When I tell people that I am a Loan Officer, I have various responses as to what I do. Some people envision me like a banker, while others view me as a financial analyst crunching the numbers. While I love my job, fortunately what I do is much different than most people think. I remember the first time I met with a Loan Officer to buy a home, and I had no idea what to expect going into the meeting; in truth, it was somewhat intimidating to me. I've worked with great Loan Officers in my experience, and fortunately most are exceptional and put you at ease for what is likely the biggest purchase of your life. Here are three things to expect in the first part of the process working with a Loan Officer:
Application Review: Loan Officers have the responsibility to review your current financial situation to determine if you may be qualified for a loan. While this process sounds daunting, it comes down to weighing your income and assets against liabilities you may have - something the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calls your "Ability to Repay". Once you fill out an application we work with underwriters who review your situation as well, ultimately safeguarding against issuing a mortgage to someone who doesn't have a demonstrated ability to pay for the loan program offered. It is also our responsibility to explain loan programs to you as a borrower, doing our best for you to understand how they work.
Documentation: Once the initial application is complete and a Loan Officer has reviewed your credit history, the next step is typically to upload various documents to verify the information you submitted on the application. Depending on your employment, documents such as 2 years of W2 forms, 2 months of bank statements, self-employment income, and several other forms which your Loan Officer will advise you on. This helps to substantiate your down payment and employment history, ensuring that we offer loan programs that are best suited for you.
The process of buying a loan is incredibly exciting, and I've been in your shoes many times. I've mentioned in my guide for first-time home buyers my experience and how wonderful yet stressful it can be. Working with the right Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer can help your process go as smoothly as possible.