Good Behavior Matters in Mortgages

Mortgage approvals are fragile, living things and nothing's done until it's done. Good behavior matters.

Keeping that in mind, here are 8 things you should absolutely not do between the date of application and the date of funding.  I've been doing this long enough that I can say with certainty: Ignore these rules at your own peril.

Bad Mortgage Behavior, Defined

  1. Don't buy a new car or trade-up to a bigger lease
  2. Don't quit your job to change industries or start a new company
  3. Don't switch from a salaried job to a heavily-commissioned job
  4. Don't transfer large sums of money between bank accounts
  5. Don't forget to pay your bills -- even the ones in dispute
  6. Don't open new credit cards -- even if you're getting 20% off
  7. Don't accept a cash gift without filing the proper "gift" paperwork
  8. Don't make random, undocumented deposits into your bank account
  9. Custodial accounts can’t be used in the transaction or counted as your savings

Now, it may be impractical to follow every rule to the letter.  I know that.  For example, if your car lease is expiring, you have to do what you have to do.  Before renewing the lease, check with your loan officer to see if renting a car for the short-term would be a better solution.  It may prove more costly today, but it could be much, much cheaper over the next 30 years of your mortgage.

The same goes for accepting cash gifts from parents.  There's a right way and a wrong way to accept a cash gift and doing it the wrong way may preclude your ability to use the gift as a source of down payment.

Tread Carefully And Keep Your Credit Scores High

There are a bevy of "gotchas" in Mortgageland and with underwriting times getting longer, it's more likely that the average applicant will trip into one.

Following these 8 rules, though, is a good start.



Prepared by your Mortgage Representative: John J. Gerardi