Mortgage Lending Process

Mortgage Lending Process For First Time Home Buyers

Gustan Cho Associates are mortgage brokers licensed in 48 states

This BLOG On Mortgage Lending Process For First Time Home Buyers Was UPDATED And PUBLISHED On February 15th, 2020
What is the mortgage lending process for first-time home buyers

The mortgage lending process does not have to be difficult:

  • All of the horror stories about borrowers going through a stressful mortgage process and getting last minute mortgage denials can all be avoided
  • How can I say such a thing so easily?
  • Because over 75% percent of our borrowers who contact us or are referred to me are borrowers who went through a very stressful mortgage experience
  • Many of them have recently gotten a last-minute mortgage loan denial by their lender
  • There are only one reason and a common denominator for borrowers going through Hell during their mortgage process
  • These borrowers were not properly qualified by their loan originators

In this article, we will discuss and cover the mortgage lending process of borrowers.

Qualifying Borrowers Mortgage Lending Process

Properly qualifying borrowers is the most important phase in the mortgage lending process. The number one reason for last-minute mortgage loan denials is because the loan officer did not properly qualify the borrower.

The loan officer needs to know two most important things.

Mortgage Lending Guidelines: 

  • The loan originator needs to know the basic mortgage lending guidelines in the loan program recommending borrowers

Loan officers should realize basic guidelines such as the minimum credit scores required for the various lending programs such as the following:

  • FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie/Freddie
  • Non-QM Loans and Alternative Financing

Agency Guidelines Versus Lender Overlays

Loan officers should also know the debt to income ratios caps on the various mortgage lending programs as well as other basic mortgage guidelines:

Mortgage Lender’s Overlays: 

  • Most mortgage lenders have their own sets of separate mortgage guidelines that are called lender overlays
  • For example, to qualify for a 3.5% down payment FHA home purchase loan, a borrower needs a 580 FICO credit score

However, most lenders will require a higher credit score than the 580 FICO credit score required from HUD:

  • Most mortgage companies will require a 640 credit score
  • This higher credit score standard required by the individual lender is called a lender overlay of credit scores
  • Same with outstanding collections and charge offs
  • HUD does not require that borrowers pay off outstanding collections and charge off accounts
  • However, most lenders will require that borrowers pay off outstanding collections and charge offs which again, it is called overlays on collection accounts

If you have outstanding collections and charge off accounts and are told that you do not qualify for an FHA Loan because you need to pay this off, please contact us at Gustan Cho Associates at 800-900-8569 or text for faster response. Or email us at 7 days a week, evenings, weekends, and holidays. Gustan Cho Associates have no overlays on all government and/or Conventional Loans.

Mortgage Pre-Qualification

Once borrowers has been qualified with the loan officer, the borrower needs to be pre-qualified with regards to income, liabilities, and assets.

  • The mortgage pre-qualification process is the very first step of the mortgage lending process
  • Loan officer normally starts the pre-qualification of the borrower by interviewing the borrower by asking them a bank of detailed questions
  • Loan officers should request mortgage documents about the borrower’s debts, income, and assets as well as information on the home they are purchasing
  • Special emphasis should be placed on the borrower’s proposed property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowners association dues if applicable
  • The loan originator should explore the various loan programs that are best suited for the borrower

Loan Officer needs to choose a loan program that has the highest chance of getting a solid approval and closing chances for the borrower.

Issuing A Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter

Which means issuing a letter prior to approving the mortgage

Every loan officer has their own way of when they deem the borrower fully pre-approved.

  • Unfortunately, there are still loan officers who issue pre-approval letters in a matter of a few minutes without the necessary due diligence before issuing it
  • Yet, other loan officers like those who are under my management are required to only issue pre-approval letters if they are 99.9% confident that the loan will close

A sloppy pre-approval is the main reason why borrowers go through a stressful mortgage process.

Properly Qualifying Borrowers Prior To Issuance Pre-Approval

Here are the steps of the mortgage lending process a loan officer should take prior to issuing a pre-approval letter:

  • Properly pre-qualify the borrower
  • Make sure that the borrower meets the minimum credit score requirements
  • Run credit and review the borrower’s credit report and look out for credit disputes
  • Make sure there are no credit disputes on non-medical collections and charge off accounts
  • Make sure borrower has enough cash to close and seasoned funds to close
  • Make sure borrower meets the debt to income ratio requirements
  • Get verification of employment if the borrower has irregular income
  • Make sure to run the file through Automated Underwriting System and get an automated approval

Make sure that you can satisfy all conditions from AUS Findings.

Completing Mortgage Loan Application During Mortgage Lending Process

Once borrower makes a purchase offer and gets the executed real estate purchase contract to the loan officer, the loan originator is now ready to have the borrower complete the mortgage loan application:

  • Disclosures need to be disclosed to borrowers
  • Once the borrowers acknowledge the mortgage disclosures and signs the mortgage loan application, the mortgage lending process has now begun

The loan originator will get updated paycheck stubs, bank statements and collect all mortgage docs and have it put in order for the mortgage processor.

Processing During Mortgage Lending Process

Once the loan originator has entered the borrower’s information on the LOS, Loan Origination System, and has gathered all of the mortgage docs, the file is then assigned to a mortgage processor.

  • The processor then will make sure that they have the following docs and each of the following docs are complete
  • No missing pages
  • These documents are all updated to recent docs

This is so it can be submitted to the underwriting department of the mortgage company.

Documents Required To Process And Underwrite Home Loans

What are the documents required for processing and guaranteeing home loans

Here are the docs that processors will need:

  • Completed mortgage loan application
  • Copy of tri-merger credit report
  • Two years of income tax returns
  • Two years of W-2s and 30 days of paycheck stubs
  • 60 days of bank statements
  • Copy of real estate purchase contract
  • Social Security and/or Pension Awards Letter if applicable
  • Divorce Decree if applicable
  • Bankruptcy paperwork, all pages, if applicable
  • Foreclosure, Deed in Lieu, Short Sale Paperwork if applicable
  • Copy of drivers license and social security card

Credit Disputes Are Not Allowed During The Mortgage Process

Make sure that all credit disputes are retracted on non-medical collections with an aggregate total balance of $1,000:

  • Retract all credit disputes on charge off accounts
  • Letters of Explanations for derogatory credit, credit inquiries, late payments, collection accounts, gaps in employment, and other potential questions a mortgage underwriter may have
  • Credit supplements and/or rapid rescores
  • Mortgage processors orders title insurance
  • Will clear all mortgage conditions after the mortgage underwriter issues a conditional loan approval
  • Mortgage processors will clear all conditions listed on the conditional approval and will submit the file back to the mortgage underwriter for a clear to close

Mortgage processors will work with the closing department in scheduling for a mortgage loan file to closing.

Mortgage Underwriting During The Mortgage Lending Process

What is the Importance of Mortgage Underwriting During the Mortgage Loan Process

A great processor will make sure that all docs are in order and thereL

  • No missing pages on any of the documents
  • Double and triple check all paperwork and documents
  • Then submit it to the mortgage underwriting department
  • The file is then assigned to a mortgage underwriter for review
  • A properly packaged file by a mortgage processor will make the underwriter’s job much easier which means a quicker turnaround time with little conditions
  • Mortgage underwriter’s responsibilities include determining whether the mortgage application package submitted by the mortgage processor meets all mortgage lending guidelines
  • Also need to meet all lender’s overlays

Clear To Close During Mortgage Lending Process

Once the mortgage processor has gathered all of the conditions listed on the conditional loan approval, the mortgage processor will then submit the file back to the mortgage underwriter for a clear to close.

  • A clear to close, also known as the CTC, is when the underwriter has issued a clear to fund the loan and given its thumbs up for the closing desk
  • Once underwriter issues a CTC, the lender’s closing department is ready to prepare closing documents and the Closing Disclosure, CD
  • The Closing Disclosure is prepared
  • The title company will figures from both the sellers’ side and buyers side and come up with cash to close figure where the home buyer needs to wire to the title company

Upon a clear to close, there is a three day waiting period for the closing to take place due to New TRID MORTGAGE RULES.

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