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Top Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Mortgage

Published on April 10, 2024

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for a Mortgage

Securing a mortgage is a significant financial decision that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Unfortunately, many borrowers make common mistakes during the application process that can hinder their chances of approval or result in less favorable loan terms. In this guide, we'll highlight the top mistakes to avoid when applying for a mortgage and provide practical tips to help borrowers navigate the process successfully.

 

Not Checking Your Credit Score

Failing to check your credit score before applying for a mortgage can be a costly error. Your credit score plays a crucial role in determining the interest rate and loan terms you qualify for. Obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and review it for any errors or discrepancies. You can do this by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com to view a copy of your credit report.  Take steps to improve your credit score if necessary, such as paying down debt and making on-time payments.

 

Skipping the Pre-Approval Process

Some borrowers skip the pre-approval process and dive straight into house hunting, only to discover later that they don't qualify for the loan amount they need. Get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your home search. Pre-approval involves a thorough evaluation of your financial situation by a lender, giving you a clear understanding of your budget and strengthening your position as a serious buyer.

 

Ignoring Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Overlooking your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio can lead to unexpected challenges during the mortgage application process. Lenders use DTI to assess your ability to manage additional debt responsibly. You can calculate your DTI by dividing your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income and multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage. Aim for a DTI below 43% to improve your chances of approval. Be sure that your DTI includes your estimated amount of your mortgage payment which is not a part of your total monthly debit payments.

 

Making Major Financial Changes Before Closing

Making significant financial changes, such as changing jobs, applying for new credit, or making large purchases, before closing on a mortgage can disrupt the approval process and jeopardize your loan.

Avoid making any major financial moves until after your mortgage has closed. Maintain stability in your employment, income, and financial accounts to reassure lenders of your creditworthiness.

 

Underestimating Closing Costs

Underestimating the closing costs associated with buying a home can catch borrowers off guard and strain their finances at the last minute. Familiarize yourself with the various closing costs involved, including lender fees, appraisal fees, title insurance, and property taxes. Budget accordingly and be prepared to cover these expenses at closing.

 

Avoiding common mistakes when applying for a mortgage is essential for a smooth and successful homebuying experience. By checking your credit score, obtaining pre-approval, managing your debt-to-income ratio, avoiding major financial changes, and budgeting for closing costs, you can increase your chances of securing the right mortgage on favorable terms. Taking proactive steps to avoid these pitfalls will help you navigate the mortgage process with confidence and achieve your goal of homeownership.

 

For more information reach out to any of our expert mortgage loan officers by calling 706-869-6975 or on the web at www.qnbtrust.bank/mortgage.

 

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