Helping customers get started on their loan application is an integral part of my job. This may seem like a straightforward task, but scores of new guidelines and regulations put into place in the wake of the housing meltdown of the mid-2000s has turned applying for a mortgage from a simple process into what can seem like an endless journey. The good news, however, is that the process of obtaining a mortgage can actually be quite easy, provided that you abide by some basic rules. Here are four tips to help make your mortgage application a breeze.
Today’s mortgage application requires more documentation than ever before. The best way to make sure that the lender understands you’re a great borrower is to make sure you organize your documentation before you hand it in. Paystubs, tax returns, W-2s, bank statements, and more should all be scanned clearly, put in order, and categorized prior to being submitted. Providing an organized set of documents allows your lender to better understand your financial situation and effectively communicate your strengths to the underwriters. If your lender needs to sift through piles of unclear documents, they run the risk of missing important factors that could make or break an application. Organized documents at home will make this task even easier, and when your lender requests additional documentation (which is likely), being able to find is easily will all you to provide it quickly.
Being thorough is just as important as being organized. Today’s lending regulations require that all mortgage files be perfectly documented. Therefore, as a borrower, it’s wise to make sure you send all documentation that applies to a certain aspect of your mortgage. Take care to send all pages of statements (even if they’re blank), clear copies of IDs, and explain any concerns you have clearly. Chances are if your lender is asking for a document, then it is absolutely needed, so it’s a great idea to send good, thorough information and not cut corners.
The mortgage process is an ongoing conversation between the loan officer, the borrower, the underwriters, and everyone else involved in the process. The best way to insure that your loan closes on time and worry free is to be engaged in the process and available. If your lender requests additional documentation, send it to them as quickly as possible. What may seem like a small detail could be a vital piece of the puzzle, so being an engaged borrower is the best way to insure you have a successful application process.
No matter what it is you may be concerned about, it’s always best to talk about it with a mortgage banker up front. With the regulations in place now, all bad news comes to light eventually. However, most issues can be addressed and resolved with open communication. When in doubt, disclose everything, and allow your lender to determine what is relevant and what isn’t.
If you follow these tips – remaining honest, engaged, thorough and organized throughout the process—you will put yourself in an excellent position to achieve the best results on your mortgage application.