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The Mortgage Approval Process

By Lejla Taji

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Opportunities Credit Union is a statewide, full service, community development financial institution. We have served Vermonters in over 210 towns since 1989 by providing fair and affordable financial services that everyone needs to succeed in today's world. Opportunities Credit Union is a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency.

Affordable accounts, mortgages, small and micro business loans are available along with socially responsible investing options.

What are some important questions to ask your mortgage broker before applying?

Ask about programs they offer, current interest rate and what would be the best program for your needs.

If you could, please walk our readers through the general mortgage approval process:

The pre-approval process starts with an application. The application consist of the borrowers basic information, type of property they are trying to buy (single family, condo, multi family home, etc.), as well as income information. Also it is really important to include into your application amount you are looking to borrow together with intended down payment. The fastest way for someone to apply would be online at our web site. Our loan originators will get back to applicant within 24 hours of the application being submitted. When qualifying a borrower for a mortgage loan the originator will look at a mix of things including their credit report and scores, income and current debts. As long as borrower meets the criteria, a pre-approval letter could be issued same day.

How can clients prepare for this process

The best way for borrowers to prepare, would be to get all their financial documentation ready. Depending of program borrower will need to provide tax returns, current pay stubs, W-2's. If there are other sources of income like SSI, SSDI, child support, supporting documents showing this income will have to be provided. Insure that money that will be used for down payment or closing costs is in bank account and statement can be provided showing these funds. It is also important to clear any collections before the application process that borrower knows about and can take care off.

What are some common issues you face when it comes to approving a mortgage?

We run into a lot of credit report issues. The lowest credit score that can qualify for a mortgage would be 620. We often see many people with scores below, and we work with them and our credit counselors to build their scores back up and get them ready to become homeowners.

How long does the approval process typically take?

The pre-approval process from application to pre-approval takes less than 24 hours. The process from pre-approval to closing may take up to 30 days.

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