DEFINITION of 'Low / No Documentation Loan'

A category of loans which generally fall into the Alt-A sector of mortgage lending that gives borrowers the ability to state a limited amount of information on their mortgage application. Limited income, employment or asset information may be required depending on the specific type of low documentation loan; however, in some cases, the borrower may not need to provide them at all. There are subtle differences between various low documentation and no documentation loan programs offered by mortgage lenders.

BREAKING DOWN 'Low / No Documentation Loan'

Alt-A mortgage lending typically depends heavily on a borrower's credit score (FICO score) and the mortgage's loan to value ratio (LTV) in determining the borrower's ability to repay the mortgage.

A borrower should not be steered to a low documentation or no documentation loan by a mortgage lender in order to speed up the loan application and approval process. Low and no documentation loans usually have a higher interest rate than what can be obtained when income and assets are listed and verified. A little work in gathering information can save a lot of money over the long-term.

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