Hey, home shoppers! Have you just been pre-approved for a mortgage?
Isn’t it exciting to be shopping for a new home?! You may be imagining how you’re going to decorate it, make it yours, turn it into a happy, cozy place. Maybe you’re picking colors for the walls. Or flipping through mid-century style furniture catalogs.
This blog post is about 5 things you need to avoid after applying for a mortgage, so you don’t jeopardize your loan and your dreams of a beautiful new home.
Pre-approval isn’t the last step in getting a loan. Your lender will check your credit again before giving you the money to purchase your home. So you better not have any surprises before you close on your house.
Here is a list of things you should NOT do after your mortgage is pre-approved and your offer is accepted.
1. Don’t buy any big-ticket items.
You may have been planning to replace all appliances in the soon-to-be-yours-home. Or maybe your favorite bedroom furniture set has just gone on sale, and you want to get it while supplies last.
But don’t do it! Or you may not have a place for your shiny new appliances if the bank refuses to lend you the funds because of a change in your credit score or debt-to-income ratio.
2. Don’t quit your job or switch employers.
This might be beyond your control but if you can, try to delay any career changes until after you close on your new home. Remember how you had to send your W-2s to get pre-approved? A job change could throw a wrench into your loan approval status.
3. Don’t make large deposits or withdrawals.
Large deposits other than your normal income will need to be sourced or explained, even if you got cash for the down payment from close family or friends. Likewise, large withdrawals can raise a red flag.
4. Don’t apply for a new credit.
Applying for a new credit card or getting a car loan affects your credit score and can alter your lender’s math with respect to your loan status. Similarly, don’t pay off debt or collections. Even though it may sound counter-intuitive, your loan was pre-approved based on a particular credit profile, and you don’t want to do anything to change it. And of course, don’t co-sign any loans!
5. Don’t fall behind on your bills.
I think you probably get it by now. Basically, the idea is to keep your credit status frozen, as intact as possible from the time you got your pre-approval. So, try not to have any unpaid bills or overdrafts hit your account.
And, finally, if you’re serious about being a homeowner, cooperate with your lender and respond to their requests quickly. It’s not just good karma. It’s good post- pre-approval behavior!