buy homes in the United States can apply for Freddie Mac. Of course, it’s important to remember that there are specific guidelines and criteria you’ll need to meet to qualify.

  3. What types of properties can I purchase using these programs?

    The programs generally cover primary residences, allowing H1B visa holders to explore various property options.

  4. What are the key benefits of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac H1B Visa mortgage programs?

    These programs offer the benefit of low down payment and interest rates.

  5. Is there a minimum down payment requirement for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?

    Both programs have different down payment options. Fannie Mae allows down payments as low as 3% for primary residences and 10% for second homes. Freddie Mac’s requirements are similar.

  6. What is the H1B approval rate for Fannie Mae?

    According to the total number of H1B Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) filed with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Fannie MAE had an impressive 96 out of 100 approval rate. This is a positive factor when considering LCA approvals filed by the company.

  7. Can I use income from my H1B employment for qualification?

    Yes, both programs accept income from the borrower’s current employment under a valid H1B visa.

  8. What documents do I need to apply for the mortgage?

    You’ll need proof of legal U.S. residence, valid H1B visa status, employment verification, and financial documents such as pay stubs and tax returns.

  9. Do I need a high credit score to qualify for Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac?

    You’ll need a credit score of 620 or higher to qualify.

  10. Is mortgage insurance required?

    Mortgage insurance options are available to borrowers with lower down payments, allowing them to secure the mortgage with more affordable terms.

  11. How does the mortgage application process work?

    The process typically involves pre-qualification, submission of necessary documents, underwriting, property appraisal, and final loan approval.

  12. Can I work with any lender for these programs?

    Yes, you can work with lenders who Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac approve to offer their mortgage products.

  13. Are there any specific criteria I need to meet as an H1B visa holder?

    Each program has eligibility criteria, including legal U.S. residence, valid H1B visa status, employment verification, and credit score.

  14. What’s the role of real estate professionals in this process?

    Experienced real estate professionals can guide you through the process, help you understand eligibility requirements, and ensure a smooth home-buying experience.

  15. Should I be in the field of technology to obtain an H1B visa?

    No, while the tech sector is one of the prominent fields for H1B applicants due to the high demand for skilled professionals, these visas are available for various occupations, including but not limited to fields like engineering, healthcare, finance, education, and more.

  16. Can I refinance my mortgage under these programs?

    Yes, both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer refinancing options for eligible borrowers.

About the author:
Amresh is the Founder & CEO of HomeAbroad. With over 14 years of mortgage industry experience, he specializes in foreign national mortgages and Non-QM mortgages. He is also a licensed mortgage originator (NMLS # 2549148).

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