This article will provide you with a list of eleven common mistakes that borrowers often make when preparing to applying for a mortgage or when in the middle of the application process. We will discuss the potentially negative affects that can be caused by each mistake.
by Christian Scully
Applying for a home loan can sometimes feel like a challenge, but the best thing you can do as a borrower is to be informed, prepared and to not make things harder for yourself. If you have already been prequalified for a mortgage, you are going to want to keep your current financial situation unchanged. Consider that you are building an image of yourself for your lender, you don't want to change that image before the lender can make the ultimate decision. If you are working towards getting prequalified for a mortgage, you want to avoid anything that will be detrimental to your credit history. If you are already under contract or in the middle of a refinance application, there are a few easy mistakes to avoid. No matter what point you are at in the mortgage process, make note of the following eleven things you should not do.
1. Don't open any new lines of credit or take out any loans.
Opening new credit accounts could have two potentially negative effects. First, if you open a new credit account you could be adding debt to your credit report. Additional debt could change the loan amount you qualify for. Second, opening new credit accounts will lower the average age of your credit accounts which could lower your credit score.
2. Don't apply for credit with many different lenders.
If you have applied for a credit card and been denied, don't keep applying for more cards thinking eventually one will approve you. Every time you apply for credit there is a hard inquiry on your credit report, potentially lowering your score. Applying to a few different mortgage lenders in an attempt to shop around for the best rate and terms is okay. Typically if you have a few inquiries from mortgage lenders in the same month it will be clear that you are shopping around and your score likely won't be impacted too much. However if you have 8 inquiries for credit card, 4 inquiries for auto loans and a few mortgage inquiries, it does not paint a very good picture of your financial situation, especially if those inquiries don't lead to actually opening a credit account. It shows lenders that you likely are not qualified for credit.
+ Better Note: Hard inquiries stay on your credit report for two years. If you are applying for a mortgage, your lender will likely ask for explanations if you have several recent hard inquiries on your credit report. They want to know that you don't have new debt obligations that have not yet been reported.
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Thoughts, ideas, lessons-learned, inspiration, how-tos and more from a journey to own and invest in real estate, and helping borrowers navigate the mortgage process as a licensed loan originator.