Similar to how a home inspection evaluates the condition of a house you want to buy, a mortgage application evaluates the state of your credit for a loan you want. Additionally, the application tells the mortgage provider what type of financing is best for you.
To ensure that you get accepted for a loan and the best financing possible, you have to complete the application accurately. It has several sections, each tailored to a different part of determining your creditworthiness. There are also several supporting documents that must be included.
Here are some tips to help you make certain you dot every i and cross every t:
- Have a relationship with your loan officer. When you meet with a lender, several mortgage professionals will be involved in the application process, the first being your loan officer. His or her job is to get you started and work with you along the way to make sure that all the necessary details are present on the application. Loan officers are not responsible for the actual evaluation of your materials and are a valuable resource if you're confused about any of the documents.
- Understand what supporting documents are required. Lenders examine several factors to determine if you're able to afford monthly mortgage payments and if so, what amount works best for you. To make this assessment, you may be required to include copies of W-2 forms, pay stubs, tax returns and other documents that verify your source of income. Account statements are required to show proof of your assets. Certain letters and other documents, such as information about bankruptcies, may also be required.
- Ask your loan officer about fees. To submit a mortgage application and have it assessed by an underwriter, you are required to pay a fee. Before you get started, find out how much you'll have to pay so that you can make sure you have the funds available when they are due and factor the expenses into your home buying budget.
- Complete the application honestly. While reviewing your financial information, you may not get the most positive view of your credit and other data. However, don't provide false information. Each detail will be verified, and lying could hurt your chances for approval.
- Review everything before you submit. In some cases, a loan officer will fill in some of the information on the application. Look over this and the rest of the application details a few times to ensure the information is accurate and complete. One misplaced number or misspelled word can slow down the approval process or affect how much financing you're granted.
Final notes about mortgage applications
It is not likely that you'll complete your application in one sitting. Between several calls and trips to the lender for clarification and the time it takes to gather all the supporting materials, you may need to set aside a few days for the task.
Keep in mind, however, that you can't drag out the process if you plan to apply at more than one lender. When your application is assessed, your credit report is pulled, and inquiries can lower your credit score. The good news is that multiple inquiries for mortgage applications only count as a single one, but this is only true if they occur within a short span of time. Given that your credit rating is part of the evaluation process, be careful not to hurt your score while seeking a home loan.