The sooner buyers begin preparing to become a homeowner, the better things will go. One way to ensure smooth sailing when it comes to applying for a mortgage is to understand what mortgage lenders hope to find when they look at an application. Find out more by reading below.
Credit Score – Not every lender looks for the same score but it's safe to say that the higher the score the better. Not only can a low score knock you out of a preferred interest rate, but it can also make it more difficult to be approved in the first place. If your score could use some work, don't wait to make improvements. It can take several months for changes to result in a higher score. Here is what buyers should focus on:
- Pay bills on time. Even being a day late on a credit card bill can send your score plummeting.
- Don't apply for any other credit until you are in your new home. Hard inquiries can drop your score.
- If you find mistakes in your credit history, get them corrected before you apply for a mortgage.
- If possible, pay down debts as much as you can.
Debt-to-income Ratio – Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is an important consideration for lenders. The ratio lenders want to see varies, but you can often find out the number when speaking with a lender. For example, if the lender would prefer a DTI of 34%, that means your total debt load is about 34% of your income. Often, lenders will also look at your housing ratio which involves comparing how much of your total budget your housing costs could be with the new loan.
Employment -- Your job is not only about your income but is also used to show stability. While the numbers can vary, many lenders expect borrowers to show that they have been employed for at least two years in the same job or in the same general field.
Net Worth – This is a list of the borrower's assets along with their debts. The difference between the two is the borrower's net worth. It is better to owe a lot less than you own, but many people who are not already homeowners may not fair as well with this assessment.
Cash Reserves – Buyers will need to show that they have the money for any down payments and closing costs on hand in their savings or checking account. Once you have the money, avoid making any large new purchases until your home loan is completely secured after the closing.
As you can see, lenders are looking for a variety of signs that a borrower is ready to make a big commitment. Speak to a lender today to find more. A company like Clift Enterprises Clift Mortgage has more information.