If there’s one thing that most borrowers hate about the mortgage process, it’s how long it takes. It can feel like an eternity as you wait for the underwriter to give you the ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ sign. Luckily, there are a few quick ways that you can speed the process along to get your answer as fast as you’d like.
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KNOW YOUR CREDIT AHEAD OF TIME
It’s never a good thing to learn that your credit score isn’t as high as you hoped after you apply for a mortgage. You should know ahead of time what type of credit you have. This will give you the chance to fix any issues that are fixable, giving you a better chance at loan approval. The more ‘issues’ you have on your credit report, the more time the lender will need to match you with a program and/or decide if you are a good risk.
DON’T SKIMP ON THE LOAN APPLICATION
We know that the loan application seems nosy. It asks a lot of information about your finances. But the lender is going to need that information or they can’t process your loan. Without a complete application, you will find yourself answering more questions and go back and forth more often with the lender.
Rather than hold back, just put all of the information out there. The lender is going to find out all of it eventually anyway, so just be upfront about it. Let the lender know your exact situation so that they can match you up with the perfect program right from the start.
PROVIDE A COMPLETE UNDERWRITING PACKAGE
While it’s true that each loan program and lender require different things, there are some basic documents that everyone requires. If you submit them with your loan application, you can cut out a lot of the back and forth right from the start.
You should include:
- Paystubs that cover the last 30 days of employment
- W-2s from all jobs over the last 2 years
- Tax returns from the last 2 years
- Asset statements from all accounts you’ll use for a down payment or closing costs (2 months’)
- Contact information for your employer
This will give the lender a good start on your loan. This is the basic information required and will give them an idea of where you stand. This doesn’t mean that they won’t come back and ask more questions, but you’ll cut out so much time giving them this information upfront.
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RESPOND TO THE LENDER QUICKLY
Make sure you give the lender an easy way to contact you. Do you prefer text messages or emails to phone calls? Many people do. But lenders most often call you over the phone. If you have a preferred method of contact, let the lender know this.
When the lender does contact you, respond quickly. Find out what information they need and then turn it around as quickly as you can. If too much time passes, they’ll put your loan at the end of the queue again. If you respond quickly, though, you won’t have this issue.
TAKE TIME TO GET PRE-APPROVED
Before you even start shopping for a home, get a pre-approval. If you want to shop around with several lenders (which we recommend), do so at this time. This way you can choose the loan that suits you the best and get a pre-approval letter from the lender.
The pre-approval does a few things. It gives you a way into homes that are for sale. Sellers and realtors often prefer only pre-approved borrowers take the time to view the home. But it also saves you time at the lender. If the lender already did half of the work underwriting your loan before you even have a purchase contract, it cuts the underwriting time that is needed after you sign a contract in half.
The most important things you can do to move the loan process along are to be organized and receptive. Give the lender what you know they need upfront. Then make sure you respond to their questions and concerns in a timely manner. This will get you through the loan process and to the closing table much faster.