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How To Be Mortgage Underwriter

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How Long Does Underwriting Take

What Exactly Does An Underwriter Do With Your Mortgage?

The underwriting process may take a few days, or it could take a few weeks. There’s no standard time period for this part of the mortgage process. The length of the underwriting process depends on a few factors, including:

  • Your financial situation: If your financial situation is complicated and you have a lot of income sources, assets and debts, the process may take longer since the underwriter has to verify each part of your financial picture.
  • Your home loan type: Some mortgage types may have stricter requirements, which can take more time to complete. For example, government-backed FHA, USDA or VA loans may have more complex rules.
  • The completeness of your application: The process takes longer each time the underwriter asks you to provide an additional document. If your application is complete when you first submit it, the underwriter can work more quickly.
  • The appraisal or title search process: Delays with the title search, title insurance and appraisal process can all make underwriting take longer.
  • The state of the housing market: Applying for a mortgage during the homebuying busy season can make the underwriting process longer. Your underwriter may have several applications to process at once, which can increase your wait.

Paying For Private Mortgage Insurance

PMI is usually handled through Borrower Paid Monthly Insurance . Every month the cost of insuring the loan is added to your monthly mortgage payment until the LTV drops below 80%. At which point the borrower can, under the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998, submit a request to the lender and cancel their private mortgage insurance. There are alternatives to BPMI including Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance, Single Premium Mortgage Insurance, Split Mortgage Insurance, and FHA Insurance. Not every lender makes these options available to borrowers, but they can be great alternatives specific to your needs if your bank offers them. Want to get the ball rolling on your mortgage? Check out the SmartAsset calculator to see how much of a home you can afford right now.

What You Will Do

As an underwriter you will sit at a computer all day and review loan documentation such as income, assets, credit reports, appraisals, purchase agreements, and more. You will commonly calculate the borrowers income, determine the borrowers assets, review credit reports, examine the appraisal to determine if the value is support, and many other tasks. You will ultimately make decisions on whether to approve or deny mortgage loans based on documentation you review. Most lenders use an automated system which allows you to enter in the data from the loan documentation such as your income calcualation. You will receive an automated response such as approved or ineligible based on what you entered.

You will likely be expected to underwrite a certain number of loans per week. When it gets busy, you may be required to work overtime. You also may have to routinely speak with loan officers or other mortgage professionals who submitted the loan documentation to you for review. Your day will be consumed by underwriting and possibly taking a decent number of phone calls depending on where you work.

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How Does The Mortgage Underwriting Process Work

The primary purpose of mortgage underwriting is to make sure both you and the property meet the loans standards. In other words, the underwriter approves or denies your application and can sometimes offer an in-between verdict of approval with conditions.

One of the main criteria an underwriter looks at is your financial information, such as your employment history, assets and liabilities, and your credit history. In general, the underwriter looks for a sufficient debt-to-income ratio, credit score, and assets, says Jason Lerner, vice president at George Mason Mortgage, LLC, based in Fairfax, Virginia. If those boxes are checked, everything should be fine.

Youll be responsible for submitting several pieces of financial documentation. Pay stubs, for example, help the underwriter confirm your income, while bank statements ensure you have enough assets to cover a down payment and closing costs. While your loan officer may have done a preliminary credit check during the prequalification or preapproval process, the underwriter will do a full for approval and your quoted interest rate.

Three days before closing, your lender provides you with a closing disclosure, which outlines your final loan terms, monthly mortgage payments, and total costs.

How Do I Begin An Underwriting Career

What Is the Mortgage Underwriting Process?

The easiest way to start a career in underwriting is to get an education. A bachelors degree with coursework in math, accounting, economics, and any other related field helps. Make sure you have the right skills, including analytical and communication skills, and get certified. Once you have all that under your belt, look for entry-level jobs that can provide you with the training you need to advance in your career.

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How Do I Become A Mortgage Underwriter

The requirements you will have to meet to become a mortgage underwriter depend on your jurisdiction and the unique preferences of the companies to which you apply. Often, however, companies prefer to hire mortgage underwriters who have earned degrees in such fields as business or finance. You may also find employers who are willing to hire you with a degree in another field, as long as it is somehow related to business or finance. In some cases, you might need additional training and certification to land a job as a mortgage underwriter this is often the case if you will work with loan programs that are sponsored or regulated by the government.

While the requirements for becoming a mortgage underwriter may vary, you will most likely need a bachelors degree to pursue this career. Many employers prefer individuals who have four-year degrees in business or finance majors. Some may, however, be willing to hire you with an associates degree. If you do have an associates degree and you want to become a mortgage underwriter, you might have a better chance of success if you also have experience in the banking industry or a business- or finance-related job. In fact, no matter what degree you have, you may have a better chance of landing the job you want if you gain related experience first even a past job in sales can make you a more attractive job candidate.

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How Long Does The Mortgage Underwriting Process Take

In normal times, a purchase should close within 30 to 45 days from the time of contract, says Jared Maxwell, vice president and direct sales division leader at Embrace Home Loans, located throughout the East Coast. However, low mortgage rates have caused a flurry of activity.

Closing time should actually be one of your criteria for evaluating a lender. Many lenders have taken steps to control the amount of business that we want and are able to take in, Maxwell explains. Those who have not, however, may have slower underwriting periods.

Its also important to avoid incurring any new debt during the underwriting process, whether through a credit card, a new auto loan, or anything else. If they see five inquiries with auto finance companies, youll have to write a letter of explanation on what the inquiries were for and if you obtained new credit, says Maxwell. And if you did, youll need a new debt-to-income calculation. In other words, new credit can both delay and derail the underwriting process.

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How To Become A Mortgage Loan Underwriter With Our Mortgage Underwriter Training Courses

What Is A Mortgage Underwriter And What Do They Do?What Is Mortgage Underwriting?

  • Job / Income / W-2 forms

Things To Tell Potential Clients

  • Show consistent employment dont switch jobs!
  • Dont do anything that could lower a credit score such as opening new charge cards or making large purchases
  • Pay off debts and dont do anything that will increase debts

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Learn From The Best And Brightest

What’s it like to be a Mortgage Underwriter at U.S. Bank?

From economic projections and best loan officer practices to HR and problematic AI underwriting, the lending world is not just made up of lenders and loan officers. CONNECT is for everyone whose job touches the industry, and our learning modules reflect that. Want to skill up? You have to come to a CONNECT event.

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Benefits Of Certification Programs From The Namu

If you decide to get certified, you will gain many benefits. For example, those with a certification from NAMU tend to have a better chance at getting an interview with a potential employer.

It will also help qualify you for higher-level positions. Some of these certifications can help you move up after youve already started working as a mortgage underwriter. Of course, youll also gain more respect with the NAMU certification acronym after your name.

With the right certification program, you will increase your knowledge, competency, and skills. You will also gain a resume enhancer and the knowledge of how to apply mortgage rules and regulations.

Tip #: Be Upfront And Honest About Your Finances

Your underwriter will know if youre not honest about your income, credit history or assets, so theres no use hiding any information. Instead, include notes and explanations for things that may stick out on your credit report or statements.

For example, if you have a missed payment on your credit report, your underwriter may be more lenient with you if they know its because you had an unexpected medical expense or an auto repair bill close to the credit cards due date.

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Mortgage Underwriting Dos & Donts

  • Follow through on any requests made by the underwriter.


  • Get restless- Underwriting can take up to several weeks, but the actual review process is relatively quick.
  • Apply for new credit- This can affect your credit score and raise red flags about how you treat credit.
  • Quit your job- How will you pay your new mortgage?
  • Suddenly get rich- Depositing money into your bank account from an undisclosed source like your employers payroll, or income from your small business, will also raise red flags. Ideally you want all the elements of your application to remain as consistent as possible. Try to avoid winning the lottery until after you close.

Mortgage Underwriter Skills For The Job Interview

[View 28+] Conventional Home Loan Underwriting Guidelines

If you want to highlight your mortgage underwriter skills in your job interview, here’s what you can do:

  • Have a few versatile interview answers prepared. Before your interview, think of some things you definitely want your employer to know about you and your skills. Use those points to design answers that could apply to multiple questions an employer might ask.

  • Be ready to answer technical questions. Your interviewer might ask about your knowledge of specific computer programs, computations or reporting and analysis processes. Coming prepared to answer practical knowledge questions can show evidence of your skills and competences.

  • Understand what employers are looking for in a candidate. Before your interview, research the position by reviewing the job description, the company’s website and other materials you have access to. Doing this can help you highlight skills you know employers want candidates to possess.

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Mortgage Underwriter Skills: Definition And Examples

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed’s data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Where to Include Skills on a Resume

Sinead explains the best places to include skills on a resume including how to format a Skills or Core Competencies section.

Mortgage underwriters are financial professionals responsible for approving and denying loan applications. Because the position is relatively technical, it’s important for mortgage underwriters and aspiring underwriters to develop essential skills that can help them in their roles. Learning about the characteristics and requirements of successful underwriters can help you apply for desirable positions and perform well in your duties as a mortgage underwriter.

In this article, we explain what mortgage underwriter skills are, list examples of important skills, offer steps for improving your skills, provide tips on using your skills in the workplace successfully and advise on how to highlight skills during the hiring process.

Collateralyour Down Payment And Home Value

To see the collateral risk of your mortgage, the underwriter needs to know the value of the home youre buying. They dont want to loan you a bunch of money for a house thats a piece of junk. Thats why the lender will always order an appraisal as part of the closing process.

Your underwriter also needs a property survey that includes the property lines of the land and the placement of the home on that property. Then theyll get a copy of the title insurance, which shows there are no liens, unpaid taxes or judgments on the property.

Last but not least, the underwriter considers your down payment. The bigger your down payment, the less risky the loan is to the lender. Put down at least 10% of the homes value, but 20% is even better! A down payment of 20% keeps you from having to pay private mortgage insurance . And no PMI means a lower overall payment for the life of your loan. Boo-yah.

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Clear Any Loan Contingencies

This is when youll work with your lender to make sure youve cleared any of those contingencies they found in step 4. Also, your lender locks in your interest rate. Once the conditions have all been met, youll receive a clear to close from your lender. That means your mortgage loan is ready to be finalized on closing day.

Compare Your Los Angeles Mortgate Options Today

Mortgage Explainer: What is Underwriting?

If you find it challenging to qualify for a conventional loan, consider looking into government-backed mortgages. These loans usually offer more lenient credit standards. Overall, focus on improving mortgage qualification factors to secure a good mortgage deal. The following table shows local mortgage rates so you can figure your budget and estimate what your monthly loan payments will be for various scenarios. There is a toggle switch to turn on VA and FHA loans so you can compare them to conventional loans.

Get Prequalification & Preapproval

Prior to submitting a mortgage application, its important to know how much home you can afford. Thus, be sure to obtain mortgage prequalification and preapproval from a lender. Though both processes may be similar, they offer very different advantages.

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Mortgage Underwriter Job Duties

The experts at Rocket Mortgage write that mortgage underwriters ensure that borrowers do not close home mortgages that they cannot afford. It is not unusual for applicants to receive denials when applying for these loans. Once all the paperwork is submitted, underwriters investigate the credit history by pulling credit reports and looking for late payments, overuse of credit, bankruptcies and other red flags.

Underwriters also have to verify income and employment during this investigation and determine the potential borrowers debt-to-income ratio. This percentage compares how much a borrower spends in a particular period to their income. Underwriters must also verify down payments and savings and order home appraisals. The home appraisal needs to match the amount that the applicant wants to borrow. Mortgage loan approvals and denials can take a short time or a long time, depending on how many others are applying for loans, if there are problems locating information and other factors.


What Kind Of A License Do You Need To Be An Underwriter


Mortgage underwriters work with borrowers and lenders to determine if loans are approved. This role handles a lot of paperwork and, in most cases, deals with plenty of pressure as the closing dates approach. The experts at Indeed explain that while getting a bachelors degree or a mortgage underwriter license is not mandated by law, having both will increase your chances of getting a good job and a competitive salary. Gaining the skills in a classroom before starting on-the-job learning can help you increase productivity reduce your error rates make quicker, confident decisions and improve your overall quality of work.


While receiving a mortgage underwriting license may not be mandated by law for prospective underwriters, getting one can help your job prospects. Consider getting certifications from NAMU, Fannie Mae or other educators.

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What Is A Mortgage Underwriter

A mortgage underwriter is someone who works with banks to review applications for mortgage loans. A mortgage underwriter follows predetermined standards set by their employer as well as local regulations and guidelines to analyze the risk of loaning money to applicants. They analyze the applicant’s relationship to the five Cs of credit, which are:

  • Character: This factor relates to the applicant’s credit history, meaning their history of accumulating debt and paying it off. They look at previous loans and credit card history to determine if the applicant has been a responsible borrower in the past.

  • Capacity: This refers to the borrower’s ability to pay back the loan amount. This requires comparing the applicant’s income to their recurring debts, to see if they can responsibly take on this new debt.

  • Capital: A borrower’s capital means how much money they can currently provide as a down payment for their loan. A large contribution lowers the chance of the borrower defaulting on the loan.

  • Collateral: A borrower can offer an asset as collateral, which can also decrease the likelihood they will default on the loan. An example of collateral could be another mortgage.

  • Conditions: An underwriter also looks at is the conditions of the loan, including things like the economy, the institution’s financial situation, and other external factors. They may also look at the changeable conditions of the applicant’s loan, like interest rate, to see what conditions may be more favourable.

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