Find a Mortgage Lender
Joy Moran, WA Licensed Broker
Before you are ready to buy a home, before you even start looking, unless you are paying cash you should START by speaking with a Mortgage Loan Officer at your bank or credit union, or a local Mortgage Banker.
Its a good idea to use a local lender. Why?
First, when you submit an offer with a pre-approval letter from a trusted local lender, it lets the seller know that you are actually a serious buyer. Online mortgage companies may input your numbers into their software and give you a figure, but unless they actually view your documentation, its not genuine.
Also, when it comes down to closing, there should be good communication between you, your REALTOR®, your lender, and your escrow officer. Without that circle of communication, getting the transaction to close on time can be dicey.
Getting Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage
Your loan officer or mortgage lender will ask you for some basic financial information, and check your FICO scores. With this information, they will determine your price range. You can find out about rates, APR, locks, and which loan programs will work to your benefit.
Multiple hits on your credit report caused by shopping around for a loan used to lower your scores, but Fair-Isaac has a new policy that ignores multiple inquiries for mortgage or auto loans.
Your FICO Credit Scores
Your mortgage professional will show you anything on your credit report that is negatively affecting your ability to qualify for a mortgage. If there are errors on the report, you can dispute them in writing. If you have a lot of credit card debt, your mortgage professional will explain how to proceed– which accounts to pay down first, in order to improve your score. You may need to set a budget and start saving up cash for a down payment, closing costs, or reserves. This discussion will help you set a price range and a timeline for your home purchase.
Once you have your mortgage all lined up, its time to start shopping for a home!