What not to do when you're applying for a mortgage
In my many years of selling real estate, I have seen and heard about many clients who hit roadblocks with their mortgage applications. I've gathered a list of important DON'Ts that you can use to avoid making similar mistakes with your own applications. These warnings are what I give my own clients when we are working through the application process.
First rule of thumb: don't mess with your finances when you apply for a home mortgage. Any bank will want to pull your credit score, and you want to keep your credit from being pinged too many times in a certain time frame.
Here's what not to do:
New credit cards and credit lines
- Don't make a major purchase (i.e., a new car, boat, jewelry, etc.)
- Don't open new credit cards
- Don’t buy any furniture
- Don’t apply for new credit until AFTER you close on your mortgage
- Don’t take out new loans
- Don’t finance any elective medical procedures
Existing credit cards, loans, and accounts
- Don’t transfer credit card balances from one account to another
- Don’t pay charge offs without a discussion with lender first
- Don’t pay collections without a discussion with lender first
- Don’t pay off any loans or credit cards without discussing with lender
- Don’t close any credit card accounts
- Don’t max out or over charge on your credit card accounts
- Don’t consolidate your debt into 1 or 2 credit cards
Income and occupations
- Don't quit your job to change industries or start a new company
- Don't switch from a salaried job to a heavily-commissioned job
Accounts, gifts and assets
- Don’t change bank accounts
- Don't transfer large sums of money between bank accounts
- Don't forget to pay your bills -- even the ones in dispute
- Don't accept a cash gift without filing the proper "gift" paperwork
- Don't make random, undocumented deposits into your bank account
Don't put yourself in jeopardy just as you are applying for a home loan for which you have pre-qualified!
If you can avoid these common pitfalls, your mortgage financing process can run much more smoothly.