In today’s reality of tougher mortgage qualification rules, it’s even more important to pay attention to the little things that can make or break your chances of qualifying for a mortgage – or hanging on to your approval all the way through to closing.
Did you know that it’s getting to be common practice for mortgage lenders and insurers to pull new credit bureaus prior to funding – particularly when there’s an extended period between the time of your approval and when your mortgage actually closes?
When in doubt, reach out to your mortgage professional and double check if the action you’re thinking of taking could possibly affect qualification or the smooth funding of your mortgage. How dreadful would it be to negatively impact your mortgage status simply because you rushed to do something that could have easily waited until after funding?
Top 5 things to avoid
Here are five key precautions to keep in mind when you’re in the market for a mortgage, as well as between your mortgage approval and closing dates:
1. Don’t buy a new car or trade up to a more expensive lease. Doing so will increase your debt ratios, which is never something you want to raise when seeking a mortgage.
2. Don’t quit your job or change jobs. Even if it’s a better-paying job, you’re still likely to be on a probationary period. Sometimes you’re able to waive the typical three-month probationary period, particularly if you’re in a senior-level position. Still, contact your mortgage professional to ensure this will not jeopardize your approval.
3. Don’t become self-employed or accept a contract position (even if it’s within the same industry). Delay the start of your new job, self-employment or contract status until after the funding date of your mortgage. Chances are, you’ll have some time to play with when looking to make such a change. Your potential employer should understand your need to keep your employment status unchanged until after your funding date.
4. Don’t miss bill payments, even ones that you’re disputing. This can be a real deal-breaker. If the lender pulls your credit bureau prior to funding and sees a collection or a delinquent account, you don’t want to have to scramble to pay off debt at the last minute, if that’s even an option!
5. Don’t buy furniture on the ‘Do not pay for XX years plan’ until after funding. Even though you don’t have to pay now, it will still be reported on your credit bureau, and will become an issue – especially if your approval ratios were tight.
But be sure to check your credit score annually! This can help prevent surprises when you’re in the market for a mortgage.
While you may not risk losing your mortgage approval because you’ve broken one of these rules, it’s always best to talk to your mortgage professional and err on the side of caution.
Have questions about things to avoid when seeking a mortgage or your mortgage in general? Answers are just a call or email away.