10 Things NOT to do While Applying For a Home Loan

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10 Things Not to Do While Applying For a Home Loan

When you are going through the process of getting a home loan, it is extremely important to follow what your loan officer tells you to do. There are some major don’ts when applying for a loan. We made a list of the top 10.

Do not change jobs, become self-employed or quit your job.

When you apply for a home loan, lenders verify your employment history and income stability. They assess your financial situation based on factors such as employment duration, income consistency, and career progression. Changing jobs or becoming self-employed may disrupt these factors and create uncertainty for lenders. It could affect your debt-to-income ratio, which is an essential metric in determining your loan eligibility.

Additionally, self-employment can pose unique challenges when it comes to securing a home loan. Lenders typically require self-employed individuals to provide additional documentation, such as tax returns and business financial statements, to assess their income stability and ability to repay the loan. Transitioning to self-employment shortly before or during the loan process may not provide enough financial history to satisfy lender requirements.

To ensure a smooth loan application process and increase your chances of approval, it’s best to maintain job stability throughout the homebuying journey. If you’re considering a career change or self-employment, it’s advisable to complete these transitions well in advance of applying for a loan. This will allow you to establish a stable employment history and demonstrate consistent income to lenders. 

Do not buy a car, truck, or van… otherwise, that might be your new home! 

Taking on a car loan, especially a significant one, can have an impact on your mortgage approval and overall financial stability. Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) when assessing your loan eligibility. This ratio compares your monthly debt payments to your gross monthly income. Adding a car loan to your existing debts can increase your DTI, potentially raising concerns for lenders.

A higher DTI can affect your loan approval, loan terms, and interest rates. Lenders prefer borrowers with a lower DTI, as it demonstrates their ability to manage their financial obligations and comfortably repay their mortgage. If your DTI exceeds the acceptable threshold, it may lead to higher interest rates or even loan denial.

Furthermore, obtaining a car loan can affect your credit score, which plays a significant role in the mortgage application process. Applying for a new loan triggers a credit inquiry and adds a new account to your credit history. These factors can temporarily lower your credit score. Lenders consider credit scores as an indicator of your creditworthiness and the likelihood of repaying your mortgage on time.

To ensure a smooth homebuying process, it’s advisable to hold off on obtaining a car loan until after securing your mortgage. Focus on maintaining a stable financial situation and minimizing new debts during this critical period. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of obtaining a favorable loan with better terms and lower interest rates.

Do not change credit cards excessively or let any of your accounts fall behind. 

There are two negative effects when charging your credit cards excessively. The first thing that can happen is that inquiries will be recorded by the credit bureaus which could decrease your credit score. The second negative issue is that any credit card charged over 35% will affect your debt-to-income ratio, therefore, affecting your ability to buy a home.

Frequent changes in credit cards can raise concerns among lenders. Each time you open a new credit card account, it triggers a credit inquiry and affects your credit score. Additionally, constantly switching cards may indicate instability or reliance on credit, which can be viewed unfavorably by lenders. They prefer to see a stable credit history with a track record of responsible credit management.

Similarly, letting any of your accounts fall behind can have serious consequences. Late or missed payments negatively impact your credit score and demonstrate a lack of financial responsibility. Lenders consider your payment history when evaluating your loan application, as it reflects your ability to meet your financial obligations. A pattern of delinquent accounts can raise red flags and make lenders hesitant to approve your mortgage application.

To maintain a healthy credit profile and increase your chances of loan approval, it’s essential to be diligent in managing your credit cards and accounts. Make timely payments, pay off balances in full whenever possible, and avoid accumulating excessive debt. It’s crucial to establish a history of responsible credit usage, which demonstrates your financial stability and reliability.

Do not spend the money you have set aside for closing.  

Most Conventional loans require at least 2 months of reserves in your account that can be verified. If you spend this money after the loan officer verify’s these funds, it can result in a delay in your loan or your loan could get denied.

These funds are also essential for covering the various expenses associated with finalizing the purchase of your home. It’s important to resist the temptation to spend these funds on other expenses, as doing so could jeopardize your ability to fulfill your financial obligations at closing.

Closing costs encompass various fees and expenses, including loan origination fees, appraisal fees, title insurance, and attorney fees, among others. These costs are typically due at the time of closing, and it’s imperative to have the necessary funds available to meet these obligations. Failing to do so may result in delays or, in extreme cases, the cancellation of the transaction.

By setting aside the funds specifically for closing costs, you’re demonstrating financial responsibility and ensuring that you can fulfill your contractual obligations. It’s crucial to maintain discipline and not touch these funds for any other purpose. While it may be tempting to use the money for other expenses or purchases, it’s important to remember that closing costs are a critical part of the home-buying process.

To safeguard your closing funds, consider keeping them in a separate account or a designated savings account specifically earmarked for closing costs. This separation will help you resist the urge to dip into these funds for other purposes and ensure they are readily available when needed.

Do not buy any new furniture, appliances, or expensive household items.

You are most likely anxious to furnish your new home but during the home loan process is not the right time! Any large purchases causing a decrease in your bank account or debt on your credit card can be very bad for your home loan, even resulting in the denial of your loan. Wait to buy new furniture after your home closes!

To maintain financial stability during the home loan process, it’s advisable to hold off on buying new furniture or expensive household items. Focus on building a solid financial foundation and ensuring a smooth loan application and approval process. Once you have successfully secured your home loan and settled into your new home, you can carefully plan and budget for any necessary purchases.

Remember, open communication with your lender and financial advisor is essential. They can provide guidance based on your specific financial situation and help you navigate any potential obstacles. By exercising financial discipline and avoiding unnecessary purchases, you’ll position yourself for long-term financial success and enjoy the process of turning your new house into a home without unnecessary financial burdens.

Do not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application. 

By being upfront and transparent about your debts and liabilities, you establish trust and credibility with your loan officer. It allows them to fully understand your financial commitments and make informed decisions regarding your loan application. This level of transparency sets the stage for a smoother and more efficient loan process, as everyone involved has a clear understanding of your financial situation from the outset.

Remember, lenders have access to various sources of information, such as credit reports and financial records, which allow them to verify the accuracy of the information provided in your application. Failure to disclose debts can be discovered during the underwriting process, leading to delays, additional inquiries, or even loan denial.

It’s essential to compile a comprehensive list of all debts and liabilities, including credit card balances, student loans, car loans, personal loans, and any other outstanding obligations. Be prepared to provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding the balances, monthly payments, and terms of each debt.

Do not originate any inquiries into your credit.

We mentioned this above. Maintaining a healthy credit score is vital when applying for a home loan. One important aspect of this is refraining from originating any inquiries into your credit during the loan process. These inquiries can have a negative impact on your credit score and potentially jeopardize your chances of loan approval.

Each time you apply for new credit, such as a credit card, auto loan, or personal loan, it triggers a hard inquiry on your credit report. Hard inquiries are visible to lenders and can cause a temporary dip in your credit score. The more inquiries you have within a short period of time, the greater the potential impact on your credit score.

When you apply for a home loan, lenders carefully evaluate your creditworthiness, including your credit score and credit history. A lower credit score resulting from multiple credit inquiries can raise concerns for lenders. It may indicate a higher risk of default or financial instability, potentially leading to less favorable loan terms or even loan denial.

To safeguard your creditworthiness during the home loan process, it is strongly advised to avoid originating any inquiries into your credit. This means refraining from applying for new credit cards, loans, or other lines of credit. Focus on maintaining the stability of your existing credit accounts and meeting your financial obligations on time.

Do not make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer.

As you progress through the home loan process, it’s crucial to exercise caution when it comes to making large deposits into your bank accounts. Any deposits that deviate from your regular financial activity should be discussed with your loan officer before taking action. Whether it’s your checking, savings, or any other financial account, seeking guidance beforehand can help you avoid potential complications and ensure a smooth loan approval process.

Lenders scrutinize your financial transactions to assess your ability to repay the loan and to prevent fraudulent activity. Large deposits that are inconsistent with your normal income and spending patterns may raise questions and trigger additional scrutiny. By consulting your loan officer before making such deposits, you can provide the necessary documentation and explanations to maintain transparency and facilitate a seamless loan approval process.

Large deposits can include various sources such as cash gifts, proceeds from the sale of assets, or funds borrowed from other accounts. These deposits may significantly impact your loan application, especially if they alter your debt-to-income ratio or raise concerns about the source of funds. It’s important to remember that lenders require a clear paper trail for all funds used in the home-buying process.

By checking with your loan officer, you gain valuable insights into the documentation requirements and necessary steps to ensure compliance with lender guidelines. Your loan officer can provide guidance on how to properly document the source of the funds and explain any potential implications these deposits may have on your loan application.

Do not change bank accounts.

Opening a new bank account or switching banks introduces several challenges. First, it disrupts the established history of your financial transactions, making it difficult for lenders to assess your financial standing accurately. It may create gaps in the two-month bank statement requirement, leading to additional requests for documentation or delays in the loan process.

Moreover, changing bank accounts can also impact your ability to demonstrate the necessary reserve funds. Lenders often require borrowers to maintain a certain amount of money in their accounts as a measure of financial security and ability to handle unexpected expenses. If you switch banks, you may need to start anew in building up the required reserve funds, potentially causing complications or raising concerns for the lender.

To ensure a smooth loan approval process, it is recommended that you avoid changing bank accounts until after your home is closed. Once the transaction is complete, you can consider making any desired changes to your banking arrangements without affecting the loan process.

Do not Co-Sign for anyone.

When you’re in the process of obtaining a home loan, it’s crucial to maintain the integrity of your credit report and preserve your creditworthiness. One action that can significantly impact your credit score is co-signing for someone else. Whether it’s a car loan, student loan, or any other type of loan, it’s important to exercise caution and refrain from co-signing until after your home purchase is finalized.

Co-signing involves taking on joint responsibility for someone else’s debt. While it may seem like a generous act, it can have far-reaching consequences for your own creditworthiness. When you co-sign for someone, that debt becomes part of your financial profile, appearing on your credit report. This has the potential to negatively affect your credit score and impact your ability to secure favorable terms for your home loan.

Furthermore, co-signing creates a financial relationship with the borrower, and any late payments or defaults on the loan can directly impact your credit. Even if you trust the person you’re co-signing for, unexpected circumstances can arise, making it challenging for them to fulfill their financial responsibilities. This puts your creditworthiness at risk and could lead to financial stress and complications during the home loan process.

You might also like: How much does it cost to buy a house?

All of these things could make a major impact when getting approved for a home loan. For recommendations on a good lender contact us! You can also call or text the Diemert Properties Group at 425-308-6641 to talk about which lenders are best for you!

Provided courtesy of The Diemert Properties Group KW North Sound. Hire a professional, positive, and proactive team of Real Estate Specialists to help you sell or buy your next home! Call or text 425-308-6641 for information on Buyer’s & Seller’s Representation Services (NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS) Serving the following locations: All of Snohomish County, Island County, King County, and Pierce County.


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