A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Mortgage

Being familiar with the steps that you should take to prepare for the mortgage approval process will allow you to have the best loan option. You will also be able to better negotiate the purchase of a home as a preapproved buyer.

1. To get your credit mortgage ready, check your credit history and your credit score. The higher your credit score, the better loan terms you can get. FHA loans require a minimum credit score of 580. Conventional loans can be processed with a minimum score of 620. If you need to get your score up, work on paying down credit balances.

2. Before meeting with a lender, prepare a budget that includes a mortgage payment that you can comfortably afford. This will be easier once you figure your debt-to-income ratio, which ideally should be 43% or less.

3. Your partnering lender will help you get preapproved for a loan. The lender will review and verify all of the financial information and documents that you provide.

4. Once your creditworthiness has been determined by your lender and your loan options presented, you can choose which kind of mortgage works best for you. Conventional loans, FHA loans and VA loans will likely be what are available to you.

5. Once you are preapproved and you have an accepted offer on a home, it is time to apply for a loan for your purchase. The lender should have most of the documents needed for final approval. An appraisal verifying the purchase price will be part of the final approval.

6. The closing process now begins. The average time to finalize your loan and close on your home is 45 days.

Knowing these steps will make your loan process much easier. Please call me for an appointment so we can begin.

What to Consider in Co-Signing a Mortgage

There are several things to consider when you are asked or volunteer to co-sign a loan for a home purchase. You will want to make an informed decision, since you will be putting your creditworthiness on the line to guarantee a loan in order to help a primary borrower who can’t qualify on their own merits. Co-signing a mortgage could put you at financial risk and jeopardize your relationship with the borrower.

As a co-signer, you will assume responsibility for payment of the loan and any associated penalty fees in the event the primary signer defaults on the loan. There would be heavy consequences to your credit for not taking over payments.

The co-signer’s role is mostly that of enabling the primary borrower to qualify for the loan. It is important that the borrower be able to comfortably make the payments without the co-signer’s help. Otherwise, a more affordable home should be considered.

The primary borrower will usually seek a family member or friend to co-sign in order to add strength to the borrower’s mortgage application. A co-signer with a high credit score, good credit history and ample income to cover payments in the event the borrower defaults will be the best candidate for co-signing.

Conventional loans have less restrictive criteria than FHA loans for qualifying as a co-signer. With both types of loans, your name cannot be on the title. These conditions may influence your decision to co-sign or not. Contact me for more information on what needs to be considered when co-signing a loan.