How Should I Go About Shopping for a Loan?

Consider banks, savings and loan offices and loan brokers: Find out what types of loans are available and ask about interest rates and loan fees. Find out how quickly the lender can make an appraisal of the property. Prepare a form that makes a side-by-side comparison of the terms being offered to you by the various lenders, and think carefully about which loan would be the best for your circumstances.

What information will I need to give the lender when I make an application for a loan?

When you visit your lender, you will be asked to fill out a Uniform Residential Loan Application form. This is a four page document that asks you about your employment, your assets, your liabilities, and your income. It is important to be as truthful and complete as possible on this loan application form. All the information will be verified. Your employer will be called and your bank accounts will be checked. Upon receipt of your completed application, the lender will give you a copy of a government publication called “Settlement Costs: A HUD Guide”. This small pamphlet will explain the closing process and describe the various closings costs which you may incur with your loan. The lender is allowed three business days after receiving your loan application to provide you with this brochure.

What are the other documents that my lender is required to give me when I apply for a loan?

The lender is required to provide you with a “Truth In Lending ” statement which will tell you the APR, or Annual Percentage rate of the loan for which you are applying. The APR will be the percentage rate quoted to you by the lender, PLUS other closings costs, such as any points and other finance charges over the term of the loan. This form must also be given to you within three business days of your loan application. You will also receive a disclosure about Adjustable Rate Mortgages, a Good Faith Estimate of itemized closing costs, various authorization forms giving the lender permission to research your credit, contact your employer, request rental or part mortgage history, and verify all your bank deposits.

Once I have completed my loan application, what else should I take in with me to speed up the loan process?

Together with your loan application, you should take in your last two years tax returns, the last 2 or 3 month’s bank statements, current W-2 forms, any trust agreement or securities account information, and letters of explanation of any credit problems you may have had. The more information you provide the lender at the time of your application, the faster your loan will get processed.

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