Getting a mortgage can feel like a daunting task. You may not know where to start, who to talk with or if it is possible at all. The first step of the mortgage process is getting pre-qualified. When getting pre-qualified by a lender, you will sit down and evaluate your current financial situation. You will go over your current financial situation, look at the different types of loans available to you, and can ask any questions you have about the process.
However, not every pre-qualification is created equal. All lenders have different requirements, and depending on your loan officer’s experience, may ask you different questions. We created a quick 5-step checklist to help you determine whether you have been issued a “strong pre-qualification”.
#1 They ask you your entire story
A good pre-qualification will feel a lot like an interview. Your loan officer is trying to understand your family’s situation and build your loan. They will be asking about your employment, current living situation and even how you do your taxes. This can feel overwhelming, but the more questions the better. This helps uncover any “red flags” that may cause bumps later in the loan process.
#2 It’s a lengthy process
A good pre-qualification can last from an hour to an hour and a half. You will be going over your documentation, types of loans available and your potential monthly payments. Allowing for a good chunk of time is key to ensuring you leave your appointment feeling confident and ready to move forward.
#3 They have the experience of hundreds of loans
A solid pre-qualification starts with a solid loan officer. Asking your lender how many transactions they have done is a great way to evaluate their ability to get your loan done smoothly and timely. Loan officers that have seen hundreds of loans will know the right questions to ask and how to guide you through the process most efficiently.
#4 They will ask to look at documentation
Your lender may request you bring documentation. This allows them to verify the numbers and dial in a more precise pre-qualification. Although this isn’t necessary for a pre-qualification, it is a sign that your loan officer takes their loan process seriously and is prepared to get your loan closed in a timely manner.
#5 They may ask to pull your credit
Your loan officer may ask to pull your credit. This is necessary to understand your credit profile, find possible issues and give guidance on how to remedy them. Going into a pre-qualification, you may have an idea of your credit, but a mortgage credit report can be more detailed and often contain a different score than you see from your credit card provider. Having your loan officer look at your credit before starting your home search ensures that your pre-qualification is accurate.
Using this information will help assess your lender and the accuracy and strength of your pre-qualification. If you are interested in purchasing or refinancing a home, schedule a pre-qualification with one of our seasoned loan officers. Click HERE to get started on your journey.