Buying a home is a huge step. Your mortgage will likely be the largest loan of your life, so it’s good to be prepared before filling out your application. Here are a few things you can do to make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.
Prepare Your Documents
Before filling out the mortgage application, you’ll need to have a few financial and personal documents in hand. These include:
Proof of stable employment and tax returns (recent pay stubs and the last two years’ W-2 or 1099 forms)
Other income sources or expenditures (pension, child support, Social Security, etc.)
Stocks and investments
These documents will give you and your lender a better understanding of your budget and its limitations. Additionally, they can help you obtain a pre-approval.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your credit score is in good standing. Every loan program is different, but most require a minimum FICO® score.
A pre-approval letter informs sellers the mortgage payment won’t be an issue for you. It can spotlight your offer above others because it proves you’re a trustworthy buyer.
What Will Your Loan Look Like?
Now that you have all your documents in order, it’s time for a quick self-reflection. Ask yourself:
What kind of loan am I looking for?
What do I want my loan’s rate and term to be?
Will my financial situation soon change? Am I expecting a promotion or marriage in the upcoming year?
How much can I put down as a down payment?
Will this loan match my long-term goals?
Do I have enough to cover closing costs?
These are only a few examples of the type of questions you should consider, but once you’re happy with your answers, it’s time to review your lending options.
You have a lot of options when it comes to loan types. Selecting the best one for you comes down to your financial history, goals, and guidance from your Mortgage Banker. Learn more about some of the many programs below:
Did you know you can apply for a mortgage via a smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer? That’s right, the start of the mortgage process is right at your fingertips with our easy-to-use loan application and borrower portal.
The experience is quick and easy, and the data security features ensure bank-level encryption for your most serious financial information. Best of all, you can keep track of your loan’s status through live updates. Try it out today!
Obtain Loan Estimates
Now it’s time to fill out applications, but just because you fill out one application doesn’t mean you’re committed to that lender. So, complete several applications in-person, online, or over-the-phone for lenders you think might fit your interests to receive a Loan Estimate. By law, they’re required to send you the disclosure within three days of your submission.
The Loan Estimate gives you an estimated interest rate, monthly payment amount, and total of closing costs for your potential mortgage. Compare the disclosures, select the one that best suits your financial needs, and contact the lender to move forward with your loan.
The Process Begins
After you’ve found a home and selected your lender, the mortgage process will start to move a little faster. An underwriter will review and condition your loan. That means you’ll receive conditional approval for the exact dollar amount you qualify for before you make an offer on a home.
Once you and your family are finally in your new home, the entire mortgage experience will have been worth the time and effort. Doing a little research now will lend you peace of mind later!