Before submitting a home mortgage application, it’s a good idea to do several things. Among them are build credit, save up for a down payment and set a home purchase budget. But what are the things you should not do before applying for a mortgage? Up next, we’ll take a look at five big no-no’s if you hope to be approved for a home loan.
1. Quit your job
To be pre-approved and ultimately receive final approval for a home mortgage, your lender is going to want to see steady, reliable income. If you don’t have a job, it’s going to raise red flags about your ability to make monthly mortgage payments. If you do have a job, but you just started it, some lenders might worry about you sticking with it. So, your best bet is to not only have a job but to stay in the job you’re in – at least for the foreseeable future.
2. Make a huge purchase
Debt-to-income ratio is one of the biggest pieces that lenders evaluate in the financial portfolio of prospective homebuyers. The more you’re spending relative to your net income, the higher your DTI. The less you’re spending relative to your take-home pay, the lower your DTI. So, clearly, a lower DTI makes you more attractive to a lender. A solid DTI can change literally overnight, however, if you make a huge purchase right before applying for a mortgage or at some point during the homebuying process. Thinking about buying a boat or a new car? You might want to reconsider. At least for a few months. When you move into the home of your dreams, you’ll be thankful you did.
3. Stop paying your bills on time
If you’ve ever thought about not paying your bills (or being late on payments), this is not the time to start. No mortgage lender is going to be confident you can pay off a loan worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if you aren’t making much smaller monthly payments and doing so on time. So, if you’re one who pays your bills promptly, simply keep up the good work. If you’re prone to be late on payments, now would be a great time to become more punctual.
4. Max out a credit card
Having a credit card you faithfully pay off each month is a good thing. It builds your credit, which only helps your chances of getting a mortgage loan. Where you can run into trouble, however, is if you max out your card during the mortgage process. Hitting your credit limit sends a signal that you may be falling into debt or making unnecessary purchases. And, ultimately, if you’re late on a credit card payment or only make a partial payment, it hurts your credit. A lower credit score is the last thing you want when you go to apply for a mortgage.
5. Spend carelessly
One of the worst things to do before applying for a mortgage is spending on things you don’t really need. After all, even the smallest purchases add up. Want to make the largest down payment possible? Save money every chance you get. Sure, it might not be fun in the short-term, but pinching pennies is worth it if it means getting the home you want and being able to put a significant sum down on it.
The bottom line
Still have questions about what you should not do before applying for a mortgage? We’re here to answer them – and offer any other homebuying advice you may covet. While none of the items we listed above are rocket science, avoiding them can be easier said than done. We know this. So, please contact us today. We’ll guide you through the entire homebuying process – from your mortgage application all the way to the closing table. We can’t wait to join you on this amazing journey.