Applying for and Getting Your Mortgage
An important step to becoming a homeowner is completing your mortgage loan application (officially referred to as the Uniform Residential Loan Application). This is a lengthy application that documents your personal information (Social Security Number, date of birth, etc.), employment information, assets and liabilities, mortgage terms and much more. You’ll want to work with your lender to complete all fields, especially as they relate to the type of mortgage and terms.
Once you and any co-borrowers have completed and signed the application, your lender will:
- Pull your credit report and score from all three major agencies to verify your credit history. Make sure you know what they find.
- Evaluate the four C’s to determine if you are creditworthy:
- Capacity - Current and future ability to make payments
- Capital or cash reserves - Money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
- Collateral - The property that you will purchase
- Credit - Your history of paying bills and other debts on time
At this point, your lender can provide you with a pre-approval letter that outlines how much you qualify to borrow and the specific terms of the loan. Now, you can begin looking for your new home with greater confidence.
Once you have found the home you want to buy and have signed a Purchase Agreement for the property, you are ready to complete the application process by providing your lender with the address and property details. Your lender will then:
- Get an appraisal to determine the market value of the property, because it will be used as collateral for your loan. You have a legal right to get a copy of this and will want a copy for your records.
- Issue a Commitment Letter detailing the terms of your loan approval.
The Commitment Letter serves as final approval of your mortgage loan and states the terms of the approval. Once you receive and accept this, you are assured the financing needed to complete the purchase of your home and can now focus on completing the details required for closing.
Tools and Resources
- CreditSmart® Online Training
- Mortgage Rates Hit 50-Year Low
- Understanding the Mortgage Documents brochure
- Choosing the Mortgage Option for You
- Step-by-Step Mortgage Guide brochure
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Glossary of Terms
- How Much Can You Afford
- How Much Can You Borrow Calculator
- Fixed or Adjustable Mortgage Calculator
- More Calculators
Get Smart About Credit
Take our online, interactive training courses to learn about credit, money management, and responsible homeownership.