Prepare to Apply

Finding the right program

Finding a mortgage that’s right for you should be easy. But there are many programs to choose from and many ways to structure a loan. Different loan programs will offer benefits that appeal to borrowers at different stages of life.

Before you begin, ask yourself these important questions:

  • How long do you anticipate living in your new home?
  • Do you expect any changes over the next few years, such as expanding your family or having children go off to college or move away?
  • Do you expect any changes in income due to promotions, relocations, retirement, inheritance, or pensions?
  • Are you expecting a change in your investments?
  • Do you have a retirement plan at work and do you contribute to it?
  • Do you have other debt?

In the end, be sure you are given a complete picture of exactly how much your mortgage will cost you over the period of time you anticipate having the loan in place. This is the single most important factor you should consider when shopping for a mortgage. Not only does this data illustrate the bigger picture of your financial goals, it allows for adjustments should things change a little sooner than expected. A good time frame for this projection is anywhere from three, five or even up to seven years.

When shopping for a mortgage, you should always evaluate your choices carefully and consider how they will fit in with your long-term financial plan.

Gather documentation

To consider a loan application, all lenders need personal information to verify employment for you and your co-borrower (if there is one). Information regarding debts and assets also is required.

Expedite the paperwork process. Gather the following items:

  • Most recent paystubs for one month
  • W2s from the last two years
  • Signed copies of your last two years’ Federal tax returns, including all schedules
  • Homeowners insurance company name and number
  • Most recent asset statements for two months (checking, savings, investment, retirement)

This way you’ll be prepared once you decide which loan is right for you.