What To Do And What To Avoid When Applying For A Mortgage

March 1, 2016
Last updated:
November 24, 2021
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When you’re preparing to apply for a mortgage to purchase a new home or refinance an existing home, there are a number of things you can do to make the application process easier.

For first time homebuyers, it’s about gaining the essential knowledge to get the application done right.

If you’re refinancing, it comes down to weighing your options and timing the rate market.

The first step is to master the essential knowledge. Then comes the application.

But it’s not over once you submit your paperwork. You still have responsibilities to take or avoid actions that can profoundly impact your mortgage loan.

You can have an effect even after the application

Regardless of what goes on your application, it’s vital for you to know what to do and not do prior to and after you complete an application. The next step is to do everything you can to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

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You can control much of this prior to even submitting an application.


• Continue to make and stay current on your rent or home loan payments
• Continue using your credit as normal and stay current on all your existing accounts
• Remain at your current job
• Check your credit to ensure there are no errors
• Think about and determine your budget and what monthly payment you are comfortable paying


• Begin any home improvement projects if you are doing a refinancing of your current mortgage
• Take long vacations during the loan process
• Apply for/open/close/max out/pay off any credit card accounts
• Make a major purchase (including car, boat, furniture, jewelry, new gym or new cell phone account)
• Consolidate your debt onto one or two credit cards
• Change bank accounts or transfer any balances from one account to another
• Borrow money from a friend or family member
• Make large deposits or transfers into an account without a documentable paper trail

Many of these actions may seem like no-brainers or things you don’t do often, but that is all the more reason to be careful. Without being mindful of these actions, you may take them for granted and cause more harm than good.

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Paying off credit card debt or installment loans is generally a good thing to do; however, we often see people try to pay things off or close down accounts in order to improve their chances of qualifying. Unfortunately, this often backfires and makes their situations worse in the eyes of a lender. Before you make any major adjustments to your financial situation make sure you speak with an experienced loan professional first to determine the impact. There are times when paying off a car loan or credit card can help you qualify, but wait until after you are working with a loan officer so they can advise you on what to pay off or how to handle your debt in the best way possible.

You can read more about how credit affects your mortgage application here.

Make sure you apply with the right company

A lot of the subtleties of the mortgage application process can be explained in even greater detail by an experienced loan professional, but it can be difficult for the average person to identify whether they are working with a company that can and will fill the knowledge gap for them.

For added perspective on what a mortgage company can do to serve your needs, read Why Choose Sammamish As Your Mortgage Company?Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage Company

Need a loan?

Will you need mortgage financing to buy a home? We offer a wide variety of mortgage programs and tools with flexible qualification criteria. We serve the entire state, as well as the broader Pacific Northwest region that includes Oregon, Colorado, and Idaho. Please contact us today with any financing-related questions you have.

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