Qualifying For Mortgages With Assets Only; No Income Necessary


Asset based loans are perfect for two types of borrowers: (1) wealthy borrowers with very complex financial pictures that would make qualifying in the traditional manner a nightmare; and (2) borrowers with ample assets but too little income to qualify.


INCOME: Income is calculated by adding up all eligible assets and dividing by 84. So, a borrower with $2 million in eligible assets would have almost $24,000 of income.

CREDIT: Borrowers need scores of 700 or more, established tradelines and a perfect mortgage history.

ELIGIBLE ASSETS: Checking, Savings, Money Market, 75% of liquid stocks; and 70% of vested retirement accounts are eligible. Crypto, stock options, RSUs, and business funds are NOT eligible.

DOWN PAYMENT: 20% to 25% at minimum, depending on loan amount.

MAXIMUM LOAN: $2.5 million with 25% down. $1.5 million with 20% down.

REQUIRED “RESERVES” AFTER CLOSE: The greater of $450,000 or 1.5x the loan amount.

INTEREST RATE: Low 3% range for “no points” loans.

The above info is overly simplified for purposes of this blog and there are many more nuances involving 2nd homes, and combining actual income with asset based income. But – the above info provides a great framework for just how advantageous and easy these loans can be.


Back in my loan officer days, I had a client with over 60 properties (commercial and residential), numerous business interests and dozens of very large investment accounts.

His tax returns were hundreds of pages – so even though his income was substantial (well into 7 figures), qualifying with his tax returns would have been a paperwork nightmare.

Enter California Federal Bank (CalFed) – a bank that was sold to Citi in 2002.

They offered the lowest rates in the industry at the time AND they required no income verifications – as long as borrowers had ample assets.

Borrowers just needed to put 25% or more down (35% down offered the best rate) and verify enough assets to justify the necessary income – and boom – they qualified.

The borrower I described above had eight-figure liquid asset accounts – so he qualified for anything he wanted and he used me for financing time and again because the entire loan process required maybe 30 minutes of his time in total.

As a super interesting aside that borrower lived in a small and very modest ranch house that was worth a few hundred thousand at most. He was just like the Hyman Roth character from The Godfather movie. The Realtor who introduced us had no idea how wealthy his client was, and neither did anyone else with the exception of me, his “mortgage guy,” as I was probably the only person who saw his entire financial picture. We were hardly “friends” though, as he never made small talk and simply made curt requests – that I happily complied with because his loans were easy money.

As another interesting aside, I coincidentally lived near CalFed’s Head of Risk Management, and he told me those “asset based” loans had almost zero defaults.

So – CalFed’s loans were wins for everyone: no defaults/risk; far less work for everyone; and very low rates.

I tell this story because these loans are finally coming back to life. The rates are not as low as our best jumbo rates but they are very close to our best conforming/Fannie Mae rates.

Jay Voorhees
Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
(855) 855-4491 | DRE# 1197176, NMLS# 310167

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