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Your Mortgage, What to Expect: UnderwritingPosted by
We are now at the halfway point of the mortgage process. Underwriting.
What is mortgage underwriting?
During the mortgage underwriting stage, your application moves from the desk of the loan processor to the mortgage underwriter. The mortgage underwriter will ensure your financial profile matches your lender’s guidelines and loan criteria and he or she will ultimately make the final decision: to approve or deny your loan request.
How Underwriters Assess Risk, the “Three C’s” of underwriting:
- Capacity: Do you have the means and resources to pay off your debts? Underwriters assess your available resources by reviewing your employment history, your income, your debts and your asset statements. (Note: If you are self-employed, you may be asked to provide much more documentation of your income and work status.)
They will also review your savings, checking, 401(k), and IRA accounts to ensure you can still pay your mortgage if you lose your job or become ill. Underwriters will pay particular attention to your debt-to-income ratio; they want to make sure you have enough money to fulfill your current financial obligations, as well as take on a new mortgage.
- Credit: Do you have solid repayment and credit history? Your credit is one of the most critical factors in the loan approval process. The underwriter will review your credit score to see how you have handled past bills (like auto loans, student loans, and home equity lines of credit) and predict your ability to make the proposed mortgage payments on time and in full.
- Collateral: What is the value and type of property? The mortgage underwriter must make sure the loan amount meets the loan-to-value requirements of the product. Otherwise, in the case of a default, a lender may not be able to recover the unpaid balance of the loan. An underwriter will typically order a home appraisal which will assess the home’s current worth.
Also, the underwriter will likely review the type of property you are looking to buy, because different kinds of properties carry different risks. For example, many lenders consider an investment property a riskier investment; this is because, historically, a borrower is more likely to walk away from an investment property than their primary residence in a difficult financial situation.
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Equifax Data Breach: What should you do now?Posted by
Last week, credit-reporting bureau, Equifax, confirmed a massive cyber security incident, which potentially compromised the personal information of about 143 million U.S. consumers.That means that the chances you are affected are pretty high.
Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus,that included Social Security numbers, home addresses, credit card numbers, drivers license numbers and birth dates.
WERE YOU AFFECTED?
Even if you don’t think you’re a customer of Equifax, there’s a strong possibility they still have your data. As a credit reporting agency, Equifax gets information from credit card companies, banks, lenders, and retailers to help it determine a person’s credit score.
To find out if your data has been compromised, use the Equifax Impact Finder. There have been reports that this tool is less than accurate, so at this point, we suggest that any person with a credit history take action as if they were affected.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
- CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORTS: You can view your credit reports for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. You’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three big agencies once every 12 months. Review it closely for unauthorized accounts or any mistakes.
- FREEZE YOUR CREDIT: One of the most reliable ways to prevent someone from opening credit cards in your name is to place what’s called a “credit freeze.” A freeze stops thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in your name, but it also prevents you from opening new accounts. So, each time you apply for a credit card, mortgage or loan, you need to lift the freeze — with the PIN you got when you froze your credit — a few days beforehand. To freeze your credit, contact each of the credit bureaus using these phone numbers:
- SET A FRAUD ALERT: A fraud alert is another way to make it hard for identity thieves to open accounts in your name. When you set a fraud alert, credit card companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. That, combined with the credit freeze, is a great way to keep your credit secure. To set a fraud alert, contact just one of the credit card bureaus and ask for an initial fraud alert. Once the alert is in place, it will last 90 days. After that, you’ll have to renew it. Here are the appropriate phone numbers for the bureaus (remember, just call one):
- STAY UPDATED: Equifax has created resources to assist consumers. These include online information at www.equifaxsecurity2017.com and a call center at 866-447-7559.