Marianne Leonard Cashman's Blog
The process of applying for a mortgage is tedious and time-consuming; it requires you to answer personal questions about your finances. To ascertain your credibility for a mortgage, lenders structured the application process in such a way that allows them to get as much information about borrowers either directly or indirectly.
Before you decide to apply for a mortgage; it's best you familiarize yourself with some of the possible questions the lender would ask about your finances. Because it involves a considerable amount of money, you should be prepared to answer questions about disparities in your income, why you defaulted in making any accrued payments and questions about your credit history.
Below are some of the possible questions your lender would ask relating to your finances.
How long have you earned your present income?
Lenders want to ascertain if you have earned your present pay for over two years. If you just got promoted or got a salary raise recently, this is good. However, what most lenders are looking out for is a consistent income amount for the last year. If they are not sure of your income, they would take a look at your W-2s for previous years and your pay stub for the present year. Before you go ahead to make an offer for a house, ensure it's an amount your current income will support.
How often you get paid?
A lender wants to ascertain how much income you earn, how your pay is derived, and the steadiness of your salary or irregularity of income. If you receive a steady means of income, your annual salary would determine how much mortgage you get – if your income varies, you might be required to provide details.
The disparities in your income
If your income keeps changing each year either positively or negatively, come prepared to explain the reason behind the fluctuation. If your revenue decreased from the previous year, there is every possibility the underwriter would select the worst period in the last two years to determine how much you get on a mortgage. However, if your income increased in the previous year, the underwriter would take the average of the last two years to determine your mortgage value. If your income rises yearly either due to promotion or a new position, get someone from your human resource department to write a letter to that effect.
If you are new at your job
Being new at a job doesn't affect your application for getting a mortgage – as long as you are receiving either a salary or a full-time hourly rate. Some lenders even grant loans to individuals who haven't gotten their first paycheck if they have a fully executed employment contract.
If you earn commissions
If you are a salesperson who earns a commission, you would need to provide two full years of tax returns to determine non-reimbursed business expenses you wrote off.
Before applying for a mortgage, ensure you take a second look at all your finances and identified anything that could act as a deterrent so that your application has the best chance of being approved.
Mortgage scams are everywhere, and many times are well disguised so they can be hard to uncover. Not all mortgage lenders have your interest at heart so when you go out for a mortgage loan, keep an eye on these warning signs and Mortgage scams are everywhere, but this time around they come like a wolf in sheep clothing, so it is pretty hard to uncover them. Not all mortgage lenders have your interest at heart so when you go out for a mortgage loan, keep an eye on these warning signs and be prepared to run away from any lender who does the following shady actions:
They pressure you to borrow more than what you want or need
Even though you are eligible for a certain sum of money that does not mean you have to spend heavily on buying a home. Paying less on a home purchase will prevent you from living from hand to mouth in your new home. An honest lender understands and will respect your choice to borrow less than you can afford instead that encouraging you to overspend or splurge on a house.
They rush you into signing documents without reading it
Getting a mortgage is complicated. There are piles of complicated paperwork, so it is crucial that you wrap your head around every document before putting your pen on it. If a lender encourages you or uses the familiar phrase "Everything is fine," it is best you withdraw yourself f from the mortgage. No matter how busy the bank may be, they would give you time to read through the papers.
They don’t give you a Good Faith Estimate
According to law, after three days of applying for a mortgage, a bank must provide a Good Faith Estimate showing your mortgage rate, closing cost, and other mortgage-related expenses. This way, a borrower will clearly understand their cost and know the estimated amount you will pay at closing. A shady lender typically does not provide this, so make sure you request one. Many banks hide this information to prevent borrowers from comparing the cost with other banks.
They use the bait and switch on you
To get more borrowers and get them excited about taking a mortgage, disreputable lenders promise borrowers one set of terms, but when it gets to closing, they deliver a different set of conditions. It is the sad truth some lenders get borrowers excited and take advantage of them when they're in a state of euphoria to alter the loan terms at the dying minute. If a lender uses this tactic on you, request an explanation. And if their reasons do not seem reasonable to you or your realtor, do not sign the mortgage documents.
They give you a blank loan form to sign
When going over mortgage document with your loan officer, be watchful for any blank forms or lines, and make sure the lender fills in all relevant information before you sign.
Getting a mortgage is not a stroll in the park. Experts recommend that you consult your attorney, local credit counseling agency or financial advisor to be on a safe side.
For those who want to acquire a house, it helps to get your finances in order. That way, you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the homebuying journey without having to worry about how you'll afford your dream house.
There are many quick, easy ways to straighten out your finances before you embark on the homebuying journey, such as:
1. Assess Your Credit Score
Your credit score ultimately can play a major role in your ability to secure a great mortgage. If you understand your credit score, you may be able to find ways to improve it prior to conducting a home search.
It is important to remember that you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a free copy of your credit report today, and you can take the first step to evaluate your credit score.
If you find that your credit score is low, there is no need to worry. You can always pay off outstanding debt to improve your credit score over time.
Also, if you identify any errors on your credit report, you'll want to address these mistakes immediately. In this scenario, you should contact the agency that provided the report to ensure any necessary corrections can be made.
2. Look Closely at Your Monthly Expenses
When it comes to buying a house, it generally helps to have sufficient funds for a down payment. The down payment on a house may fall between 5 and 20 percent of a home's sale price, so you'll want to have enough money available to cover this total for your dream residence.
If you evaluate your monthly expenses, you may be able to find ways to save money for a down payment on a house.
For example, it may be beneficial to cut out cable TV for the time being and use the money that you save toward a home down payment. Or, if your dine out frequently, cooking at home may prove to be a substantial money-saver that could help you speed up the process of saving for a down payment.
3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
With pre-approval for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to narrow your search to houses that fall within your price range.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you'll want to meet with banks and credit unions. These financial institutions can teach you about different mortgage options and help you assess all of the options at your disposal.
Furthermore, don't hesitate to ask banks and credit unions about how different types of mortgages work. This will enable you to gain the insights that you need to make an informed decision about a mortgage based on your financial situation.
If you need extra help as you prepare to pursue a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. In fact, a real estate agent can help you find a high-quality house at a budget-friendly price in no time at all.