We always talk about all of the things you should do when applying for a mortgage. Most of the time, no one advises consumers of the things not to do when applying for a mortgage. These are probably more important than the to do list. Any one of these things could completely ruin your chances of getting an approved mortgage.
-Do Not apply for credit cards. The last thing you want is to incur more debt prior to applying for a mortgage. It will increase your debt to income ratios.
-Again Do Not apply for credit cards. Any open credit cards will appear on your credit report and can potentially reduce your credit score. Open credit is available credit and will work against you. Limit the amount of credit cards you have.
-Do Not take on any new loans such as a car loan. These will also increase your debt to income ratio which may cause your mortgage to be rejected. In tough times, lenders may run an additional credit report even up to the day of closing.
-Do Not spend your available cash that is necessary for reserves when applying for a mortgage. Going to purchase new furniture should wait until you have finished with closing your mortgage loan. Lenders can and often do recheck assets right before closing. If you spent the cash, you may not get the loan.
-Do Not deposit any money into your bank account that cannot be documented. Even if family gives you a gift, it will have to be verified. Today's bank statements have an "average balance" right on them. When the lender orders two months of bank statement balances, each month average balance should be similar. If not, another red flag comes up which will be investigated.
-Do Not change jobs while you are getting a mortgage. Wait until after the closing to doing any type of employment change. Changing jobs will only open up a can of worms and make the mortgage process more difficult and can delay closing of the loan. Mortgage loans go through quality control shortly after closing. Your employer on the application may be called to re-verify that you were still employed there on the day of closing. So even starting a new job on the day of closing can bring up a red flag and make a mortgage delinquent.
-Do Not lie on your mortgage application about anything. Many things appear on a credit report that consumers are not aware of, but the lender will see. Anything that shows up but is not on your application will raise a red flag to the lender. As the borrower, you will have to answer for any questions that pop up. Better to avoid them altogether by being honest.
These are just some of the things that you should not do when applying for a mortgage, whether you are buying a home or refinancing. As a former underwriter, I've seen each one of these done which ended up delaying the closing for the borrower.
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