Getting a mortgage loan today is very different than it was just a few years ago when all you had to have was a job and a pulse, and the job was debatable if you had a good FICO score. Those days are gone, and so are the State Income, No Doc, No Income No Asset, No Income Verified Asset loans and other low documentation required loans.
Today we’re back to “The 3 C’s of Lending”, also known as Credit, Capacity and Collateral. This is proving to the lender that you have a good credit record of repaying other creditors, the capacity to repay the loan in the form of a steady job and sufficient income, and good collateral, equity in the house you are buying as well as other assets such as savings or liquid retirement funds should you become unemployed for a period of time.
The rule today is Full Doc loans, loans where employment, income and assets are verified at application – and recently lenders are requiring them verified again within days before the closing date.
Underwriters are also being much pickier than they were in the past about following the rules to the letter because of new “buy-back” regulations where if a loan goes south in the first 12 months the lender has to buy the loan back from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and the underwriter’s job could be on the line, also.
In preparation of this here are some things to get together or take care of before you go to apply for a mortgage loan, and very importantly, before you make an offer on a home.
Make sure your credit looks good
Make sure your credit looks good and that the lowest middle credit score (of Transunion, Equifax and Experian) is at least 620. Sure VA doesn’t require a score and FHA states their minimum is 580, but it’s not their money being lent, it’s the money of the investors who own the banks, and those with the gold make the rules, and the rule today is they won’t lend to anyone with less than a 620 FICO score.
The issue here is that FHA and VA only guarantee a percentage of the loan (30% or less), they don’t make the loan or lend the money. So even though FHA or VA says they’re okay with this or that, it doesn’t mean the investors lending their money to you will be. Investors don’t want to be left holding the bag to the tune of 70% to 80% of the amount loaned should the borrower default, either.
So months (not days or weeks) before you apply for a mortgage loan go online to AnnualCreditReport.com and get copies of your credit reports from the three reporting bureaus and make sure that there is not any inaccurate information on there. The time to dispute legitimate problems on your credit report is not just days before applying for a loan, it’s months before because the process of disputing the records with the credit bureaus and the creditors is a slow and formidable one.
Get these items together before you see your loan officer
- 2 most current years of tax returns, all schedules, W2′ and 1099’s
- 2 most recent months bank statements for all checking and savings accounts held by the borrowers
- 2 most recent paycheck stubs if an hourly or salaried employee
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