Wondering how to apply for a mortgage?
The process begins long before you even find the property itself. The mortgage application process can seem daunting and confusing, but the more you prepare, the smoother your experience will be.
Here are the major parts of the process to know:
Know basic mortgage loan requirements
Mortgage loans have basic minimum requirements for you to qualify. Most of these criteria are financial factors, but things like property type also come into account. Some metrics a mortgage lender will consider before giving you a loan estimate are your debt to income ratio, credit score, income and assets.
Apply with multiple mortgage lenders
Many first-time homebuyers are unaware they have room to negotiate loan estimates. Lenders can be flexible about their rates and fees offered.
You can shop around and compare prices with other customers. In some cases, you may use it as a bargaining tool in order for a lender to lower your rates. Checking multiple mortgage rates helps you understand how much money you really qualify for.
Get mortgage preapproval before making an offer
Lenders examine your finances – bank statements, taxable return, salary stubs, credit and credit history – and determine the cost for a new home purchase. By obtaining a preapproval letter from a lender before making an offer or even beginning your home search, you can be certain you’ll have the financing you need.
Also, you’ll have a better idea of how much house you can afford, and a better chance your eventual offer is accepted by the seller.
Avoid taking on new debts
Mortgage underwriters will evaluate your credit report based on monthly payments of your debt and total income. If you have too many credit cards in one month to repay your loan, your credit score can take a hit – and the lender will notice. To avoid this situation, don’t apply for any credit cards, credit lines or loans while applying for a mortgage.
Other factors to consider
Lenders do not consider your lifestyle or your personal expenses when you apply for a loan, so be sure you include additional housekeeping costs into your financial plan. Interest rate and down payment amount are both major factors in determining the amount of your mortgage payments, but don’t forget to factor your other costs into a budget.
When you apply for a mortgage, you’ll likely be taking on the biggest financial debt of your life. It’s no small undertaking, but it is possible to choose the best loan for you. Keep these basics in mind to keep your process as simple as possible.