Mortgage qualification process: What happens when you apply for a loan
There are a lot of steps involved in qualifying for a mortgage. Learn who is involved in the approval process and what happens to your application after you submit it.
Plenty goes on behind the scenes after you submit a mortgage application. And there are some things you can do to make the process go a little smoother. Here’s a step-by-step guide to being ready to qualify for a mortgage:
1. Get your paperwork ready — Prepare your W2’s, paystubs, employment information, assets, 401K, stocks, and information on the value of cars or boats, etc.
2. Meet with your mortgage banker — Talk about what other paperwork you’ll need and any surprises that may come up. He/she will pull your credit report and you’ll sign the mortgage application that will be submitted to your lender.
3. Prepare for processing — A loan processor will review your application and make sure all documentation is in order. They may contact you if additional paperwork or further verification is needed, which happens from time to time.
4. Understand underwriting & appraisal — The underwriter decides whether or not your loan application is approved. Your lender will send an appraiser to your home to verify that the purchase price of the home is in line with the value of the house. The appraisal will be a factor in the underwriter’s decision.
5. Wait for the final loan approval — The loan will go through the quality assurance department. They make sure everything is in order.
6. Set up closing — On closing day, you’ll sign paperwork committing to your mortgage and get the keys to your new home.
In this video, Tamara, a mortgage banker, gives a quick look at what happens during the closing process: “You’ll sign the loan documents. Usually the loan will fund the next day and then record the following day.”
TAMARA: So behind the scenes, what’s going to happen is the first step is you’re going to meet with your mortgage banker. Mortgage banker, when you come in to meet with them for the interview, they’re going to want to see your pay stubs, they’re going to want to see your W-2s. If you’re self-employed, we’ll want to see your tax returns. We want you to bring in your asset documentation for at least two months, and then we’re going to pull your credit report.
TAMARA: So once we determine, yeah, everything looks good, it’s a green light, we’re going to move forward, we’re going take a formal application, and then that loan goes into our system, and then at that point the loan’s going to move over to our processing side.
TAMARA: So the processor and the mortgage banker are going to work hand-in-hand together. So once the processor has the transaction, they’re looking at it. They’re kind of putting the deal together, and then they’re going to submit it to the underwriter.
TAMARA: Now underwriting might have a couple questions, right, so they may come back with some additional conditions. They might see something on your credit report and maybe they want a letter of explanation.
TAMARA: So meanwhile behind the scenes, the appraisal is going to be ordered so that’s kind of happening amongst like your real estate agent, so the appraiser’s going to make the appointment to go out there.
TAMARA: The appraisal’s going that come back, underwriter’s going to look at that. We want to make sure that the property is worth what you’re paying for it.
TAMARA: And so once we get the green light, we have a final loan approval. The loan’s going to go through our quality assurance department, make sure every i is dotted, every t is crossed, and then we’re going to transition the loan to our closing department.
TAMARA: They’re going to set up an appointment and then you’ll sign the loan documents. And then at some point your realtor is going to show up and say, “Here’s the keys to your new house.”