The Importance of Pre-Qualification
Are you hunting for a new home? If you are, then getting pre-qualified should be your first step. A pre-qualification will give you an estimate of the size of mortgage loan you qualify for based on your income, assets and credit history. This helps you determine how much home you can afford, while also giving you a better understanding of loan options, your credit score and what documents you’ll need to provide during the loan process. All of these perks ensure a faster and smoother loan process.
Below, you will find a few benefits of getting pre-qualified:
Learn about loan options – While getting pre-qualified will give you an idea of how much home you can afford, it can also help you discover which loan options are available to you. For example, many homebuyers may not realize they may be eligible for local down payment assistance programs or loans with low down payment options. Utilizing a loan with a lower down payment option may allow you to repurpose extra down payment funds for repairs and improvements to transform your new home into your dream home.
Get an inside look at your credit report – Having your credit pulled during pre-qualification will allow you to review your credit report for any errors or opportunities to raise your score. Whether you are correcting an error or paying off a credit card to enhance your score, the process will take time. Addressing these items before you are under contract to purchase a home will ensure a smoother loan process and may prevent any possible delays in closing due to credit rescoring issues.
Get a head start gathering documents – Each buyer’s financial situation is different. Knowing in advance what documents are needed specific to your loan grants you extra time to collect those documents and can expedite the loan process once you have found a home. For example, you may be a military veteran in need of a DD-214, or if you’re a recent college graduate, you may need your college transcript in lieu of a two-year work history. Even if you receive gift funds, knowing how to receive and document those funds can help you avoid any potential issues during the loan process.
Expert (and free) advice – Pre-qualification also provides an invaluable service by allowing you to take advantage of your mortgage banker’s expertise at no cost and no obligation. The consultation is free and can help you evaluate how different loan types may affect your finances long term. This consultative approach is a premium benefit of using a local mortgage lender like Ameris Bank, rather than online lenders that offer little, if any, interaction with an experienced mortgage banker.
Finding a home can be a daunting experience. Your mortgage shouldn’t be. Take the first step by getting pre-qualified. Contact our mortgage bankers to get started today.
By: Marlene Sheard
Marlene is a mortgage marketing representative for Ameris Bank and previous sales and marketing president for her local Home Builders Association. She enjoys sharing her experiences for the buying, selling, and financing of homes.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.