I’ve Graduated College and I Have a Real Job, So When Can I Buy a House?

Ben Chenault
Dec 2 · 3 min read

So you’re a recent college graduate with your first “real” job. You may be wondering if you will qualify for a loan yet. How much employment history do you need?

Well, there is no hard and fast rule, but typically lenders like to have a two-year history of employment.

Your Time in School Can Count toward Employment Time

Your time in school can be counted toward employment time. If you obtained your degree, your certificate can count as documentation. If you did not, you can use your transcripts.

This is especially true if your degree and your job are in the same field. So if you went to nursing school, and you are now guaranteed 40 hours a week as a nurse, or you have a full-time salary, those years of nursing school count toward your employment history.

It’s about How You’re Being Paid

The most important factor is how you’re currently being paid. Salary and hourly wages can be counted from day one, if you have full-time employment. You’ll just need to provide a letter from your employer to that effect, along with your first pay stub. Most of the time, that is all you need for documentation.

You can even buy a house the day you get an offer letter. You just need to be able to show that you’ll have a good full-time salary.

Contract Work is Trickier

If you’re going to start contract work or you’re starting a company, it may be a little trickier. If your new job is going to compensate you based on commissions, bonuses, or any other type of income that’s not on a W2, that could create a problem. That type of income definitely needs a two-year history in order to count towards your loan qualification.

So the upshot is whether you’ve been in school can have zero bearing on your ability to buy a house. You still will have all the other standard qualifications such as good credit, the ability to make a down payment, and a low debt-to-income ratio.

If you have questions about qualifying for a mortgage, or anything to do with home financing, hit us up. You can call 205–986–4220, connect with us on social media, or ping our website. We are happy to help in any way we can.

— Ben Chenault,
Certified Mortgage Planner
NMLS# 130305
MortgageBanc / Fairway Nmls# 2289

Copyright©2019 Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation doing business as MortgageBanc. NMLS#2289.4750 S. Biltmore Lane, Madison, WI 53718, 1–866–912–4800. All rights reserved. This is not an offer to enter into an agreement. Not all customers will qualify. Information, rates and programs are subject to change without notice. All products are subject to credit and property approval. Other restrictions and limitations may apply. Equal Housing Lender. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, License No 41DBO-78367. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Finance Lenders Law, NMLS #2289. Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Residential Mortgage Lending Act License. Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee #21158. Licensed Nevada Mortgage Lender.

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