One of the best ways to start the home buying process is to get Pre-Approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved before you begin your search empowers you to get ahead of the game.  Not only will you have the security of knowing the financing will be there for you when you find your home but you will also be able to know how much you can spend, set a monthly payment budget and be in a competitive position when you are ready to make an offer on a home. Many sellers will not accept an offer without a pre-approval letter from a reputable company. Here are the steps to getting pre-approved for a mortgage:

  1. Find a licensed mortgage officer.
    • We at Bayer Home Loans at EMM Loans are federally & state licensed mortgage pros that can walk you through the pre-approval process and get you properly qualified to get a full pre-approval right out the gate.
  2. Submit a full application with your mortgage officer.
    • Most companies offer seamless online applications that walk you through all the info needed to submit a mortgage application.
  3. Collect Verifying Documents
    • To get properly pre-approved for a mortgage you will need to submit verifying documents so your mortgage officer can properly calculate your income, verify your assets and identity. Beware of anyone offering to pre-approve you for a mortgage without requiring verifying documentation.
    • What will you need?
      • Income Verification
        • If you are an employee of a company paid and get a W2 at the end of the year you will generally need:
          • The last 30 days of paystubs –  If paid weekly than you will need the last 4, if paid bi-weekly or bi-monthly than you will need the last 2
          • The last 2 year’s W2 forms from your employer
        • If you are Self-Employed or a sub-contractor receiving a 1099 at the end of the year you will generally need
          • Your last 2 years of business & personal tax returns. This can be your 1040, Schedule C, Schedule K and/or corporate filing if applicable
      • Asset Verification
        •  For any assets you will plan to use for down payment and closing costs for the purchase of your home you will be asked to provide the last 2 months of bank statements.
          • For Checking or Savings accounts you can either download them from your bank online or call and request a PDF of the statements emailed to you.
          • For Retirement funds such as IRA’s, 401Ks or other retirement funds you can login to your account online to download you most recent statements of call your provider to request copies of your statements in PDF form
      • Identity Verification
        • This one is pretty straight forward.
          • If you are a US Citizen you will provide a copy of your license or passport and Social Security card.
          • If you are a permanent resident you will be asked to provide a copy of your green card in addition to the items above.
          • If you are a foreign national you can provide a government issued ID such as a passport from your country of origin
  4. Submitting your Documents
    • To ensure you do not have any unnecessary delays in processing your mortgage loan follow these simple steps in submitting your documents:
      • Get PDF files of your documents whenever possible. This is the format mortgage companies use to underwrite your loan. If you provide documents in PDF form you are ahead of the game and can avoid having to send multiple copies over the course of your loan process.
      • When PDF copies are not available you can take photos of your documents and turn them into PDFs with a mobile application that you can download to your phone.
      • You can also send photos of your documents to your mortgage company. Here are a few tips to assist you in taking acceptable photos of your documents:
        • Center your document to be sure no edges are cut off in the photo
        • Use an area with good lighting
        • Make sure your photo is properly focused and the text on the document can be easily read.
        • Double check the clarity of your photo by zooming in prior to sending them to ensure the text is not blurry when you zoom in on it.
    • Now that you have a good set of the necessary documents  Here are the best ways to submit them to your mortgage officer:
      • Upload to the application portal – Most companies have the ability to upload documents on their website using the same platform and login you used to submit your application
      • Email them as attachments to your mortgage officer
  5. Determine a Home Loan Type
    • At this point your mortgage officer will have enough information to tell you which type of loan would be best for you. There are many types available including Conventional & Government Insured loans such as FHA, VA & USDA. Your mortgage officer will walk you through your options and advise on which loan is the best fit for your goals.
  6. Set a Budget & Purchase Price Range
    • Your loan officer will now be able to tell you the maximum amount you can qualify for a purchase price of a home or investment property
    • It is wise to consider a monthly payment goal. Just because you can qualify for a high amount does not mean that you will be comfortable with the payment on a monthly basis.
    • Your loan officer will consult with you to give you estimated payment amounts to assist you in coming up with a purchase price range. (Link = Why is my payment estimated? = What does a monthly mortgage payment consist of?)
  7. Congratulations! You did it!! You are now Pre-Approved for a mortgage.
    • Now that you have a handle on how much you can/ want to spend based on what you qualify for you can go shop for a home!

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