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So you have done your homework and checked your credit score, fixed any problems and saved some money for a down payment. You are now ready to start mortgage shopping.
Even if you have done the behind the scenes preparation, the process of obtaining financing can be a little lengthy. But there are some ways you can try and speed it up. Knowing what the lender will likely ask for and having all of the documents on hand will help keep the delays to a minimum.
Your first step when approaching your lender is to get a pre-qualification or a pre-approval. This will help you to determine what price range you will be house shopping in. This first step requires the least amount of paper work. In some cases the lender will ask you a few questions and based on your answers will give you a maximum amount you could qualify for. In most cases however, they will want some proof: a recent paycheck stub, a copy of your most recent bank statement or a copy of your most recent tax return will be necessary and you should have these on hand.
Once you have found the house of your dreams and offer has been accepted, your lender will require heaps of additional paperwork to actually put your loan through. In preparation for this you should gather your last three months of bank statements, three months of paycheck stubs and, if you are using it to qualify, the last year of investment money returns. If you have a scanner available the easiest method is to scan all of your documents into your computer so you can readily email the documents to your lender. If not, a good old fashioned copy machine and drive to your lender’s office will also work.
Knowing what your lender will need from you and having it on hand will help to cut the time needed to close on you first home.