Our goal here at Credible Operations, Inc., NMLS Number 1681276, referred to as “Credible” below, is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we do promote products from our partner lenders, all opinions are our own.
Finding your dream house is only one small part of the homebuying process. Unless you’re purchasing that property in all cash, you’ll also need to apply for a mortgage loan.
The entire process can be pretty daunting — there are lenders to contact, paperwork to file, and contracts to sign — but you’ll be on your way to homeownership in no time if you follow these easy steps.
Here’s how to apply for a mortgage:
- Get pre-approved
- Shop around and compare rates
- Make an offer and negotiate
- Fill out your application
- Submit your documentation
- Close on your loan
Step 1: Get pre-approved
The first step toward applying for a home purchase loan is to get pre-approved. Different companies will require different information and documents for you to get pre-approved. But for Credible’s Instant Streamlined Pre-Approval, you just need to provide some basic information, like your credit score, income, and details about the home you intend to purchase.
Step 2: Shop around and compare rates
Every lender offers different terms, so it’s a good idea to compare rates before making a decision. Comparing can ensure you find the right loan for your situation and, because mortgages are typically so large, can help you find a lower rate to save you money in interest over the life of your loan.
When shopping around for mortgage lenders, you’ll want to consider things like rates, fees, and loan products. Credible makes comparing multiple lenders quick and easy — you can see your rates from our partner lenders in the table below in three minutes.
Step 3: Make an offer and negotiate
Making an offer on the home you want to purchase is the next step — and your pre-approval letter can help you get there. Include the letter in any offers you submit and give sellers confidence in your bids.
Learn More: How to Know If You Should Buy a House
Step 4: Fill out your application
Once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’ll fill out your loan application. This will require more details about your incomes, debts, credit, employment, and other financial information.
The lender will then review your application and provide you with a loan estimate — an official form detailing all the fees and charges your lender or any third parties will charge at closing should you proceed with the loan. Use these documents to compare your offers and choose which lender to move forward with.
Step 5: Submit your documentation
If you want, you can speed up loan processing by providing some supporting documentation with your loan application. The exact paperwork you’ll need will depend on your mortgage lender, loan product, and unique financial situation, but you can generally expect to provide things like:
- Tax returns
- Bank, savings, and retirement account statements
- Details on any assets or investments
- A copy of your driver’s license
Step 6: Close on your loan
Your lender will then process your loan, and you’ll be given a closing appointment, which usually occurs at the settlement, escrow, or title company you choose to handle the closing. That’s when you’ll sign your closing paperwork, pay your closing costs and down payment, and finalize your home purchase. If you use a real estate agent, they’ll usually attend this appointment with you.
Once all your paperwork is signed, your lender will fund the loan and the settlement, escrow, or title company will transfer funds to the seller and various service providers. You can then get your keys and are free to move into the house.
Here’s how to get started today
If you’re ready to buy a house, Credible can help. Whether you’ve already been pre-approved or not, applying for a mortgage with us is quick and easy.