A few conversations this week brings today’s post. In a few completely different conversations with originators from different parts of the country, a parallel appeared and it was important enough for me to share. In two of these conversations, prospective new applicants came to the table with “Pre-approvals” from lenders they had talked with. They were asked questions and quickly given letters. In both cases the agent they were working with didn’t trust the letters and asked them to speak to my clients. In both cases, these people were not qualified for anywhere near the loan size they were “approved” for, and one of those didn’t meet the program guidelines for the program at all.
In a different case than above, a new client came into the process of being pre-approved thinking her good credit automatically qualified her for any size mortgage she wanted. While it was true that both her and her husband had very good to excellent credit, more than a third of their gross income was tied to the two new cars they recently purchased. Their credit allowed them to buy very nice cars, but now those payments restricted their ability to buy a home. The client was absolutely beside herself when told she couldn’t get anywhere near the loan she wanted because of her car payments. She just thought her credit was “good enough” to get a mortgage. Her credit was good enough; it was her income and the two car loans that were the challenge!
Many people lack the facts needed to navigate the entire mortgage process. In my opinion; many of today’s home buying public have a real challenge with financial literacy. They don’t fully understand how all of the structural components come together to buy a home. Great credit to buy a car is NOT the same as the credit to buy a house. That also holds true for credit cards and credit lines. In fact, many of those things are pretty easy to obtain and certainly are not as restrictive as getting a mortgage!
As professionals we need to set expectations and do a complete job upfront with any new prospect. We also need to educate our referral partners and share information through social media so it can be found! Being a trusted advisor and a local professional really matter. Maybe now more than ever before!
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