Every borrower wants their
mortgage closing to be simple and stress free. While it may not
always feel like it (between loan processors' requests for your
2011 Schedule E and page 6 of March's bank statement), lenders want the same thing. Here are some timely "do's and (mostly hypothetical)
don'ts" for borrowers to consider during the loan application
process. While no single list can completely
cover all loans, following these "do's and don'ts" during
your mortgage application process will help you close your loan faster, sleep
better at night, avoid premature gray hair, and help your loan officer give you
the best service possible. Look for more helpful hints soon, and happy
DO: Ask your loan officer questions
and listen to his/her answers.
DON'T: Solicit mortgage advice
from your cousin's hairdresser who had a real estate license in 1995 and
almost sold 3 houses.
DO: Promptly provide all
documents requested by your loan officer and processor to speed up your
out pertinent details on your loan application, such as that pesky
pending lawsuit, the layoff notice you just got at work, your unpaid
child support, or the fact you haven't actually filed a tax return since
DO: Check your email
frequently during the loan process for questions and updates from your
lender and respond to any requests they have.
DON'T: Start a loan the day
before you go on a two week camping trip with no cell
phone or email access.
DO: Make sure you and your
loan officer discuss your rate lock, agree on when to lock, and have
a plan for closing by lock expiration date.
DON'T: Instruct your loan
officer to lock the rate, then ask him a week later if he can
improve it because you heard a radio ad stating rates dropped and
are now "THE LOWEST EVER FOR THE 19TH CONSECUTIVE WEEK!!"
DO: Be comfortable with and
confident in your loan officer and loan before you submit a formal
DON'T: Start the loan, then
"check around" with 6 other lenders "just to see what
they have" the week before your closing.
DO: Make sure your employment,
asset, and personal information are correct on your loan application.
DON'T: Become gravely
concerned because the credit card balances on your credit report aren't
identical to the current balances.
DO: Know the rate and
balance on your existing loan.
DON'T: Miss the important subtlety of actual "payoff" balance of your loan, which will include interest charges and will
exceed the principal balance.
DO: Ask about how your new
escrow account is determined if you are unsure.
DON'T: Change your
homeowners' insurance the day before closing.
DO: Ask for a written loan
estimate before you start the loan, and discuss it thoroughly with
your loan officer.
DON'T: Rely on vague
statements such as "I'll get you a great rate", "don't worry
about the new loan size", or "this is an awesome deal."
DO: Feel free to ask your
loan officer questions during the loan process.
DON'T: Leave 3 voice mails
on his cell phone on Memorial Day, then wonder why he didn't get right back
Lastly, most importantly:
DO: Check Mortgage News
Daily to see if your loan officer is a member.
DON'T: Rely on pop-up
internet ads promising rates 2% lower than you've ever heard of for
reliable mortgage information!