You Should Avoid Making Financial Changes Until Your Mortgage Is Finalized
Every financial decision you make before you close. While it can be tempting to finance some furniture for your new home, resist the urge to splurge. And it’s not just credit your lender has their eye on. Your bank account should stay stable, so don’t withdraw or deposit large amounts of money. Once you close, you can spend what you want to make your new home yours. But not until the paperwork is signed and the keys are in your hand.
Becoming a homeowner is part of the great American dream. Understanding how mortgages work and how yours will affect your financial health can help you manage and make the most of your mortgage.
What Information Will I Need To Provide As Part Of My Mortgage Application
As part of your application you will be asked for basic information along with proof of your monthly income and expenditure.
Lenders will ask detailed questions to help them get an overall picture of your financial circumstances and how you manage your money. They need to know you can afford to pay your mortgage now and in the future They will consider your monthly income against your monthly outgoings, including any loan repayments, utility bills and general living expenses . You will also need to include any additional expenses for your partner or spouse, and dependents .
Lenders will also consider any possible changes in your circumstances such as redundancy or retirement which may affect your ability to meet your monthly repayments in the future.
How Long Is A Home Loan Pre
The good-for period varies with the lender, but typically anywhere from a month to 90 daysand, in some cases, six months. Its good practice to keep track of the expiration date so that you dont run into a situation where you find a dream home that you can afford only to learn that your pre-approval has expired.
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How Much House Can I Afford
While you may have heard of using the 28/36 rule to calculate affordability, the correctDTI ratiothat lenders will use to assess how much house you can afford is 36/43. This ratio says that your monthly mortgage costs should be no more than 36% of your gross monthly income, and your total monthly debt should be no more than 43% of your pre-tax income.
For example, if you make $3,000 a month , you can afford a mortgage with a monthly payment no higher than $1,080 . Your total household expense should not exceed $1,290 a month .
Gather The Documents Needed For Your Mortgage Application
Your finances are in good shape and you know how much you can borrow. Now here comes the real work.
Lenders require quite a bit of documentation as part of the mortgage approval process, so itâs a good idea to gather everything up before youâre ready to apply. Hereâs what youâll need:
Income verification. First, youâll need to prove you have the income to support your mortgage payment. Lenders will likely want to see tax returns for the last two years, as well as recent W-2 forms or pay stubs. If youâre self-employed, youâll need to verify your income with 1099s or profit and loss statements from the past couple of years instead.
If you receive income from alimony or child support, youâll also be expected to provide court orders, bank statements and legal documentation that shows youâll continue receiving that income.
Proof of assets. In addition to income, additional assets can help you secure a mortgage. Expect to provide bank statements for checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts and other brokerage accounts from the past 60 days.
List of liabilities. Lenders may also ask you to provide documentation related to outstanding debts, such as credit card balances, student loans or any existing home loans.
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Do I Need A Mortgage Broker
A mortgage broker could help compare mortgages and make the application process smoother as they will likely have an existing relationship with lenders.
You will probably want to compare mortgages yourself regardless of whether or not you use a broker.
But, they could be helpful especially if you are looking for a specialist mortgage, such as one for self-employed customers or for those with bad credit.
Whats A Good Credit Score
Heres a quick guide to determine how your credit score ranks:Excellent credit = 720 and aboveGood credit = 660 to 719Fair credit = 620 to 659Poor/bad credit = 619 and below
The higher the score, the lower the interest rate. Your credit history makes up the largest part of your credit score so making payments on time each month will go far in helping your credit score.
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Which Mortgage Is The Best Deal
The right mortgage isnt one that allows you to buy a bigger house, a house you really cant afford. Thats a recipe for disaster! The right mortgage is one that puts you on the path to actual debt-free homeownership.
The best mortgage deal is a 15-year conventional mortgage. Its the best because its the one that will save you the most money. With a 15-year conventional mortgage youll save way more in the long run.
Your Credit Score Income And Assets
As weve noted, you cant control current market rates, but you can have some control over how the lender views you as a borrower. Be attentive to your credit score and your DTI, and understand that having fewer red flags on your credit report makes you look like a responsible borrower.
To qualify for the loan, you must meet certain eligibility requirements. Therefore, a person who gets a mortgage will most likely be someone with a stable and reliable income, a debt-to-income ratio of less than 50% and a decent .
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Can You Get A Mortgage While Unemployed
The process of buying a home relies heavily on proving that youâre financially stable enough to purchase one â which raises a question for some aspiring homeowners: Can you get a mortgage without a job?
A mortgage applicantâs credit score, total assets and down payment are also key criteria that lenders consider, but âborrowers need some form of income to pass a lenderâs underwriting process,â says Guy Cecala, chief executive and publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. âYou canât just say, âI have no source of income and I want to buy a house,â because no lender will offer you a loan.â This means it can be difficult to get a mortgage while unemployed.
But while a job is the most common source of income, it isnât the only one. Hereâs how you might still be able to get a mortgage if youâre unemployed.
What Is A Mortgage Pre
When you are pre-approved for a mortgage, it means a lender has determined how much you can borrow, the loan programs that you may qualify for, as well as the interest rate you qualify for. This assessment is based on things like credit score, income, debts, and employment history.
Youll generally get a written statement from a lender stating this information, which can be used to give sellers confidence that youll be approved for a loan after they accept your offer. Most pre-approval letters are good for 60 to 90 days.
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What Details Are Required In The Pre
A lender will generally start by asking for some basic information about you and your financial history. If you have a co-borrower, the lender will also need this information about them. Generally, a lender will then request your Social Security number and permission to pull your required credit report . If the information you provide and the information obtained from your credit report satisfies the lenders guidelines, the lender will make a preliminary determination in writing stating that you would qualify for a particular loan amount subject to the conditions outlined in your pre-approval letter. Please note that each lender has its own standards and processes for determining whether to grant a pre-approval letter.
Begin The Underwriting Process
Underwriting can be the most nerve-racking part of getting a mortgage, even if youve been preapproved. Its more waiting, this time to get officially approved for the loan. You may also find yourself working with an underwriter rather than the loan officer who’s helped you up until this point.
During the underwriting process, the lender determines whether youre eligible for the loan. Factors evaluated include:
Current debt obligations.
The lender will take a look at your updated credit report and order a home appraisal. An appraisal tells the lender the market value of the home, since they won’t lend you more than the home is truly worth.
Meanwhile, you will schedule a home inspection, which will look for any defects in the home. Depending on how it goes, you may want to negotiate with the seller for repairs or a lower price before closing.
During the underwriting process, you’ll want to avoid making changes to your finances, such as switching jobs or taking out another line of credit. Same goes for large purchases that increase your debt. Increasing your debt can lower your credit score, which could make the loan costlier or even jeopardize your qualification.
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What Is A Mortgage And How Does It Work
Perhaps the most intimidating part of buying a home is applying for a mortgage. You may know exactly what APR,points and fixed-rate mean but if this is your first home, or you just need a refresher, there are a lot of great resources to get you up to speed so you can be a well-prepared mortgage shopper. And because this is such a crucial part of owning a home, were going to break it all down.
You’ll Pay More Without A Minimum 20% Down Payment
Experts continue to encourage buyers to save a down payment of at least 20% before applying for a mortgage. It makes sense, as the larger your down payment, the smaller your mortgage and the less interest you’ll pay over the life of your loan. However, with the rise of FHA loans, which require as little as 3.5% down, and VA loans, which may not need any down payment, many buyers wonder whether a 20% down payment is as important as it used to be.
Keep in mind that you must pay private mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down on a conventional loan. PMI covers the lender if you stop paying your mortgage and default on your loan. The yearly cost of PMI is about 1% of your outstanding loan balance and is added to your monthly mortgage payment. You can request to have PMI removed once your outstanding balance reaches 80% of the original loan amount. You also might not realize that applicants with smaller down payments usually have a higher interest rate. A small down payment might let you enter the homeowner market sooner, but it can cost you in the long run.
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What Income Do I Need To Qualify
The most surprising aspect of how to get a mortgage is the importance lenders place on debt-to-income ratio. Fair Isaac Corporation , the industry leader in credit scores, surveyed lenders who said that a poor debt-to-income ratio is the No. 1 reason mortgage applications are denied.
The unsurprising news is that most people dont know what a debt-to-income ratio is. It is the ratio of our monthly debt payments divided by your gross income. Lenders use it to measure your ability to handle mortgage payments.
For example, if your make $4,000 a month and pay $1,500 for credit cards, $300 for car loan and $200 for student loan, your debt-to-income ratio would be 50% .
A good consumer debt-to-income ratio is 36%, but conventional mortgage lenders like to see that number under 30%. The national average for conventional home loan applicants in July of 2017 was 25%. Note that the ratio includes your projected monthly mortgage payment.
Things are a little looser with FHA where the debt-to-income ratio limit is 28%, but that is still far less than the suggested figures for mortgage hopefuls. The federal government says the highest ratio you can have for a qualified conventional mortgage is 43%. Most lenders put the suggested debt-to-income ratio at 36% or less.
Refinancing is another option. It is important that you not add any additional debt during the home-buying process.
Select Breaks Down The Mortgage Process And Digs Into What Your Monthly Payments Actually Cover
A mortgage is a type of loan consumers use to purchase a house and agree to repay in small, equal, fixed monthly amounts over a certain time span, or term. For many homebuyers, the mortgage process is an essential part of the homeownership experience, though it can be a lot to wrap your head around if you’re going through it for the first time. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about mortgages, how they work and what your monthly payment actually covers.
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Renegotiate With The Seller
If the appraisal comes back lower than what you offered, you can talk to the seller about renegotiating the offer. You might want to compromise and split the difference of the appraised value compared to your original offer. Or you can ask if theyre willing to come down in price from the offer you gave them before the appraisal.
While this might work in some instances, it will really depend on how much competition is there for the house. If theres a lot of interest and others have the cash to cover that gap, you might not have any leverage. But if youre the only offer or one of very few offers, you could have a good chance, especially if there are concessions added or removed to sweeten the deal. It will also depend on where you live and the market conditions at the time.
When Do You Start Paying Mortgage On A New Build
You start paying mortgage when your home is completed at the end of construction. When your house is complete, the lender will inspect your home and convert your construction loan to a standard home loan. Lenders typically allow you to pay interest only during the construction process with a construction-to-permanent loan, which makes these payments very affordable. Once your home is complete, you will start paying a standard mortgage.
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What If You Cant Get Pre
Not everyone will get pre-approved for a mortgage, but there are a few things you can do to get better prepared for the financial responsibility of homeownership:
- Work to improve your credit score. Your credit score is impacted by payment history, outstanding debt, the length of your credit history, recent new credit inquiries, types of credit used, and more. Generally a score of 720 and higher will get you the most favorable mortgage rates.
- Correct any errors on your credit report, which could help to raise your credit score. The lender will analyze your credit report for any red flags, such as late or missed payments or charged-off debt. Even if you are deemed to have bad credit, there are ways to still get pre-approved for a mortgage.
- Decrease your overall debt and improve your debt-to-income ratio. In general, a debt-to-income ratio of 36 percent or less is preferable 43 percent is the maximum ratio allowed. Use our debt-to-income calculator to determine your debt-to-income ratio.
- Increase your down payment amount in order to qualify for a larger loan. Learn more about down payments.
Be sure to ask your lender for tips on how you can improve your chances of qualifying for a loan.
What If My Mortgage In Principle Is Rejected
If your request for a mortgage in principle is refused, it could be a sign that the lender doesnt think you can afford the loan. You should find out why you were rejected and try to resolve the issue before you apply again.
It may be due to a poor credit rating. See our guide on Mortgages for Bad Credit to understand your options.
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Clear The Property Title And Close The Deal
When you buy a home, you take title of the propertymeaning you become the rightful owner. And your lender wants proof! As such, itll ask for a title search, which involves paying a title company to search public records for any heirs insisting the property is theirs, liens , or other problems. Hopefully all goes well, but in case not, this extra step could save you from a seriously scary situation where youre fighting for ownership, or responsible for paying back old liens yourself.
Once the title is cleared, you can close the deal. Thats where buyer, seller, lender representative, and any others involved in this process meet to sign all of the paperwork, transfer all money owed, pass along the keys, and move on with their lives!
Sure, the whole mortgage process may sound time-consuming and complicated, but rest assured its purpose is to protect all parties, including you, from making costly mistakes.
What If You Don’t Get Pre
After reviewing a mortgage application, a lender will provide a decision to pre-approve, deny, or pre-approve with conditions. These conditions may require the borrower to provide extra documentation or reduce existing debt to meet the lending guidelines. If denied, the lender should explain and offer options to improve a borrower’s chances for pre-approval.
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