As a buyer, you may find yourself drifting on an ocean of financing options. As lenders tighten their requirements, there are a few aspects of the loan application of which you should be aware before applying for a mortgage.
First, determine whether you are seeking “pre-qualification” or “pre-approval.” What’s the difference? Generally speaking, when you are pre-qualified, the lender reviews your information and hazards a “best guess” as to the size of a loan for which you would qualify.
In the pre-approval process, however, the lender verifies everything on your application, and offers to approve a certain amount at a certain interest rate. Either way, the final loan is only cleared upon receipt of an acceptable appraisal, title check, last-minute credit check, and other verification. Usually, a pre-approval puts you on stronger buying ground.
A critical aspect of your application is your credit score. Excessive credit, like car loans and credit cards, can sometimes prove as unattractive to lenders as bad or no credit, so make sure that you have plenty of credit available before applying, and put off major purchases until after you’ve bought your home.
Finally, investigate all of your loan options, compare worst-case scenarios, and do your math. If you need guidance, seek it from a local mortgage specialist or real estate agent who is well versed in current market and lending conditions.