As a general rule, if you’re looking to apply for a mortgage, you’ve probably never been through the mortgage process before. Subsequently, this could mean you don’t have any idea what you’re going up against. What should you expect? What should you do before you apply? And the important question we’re going to be answering today, “what should you NOT do before you apply for a mortgage?”
First, let’s briefly take a look at three of the more major things that affect your approval.
What affects your approval?
- Down payment size
A very important aspect of a home loan is your down payment. Generally speaking, the more money that gets put down, means the less money on the lender’s side of things. And this always makes for an easier time. A bigger down payment also improves your chances of getting approved because it strengthens the application.
- Your credit score
Just what is a credit score? Investopedia puts it this way: “A credit score is a statistical number that evaluates a consumer’s creditworthiness and is based on credit history.” By reviewing someones credit score, the lender will have an easier time finding out the likelihood that the borrower will pay back his debts. Your credit score plays a part in the interest rate you receive and/or the fees you will pay.
- Employment history
When it comes to a mortgage, the lenders will basically need to know all the nitty-gritty things about you. Furthermore, knowing your employment history will help the lenders know how well you will be able to manage a home loan. As an example, if you’ve been in and out of various jobs, it will seem less likely that you’ll have the income to keep up with payments. Typically a two year employment history is required when applying for a mortgage.
What NOT to do before applying for a mortgage
Now let’s consider a few things to avoid doing before applying for a mortgage.
- Don’t make big purchases that increase your debt
We’ll admit, this is an exciting chapter of your life. And you want to be ready to move into your house when you find the right one. Subsequently, you might decide it’s time to buy a new car to go with your future, new house. That’s not a smart idea.
You want to avoid all the expensive purchases. Otherwise, your lender could question your financial responsibility, making them unsure of lending you money. It also affects your debt to income ratio which could lower the amount you are approved for. In the end, you may be less likely to be approved with a larger amount of monthly debt.
- Don’t spend any of your savings
Yes, this could go along with making big purchases. But it’s in a slightly different boat. For the most part, when it comes time to get a mortgage, lenders are going to want to see that you have sufficient savings for a downpayment, although there are some zero down payment mortgages you may qualify for. Subsequently, the more you have, the better but it’s not always necessary.
- Don’t pay any of your bills late
As a general rule, most folks try to stay on top of their bill payments. However, paying on time is especially important when you’re applying for a mortgage. Not only does this show the lender that you’re responsible, but it also keeps your credit report looking better. A late payment will show up on your credit report, and this will lower your credit score.
- Don’t change jobs
If you have a steady job, keep it! This is an important factor when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Generally, the mortgagee wants to see that you have a dependable job and a steady income. Without these two things, a mortgage company will be less likely to take a risk on you. Furthermore, if you started a new job right before applying, you may not have the income verification you’ll need, such as a pay stub. In some cases you may qualify if you have a signed offer letter from your new employer.
- Don’t marry someone with bad credit
At least, not if you want to buy a house right away. But don’t worry, if you do find yourself married to a spouse with bad credit, there are options. Many couples, after getting married, are eager to buy a house right away. But before you go taking steps toward buying a house, consider improving the line of bad credit. When a couple buys a house together, both lines of credit will be reviewed. Therefore, getting to work improving both credit scores sooner rather than later is always a smart idea. Sometimes, a spouse can be left off of the loan application if the other spouse can qualify on their own.
In the end, these aren’t the only things you shouldn’t do, but they’re some of the more important ones. Be sure to keep them in mind when you’re thinking about buying a house.
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