If you’re like many, you’re probably working from home these days. All so-called “non-essential” employees have been asked to stay home and work remotely. For some, this takes some getting used to. There are no other employees around, no office chatter and the communication between coworkers is done either by phone or via online meetings. The home loan process has shifted to becoming an online mortgage business too, but with personalized service.
Online Mortgage Services: Personalized
As for me, I can essentially work from anywhere as long as I can get an online connection. If you want to get preapproved for a mortgage, there’s no need to wait at all. You can do that right now and if you want to refinance you can do that, too. Almost every piece of the mortgage approval process is completed online, and you might be surprised at how much we do with an internet connection. First, we can talk on the phone about your mortgage requirements and we can also do a video conference, it’s completely up to you. When you’re ready to apply for a new mortgage, you can do that at my website, or we can complete the application together over the phone or conference. Once you hit the ‘submit’ button, the wheels really begin to turn.
Online Mortgage Approval Process
First, I’ll review the application to make sure it’s complete and all the information needed in order to obtain a preapproval is present. If there are some items that are missing or need clarification, a quick phone call will fix that. You will also give us permission to pull your credit report. You do this online at my site as part of the application process. In turn, we use that information to submit a request for a credit report along with credit scores. This credit request automatically pulls a credit report and scores from each of the three main credit repositories. Getting credit information really only takes a matter of moments.
After credit is received and reviewed, it’s time to submit the loan file to an automated underwriting system, or AUS. This digital transmission returns to us an initial “approval” along with a list of things needed to complete the final approval. This too happens extremely quickly and provides us with a clear paper trail and electronic documentation of the loan’s progress. If there are some additional items needed, we will contact you. Most every AUS decision contains additional items that may be needed but these are often “boilerplate” and appear on most all decisions. Typically, these items mean little more than updating the file as all credit documents included in the final file need to be no older than 30 days.
If for example, there is a paycheck stub provided that is more than 30 days old, we’ll ask for an updated one. You, in turn, will get a copy of your paycheck stub, scan it or otherwise provide us with a digital version. We will also order all third party documents electronically. Title insurance and homeowner’s insurance are examples of this third party paperwork.
In the online mortgage world, everything can be ordered and electronically. But this is nothing new for us, both for online mortgages and offline mortgages. It’s how home mortgages have been processed and approved and sent to your settlement agent for closing. There’s no learning curve for us. Some consumers however can expect some changes as lenders adjust their lending guidelines to match current and expected economic conditions. Some lenders have made it more difficult to obtain financing by increasing credit score requirements and minimum down payments. But as a mortgage broker, we’re able to find multiple sources of financing and not locked into one set of approval guidelines like you might find at a bank.
Yes, we’re certainly in a different world right now and no one is completely certain when we’ll be “back to normal” but as the mortgage industry turns into online mortgage services, there really has been very little change in the application and approval process. We’re still here and approving loans daily.