Mistakes People Make When Applying For a Mortgage (And How To Avoid Them!)

Once you’ve found the right home and applied for a mortgage, there are some key things to keep in mind before you close. You're undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new place, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, consult your lender – someone who is qualified to tell you how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.

Below is a list of things you shouldn’t do after applying for a mortgage. They’re all important to know – or simply just good reminders – for the process.

1. DON’T DEPOSIT CASH INTO YOUR BANK ACCOUNTS BEFORE SPEAKING WITH YOUR BANK OR LENDER

Lenders need to source your money, and cash is not easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

2. DON’T MAKE ANY LARGE PURCHASES LIKE A NEW CAR OR FURNITURE FOR YOUR NEW HOME

New debt comes with new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios. Higher ratios make for riskier loans, and then sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.

3. DON’T CHANGE BANK ACCOUNTS

Remember, lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is significantly easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.

4. DON’T APPLY FOR NEW CREDIT

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO® score will be impacted. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.

5. DON’T CLOSE ANY CREDIT ACCOUNTS

Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts hurt both of those determinants of your score.

Bottom Line

Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. The best plan is to fully disclose and discuss your loan officer's intentions before you do anything financial in nature.

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