It occurred to me that mortgage consumers should take the same approach to their mortgage financing. Most of the time, borrowers entrust their financial well-being to someone on the other side of the electronic media portal, and assume that by so doing, they have set in motion a predictable process that will bring them uneventfully to mortgage approval and the closing on their new home. That does happen, but not often enough to flip on the automatic pilot switch and hope there is no turbulence on the horizon.
As early in the process as the pre-approval interview, borrowers and potential borrowers should be asking questions and offering up information requested and not requested. You may not know the experience or the expertise of the mortgage person you are working with, but you do know the ins and outs of your financial profile, so offer it up, hold nothing back, disclose everything, turn over all stones. Take control over the exchange of information that is necessary for you to have a successful and drama free mortgage approval journey. It can be done.
If your chosen mortgage rep fails to ask you about variables like real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance, offer up what you know from properties you are considering. Guesstimate if you need to, but make sure the mortgage payment equation is complete and accurate. If you have information about your income or the money you are using for your down payment, offer it up to your lender for consideration, if you’re not sure, offer it up anyway and let the lender decide if it is relevant.
You can eliminate embryonic eleventh hour fire drills and closing jeopardy by simply laying bare your complete financial profile, warts and all. If you write down your tax liability to Uncle Sam using Unreimbursed Employee Expenses, if a relative gave you money to help with your down payment, if somebody who is not a relative gave you money to help with your down payment, if you are thinking about changing jobs, if you co-signed a loan for somebody, if you know something, anything that may have a chance of being an issue, tell your lender, let them decide if it is material.
No matter how great the mortgage team that you are working with may be, the fact is that yours is not the only mortgage loan they are trying to get through the approval funnel to the closing table. At any given time, my processor has 40 to 50 loans that she is trying to properly document and ensure they conform to underwriting guidelines, logistically, it is impossible for her to anticipate something a borrower forgot to mention.
At the end of the day, it is you the borrower who is in charge of the information exchange; you are the CEO of your mortgage financing. Be involved in the process, ask questions, offer assistance, be the force that makes it happen. Waiting to find out what comes next or waiting to find out if something was found out, is a plan with an uncertain outcome.
Disclose all and provide everything, don’t wait until it is too late and claim the dog ate your homework.