Second Credit Checks for Home Buyers: Effective Today (June 1, 2010)

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Starting June 1, Fannie Mae has a new rule going into effect which requires the lender to check for additional lines of credit, such as a new credit card or a car lease, that a borrower may have obtained that have not been reflected on the credit report over the course of the loan process. With stricter regulations mandating a further credit probe before borrowers close their mortgage, real estate experts are advising prospective home shoppers to keep their financial situation static until the deal is finalized.

In light of the new regulation, we talked to a pool of mortgage brokers, who shared tips on dodging mortgage closing debacles and streamlining the process.

Tip No. 1: Get the house before the car

Across the board, mortgage brokers say that opening new lines of credit is the easiest thing to trigger the lender’s attention, especially with the news of Fannie Mae’s mandate. For example, this means opening up a store card at Lowe’s to get a head start on buying some new appliances or paint or leasing a car to have something shiny to park in your new garage.

New credit obligations, such as as credit cards, increases a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio (the amount of debt including mortgages, car loans, student loans, credit cards versus overall income). Fannie Mae sets the maximum for the debt-to-income threshold at 45 percent of a borrower’s gross monthly income. Breaking this cap –even after pre-approval–would result in a defunct loan.

Tip No. 2: Don’t switch professions (or tax brackets)

Brokers say its not earth-shattering to change jobs in the same field, especially if you are making more money at the new place of employment, but it’s complicated when a professional is moving job classifications, for instance, from employed to self-employed, or from a salaried-position to a commission job. “Moving from an employee to a contract basis is a dagger,” says Stern, as two years of federal tax returns need to be included with a loan application. “[In this case], it could take three years to get approved for a mortgage.”

As another precaution given the nation’s high unemployment rate, Stewart says it’s becoming routine for lenders to get a verbal confirmation of a borrower’s employment status on the day of the closing.

Tip No. 3: Try not to move around big sums of money — even deposits

One broker says keeping your financial situation unchanged is not only refraining from withdrawing large sums of money, but also avoiding making big deposits of money in any of your bank accounts from pre-approval to day of closing. To qualify for a mortgage, one of the requirements is proof of all assets, including checking, savings, stocks or bonds, and if this is checked at any future point, the borrower may need to provide records of the fund’s origins.

“That’s what tight lending is these days — providing documentation,” says Jay Sondhi, a mortgage consultant in San Francisco. “What they are concerned about is that a large deposit may be borrowed money.”

Though more money in your bank account is not going to sabotage your qualifications for a loan, complying with documentation requirements and time delays may make a closing a mortgage a bigger hassle.

Tip No. 4: Monitor the balance of your credit cards

Though the credit score formula is deemed an enigma by many, the balance that’s riding on your credit cards plays
a big part in determining your credit score
. Higher scores result in borrowers being able to secure better interest rates.

With tight lending policies and stricter, more spelled-out regulations in the post-boom era, getting a mortgage has become increasingly confusing for the consumer. But keeping your finances transparent and steady will help simplify the process.

Source: Megan Mollman (AOL Real Estate)

Need to fix your Credit Score? More information here…

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3 responses to this post.

  1. I have to state, you chose your words well. The ideas you wrote on your encounters are well placed. This is an incredible blog!

    Reply

  2. Posted by roxanne lalonde-lajeunesse on July 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Let me know where and how i could get a good start in life cauz when i got heighteen i thought doing bills they would erase but that not the case. i wont do it again i want to get a nice lil house not too expensiVe and not too big like a little four and half could be okay . its a start what you think if i look for a house around 70 000

    Reply

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