In the past, getting a mortgage meant filling out by hand a four-five page form making sure all 250+ boxes were either completed, checked or initialed. It could literally take someone a half of an hour just to get past the application stage. Today however, as with most things, it’s a bit different and much easier.
Very few loan applications are completed by hand, although some who work with a local loan officer, can schedule a face to face meeting to not only make sure the application is properly completed, but to get answers to questions immediately. Yet most lenders, both local and national, prefer the completion of an online application. The loan officer can send a link to you that will take you to their application page and you can complete the application in one sitting, or you can fill out parts of it and come back later; although today that’s rare because the online application process is much more streamlined compared to what it was years ago.
At the same time, you will also provide the lender the authorization to contact third parties to document the file such as a credit report and employment. If you don’t yet have a property picked out but just want to get preapproved, your loan officer will walk you through the process if you’d like but typically you would leave this section blank or write in the words “undecided” or “not sure.” Once the loan officer receives the application it is reviewed to see if there is any information missing and once it’s given the initial approval the loan officer will run a credit report as well as electronically submit your application to an automated underwriting system which will issue a loan decision within a matter of moments. At this stage, your loan officer will ask for any additional information needed to approve your loan and once that information is reviewed, your preapproval will be issued and it’s time to shop for a home!