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Mortgage Application - It's All Backwards Now

Posted by:  Chip Poli
2013-02-14 07:08:43

Applying for a mortgage may not be your favorite thing to do. You may want to visit the dentist first or maybe walk ten miles in the snow. But unless youíve got a few hundred thousand dollars in your closet to buy a home youíll need to grin and bear it. Today however, lenders approve loans differently than they used to. Itís completely backwards. And that makes it easier.

As you apply for a mortgage today, youíll complete the application and forward it to your loan officer or apply at the mortgage companyís website directly. Before applying for your mortgage, your loan officer advised you to begin gathering your documentation, and thatís good advice. Thereís no need to wait when you find the home of your dreams.

Youíll need to gather your most recent tax returns and W2s, copies of your most recent paycheck stubs and bank statements as well as providing a copy of your sales contract. But you know thatís just the beginning.

But your loan file doesnít need all those documents to accompany your loan request. You can do it later. Today, lenders use an automated underwriting system to approve your loan. Much different than the past.

Before an automated underwriting system, a loan application must be 100 percent complete before an underwriter would review the loan for an approval. In addition to the application and your personal information, the appraisal, credit, and title report would need to be ordered and received before the loan package could be approved.

Mortgage Application Process

Back then, your loan officer would ask for every possible piece of paperwork that an underwriter might ask for. A loan officer could ask for copies of your cash-value insurance policy or an explanation letter detailing why you were late on a car payment two years ago. Perhaps you experienced an unfortunate divorce several years ago, your loan officer could ask for a copy of the complete, signed decree, all 200 pages of it.

By the time your loan ever got in front of an underwriter for an approval, the loan application file could be six inches thick or more. And only THEN would you find out if you were approved.

Today, itís all backwards. The approval process did a complete 180. Today, you only need to complete the online mortgage application once. The lender will review the application for errors and omissions, then submit the file electronically to an automated underwriting system. Within seconds, the application is approved along with a list of documents needed to complete the approval.

In other words, the approval is issued first and you document the file later. Not only later, but provide exactly whatís asked for; nothing more and nothing less. If you were divorced five years ago and the lender knew it you wouldnít have to provide your 200 page divorce decree if the approval didnít ask for it.

Automated underwriting systems save time as well as money. There really is no guess work with todayís mortgage approval process. Apply first, document later.

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