When you’re ready to buy a new home, one of the first things you have to do is take steps to get your financing in place. Mortgage approval is based in part on an automated underwriting process. Unless you plan to pay in cash, you need to secure a mortgage loan. It is beneficial to get a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender before you even make an offer. Having your loan pre-approved can show a seller you are a serious buyer with adequate funds. You can also reduce the risk of the contract falling through.
Lenders typically use one of two underwriting processes for mortgage loans: automated and manual. Understanding the basics of how these types of loan approval work can give you confidence when applying for your mortgage. Read the rest of this entry »
Desktop Underwriter is Fannie Mae’s computer-generated loan underwriting tool. Using completed loan application information, an automated underwriting systems retrieves relevant data, such as a borrower’s credit history, and arrives at a logic-based loan decision. In addition to the time savings, automated underwriting is preferred because it is based on algorithms, eliminating human bias. Freddie Mac maintains and markets a large automated underwriting engine known as Loan Prospector.
The latest version of Fannie Mae’s Desktop Underwriting System is being modified to only accept and approve loans that have a DTI (Debt-To-Income ratio) of 45% or less, with exceptions to 50% for borrowers with strong compensating factors. Assets are definitely a strong compensating factor.
FHA financing may allow for higher debt ratios. However, with HUD’s required capitalization ratio falling dangerously close to the industry minimum, they will likely follow suit.
The bottom line is to make sure homebuyers and Realtors are working with competent lenders who are versed in changes like these prior to shopping for a home.