1. Have everything ready and in one place. Elsewhere on our website, you'll find a list of things you might need in support of your mortgage application (Click Here for Loan Checklist). If you get them all together and keep them in a safe, portable place like a special pouch or folder, you can cut down on time spent rooting around for things we may need. Also, you'll help cut down on your own anxiety and confusion.
2. Be honest and complete when you fill out your application. "Fudging" your employment or residence history or omitting open credit accounts you'd rather not have considered doesn't increase your chances of getting a favorable loan. In 100 percent of cases, it makes it harder, and take longer.
3. Respond promptly to requests for additional information. During processing, we or the lender considering your loan may need additional information. This is very common. Provide it as soon as you get the request, or return the call as soon as you get the message. Also it's a good idea to check your email frequently. We find it easier sometimes to email a list of items needed, instead of giving the list verbally over the phone. Through email, we can provide the specifics on what is needed, and customers can use the email as a checklist they can reference back to, if needed.
4. Be prepared to explain derogatory items in your credit report and any credit inquiries in the last 120 days. This is really part of number 2 above. If you had an illness or a divorce where you missed or made late payments, or you have other instances of late payments or delinquencies on your credit report, be prepared to explain them. Be honest, and don't be nervous! The loan processor isn't judging you, they're trying to fill in all the blanks in their paperwork. Remember, we work for you. We want your loan to close as much as you do, and will do what we can to help! Also keep in mind, that we will most likely need explanations for any recent credit inquiries that show on the credit report within the last 120 days.
5. Let the appraiser in! The appraisal is one of the lengthiest parts of the mortgage loan process. Studies have shown that the single biggest factor in appraisal "lag time" is the appraiser's inability to reach the homeowner to make an appointment. If you're refinancing and the appraiser calls to make an appointment, make it as soon as convenient for both of you.
And remember that the appraiser doesn't want to buy your house. He or she will say what the house is worth clean and tidy and in reasonable repair, even if you have some dirty laundry on the laundry room floor or dirty dishes in the sink. Cleaning doesn't get you a higher appraisal! Letting the appraiser in as soon as possible gets you a loan faster, though.