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The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act Of 2022

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According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 51% of renters say that student loan debt keeps them from buying a home. Congress wants to do something about that.

A new bill called The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act of 2022 gives renters with student loans the ability to buy.

The bill cites studies of student debt as one of the most significant hurdles to homeownership. Renters with student loan debt are less likely to become homeowners than the general population. 

Furthermore, when renters with student loan debt become homeowners, they buy homes at lower values. The result is that buyers with student loans accumulate less home equity and build less wealth than the broader home-owning population. 

We explain how the Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act of 2022 aims to fix these problems and who qualifies.

What is The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act Of 2022

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act of 2022 is a homeownership program that helps renters with student loan debt purchase their first home. The bill got introduced in the House of Representatives in April 2022. It is not yet a law.

Non-white renters get disproportionately burdened by student debt compared to white renters. Therefore, non-white homeowners with student debt build wealth more slowly than other homeowners.

For example, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that renters with student loans purchase homes valued 19% below what other buyers purchase. This is even after controlling for differences in income, demographics, and family assistance with down payments. 

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act helps change that.

How Does the Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act Work?

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act gives first-time home buyers who make on-time student payments access to:

  • Below-market mortgage rates
  • Discounts on purchases of government-owned homes
  • Downpayment assistance for more home affordability

It relaxes interest rates and underwriting standards so renters with student loan debt can transition into long-term homeownership.

The program also helps strengthen communities.

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act makes homes owned by the government and local land banks available to buyers at below-market prices. These lower prices mean that first-time home buyers can accelerate local tax base growth and spending within an economy.

The typical new home buyer spends $10,000 locally.

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act has backing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Who Qualifies For Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act Of 2022

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act is an incentive program for first-time home buyers with student debt. The program uses mortgage loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help renters buy their first home.

To qualify for the program, you must be pre-approved and mortgage-eligible; and meet the guidelines as written in the bill.

You must be a first-time home buyer

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act is available to first-time home buyers who want to purchase a residential property as their primary residence. Buyers can buy 1-4 units and condos and may not have owned other residential property during the preceding 36 months. 

You must be approved for a mortgage

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act uses conforming mortgage guidelines published and maintained by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Eligible home buyers should be able to verify income, assets, and employment; and show a decent history of paying bills on time. A three percent down payment is required.

Mortgage pre-approvals are like trial runs for your full mortgage approval. Get pre-approved to see if you’d qualify.

Learn what goes into a mortgage pre-approval.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage today.

You must agree to live in your new home for 3 years

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act requires that home buyers move in and maintain their primary residence for a minimum of three years. The bill doesn’t specify the penalty for breaking this provision.

You must have federal student loans

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act is for renters with federal student loans, including Stafford loans, Perkins loans, and Direct PLUS. Renters with privately-held student loans are not eligible.

Your household income must be modest

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act reduces wealth and homeownership gaps. It is available to renters with low- or moderate-income for an area. The program requires that applicants earn no more than 20 percent of the area’s median income.

Your federal loans must be not in default

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act requires that home buyers not have student loans in default or are subject to a judgment when applying for their mortgage. The applicant must also not be subject to wage garnishment.

You must agree to take a homeownership class

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act requires home buyers to attend a HUD-approved homeownership education course online or in person before the settlement date.

As of June 29, 2022, the Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act is a bill and has not yet passed into law. Eligibility requirements are subject to change. 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act Of 2022

What are other programs available for first-time buyers with student loans?

First-time home buyers with student loans can access other first-time home buyers programs along with, or instead of, the Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act. It may be preferable, even. The $15,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and $25,000 Downpayment Toward Equity Act can be combined with the student loan program or used independently.

Learn more about all of the other government programs for first-time buyers.

Can you buy a house with student loan debt?

Yes, renters with student loan debt can get buy a home. Mortgage approvals don’t distinguish among debt types, so a student loan debt — in repayment or deferred — is treated like other monthly debts. 

Our Advice – Wait For The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity to pass into law, then apply

The Transforming Student Debt to Home Equity Act of 2022 will launch as a pilot program. Its rules may be initially restrictive. If you’re a first-time buyer and don’t need to use the program specifically, look at other first-time buyer programs such as the LIFT Act and get pre-approved to buy your first home early.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage today.

Dan Green
Dan Green

Dan Green is a former mortgage loan officer and an industry expert. He's appeared on NPR and CNBC, and in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and dozens of local newspapers. Dan has helped millions of first-time home buyers get educated on mortgages, real estate, and personal finance. Have mortgage questions? Ask Dan in the chat.

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