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ACU Blog  / Home Loans: What You Need to Know to Get Approved [10 Item Checklist]
12 November 2020 / 2 minute read

Home Loans: What You Need to Know to Get Approved [10 Item Checklist]

If you want to know how to get approved for a home loan, you've come to the right place. 48% of Americans doubt that they could qualify for mortgages.
home loan contract hand shake

If you want to know how to get approved for a home loan, you've come to the right place. Nearly 48 percent of Americans doubt that they could qualify for mortgages. Nonetheless, lenders approve about seven out of 10 people who apply. Follow these steps if you'd like to join them:

1. Save up some money for a down payment on your home loan.

Most people need at least five percent of a home's price, according to The Motley Fool. A 20 percent down payment will substantially reduce the loan's overall cost. Certain government programs can help, especially if you've served in the military.

2. Request a free credit report and carefully review it.

This will help you identify ways to boost your credit score and the likelihood of approval. For example, you may discover harmful errors that you should report to a credit bureau. Make sure you clean up your credit several months prior to beginning your home loan application to give the errors time to be removed from your credit report. You can request your free report from AnnualCreditReport.com.

3. Consider paying off some accounts before you apply for a home loan.

Many lenders won't approve your application if you owe money to a collection agency. A high credit card balance can also reduce your score; try to settle at least some of these kinds of debts.

4. Assemble the papers you need to verify your income and savings, such as tax returns.

Independent contractors may need their 1099-MISC forms. If you work for an employer, you should find your W-2 forms, paycheck stubs and a document indicating when the company hired you. You will likely need two or three years of documents for any home loan application, so taking some time to find everything is a good idea.

5. Select a lender that offers desirable mortgages before you schedule any real estate showings.

Rather than just comparing numbers, remember to consider factors like customer service, convenience, flexibility and familiarity. You also may want to find a lender who is familiar with your market and can provide you a pre-approval letter so that your real estate agent and any possible sellers you work with know you mean business when you make an offer to buy a house.


6. After learning how to get approved for a home loan, ask the lender to prequalify you for a mortgage.

Staff members will make this decision by examining your financial documents and looking at a credit report. If the lender prequalifies you, it will estimate a maximum home price.

7. Look online as you search for possible new homes.

Browse real estate listings and find an appealing house that you can afford to buy, maintain, insure and cool/heat. Make a reasonable offer on the property. Sellers readily accept offers when they know that reputable lenders have prequalified buyers for mortgages.

Download Your FREE Home Buying Checklist.


8. Don’t get caught up in excitement and over-pay for your new home.

If an owner accepts the offer, the homebuying contract goes into effect and your lender can approve the purchase. This decision largely depends on the results of an appraisal. It's crucial to select a home that's truly worth more than the amount you need to borrow.

9. Be patient while home loan underwriters assess the property and your mortgage application.

This may take a few weeks. In the meantime, avoid spending considerable amounts of money on credit. Put off any plans to apply for other loans or credit cards.

10. Appraisals don’t have to be the final word on your home loan.

If the appraisal prevents a mortgage approval and the estimated value doesn't seem realistic, you can request an appraisal rebuttal. Otherwise, you're probably ready to schedule a closing and start planning to move into your new home. Congratulations!

Be sure to consider Allegiance Credit Union when seeking a lender. We simplify home loan applications, offer personal service, and don't add any hidden charges. Please use our website or dial (405)717-9919 to apply.

For time and money saving tips as you search for the right home loans and the perfect home, review our "Complete Home Buying Checklist [10 Steps to Buying a House]".

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