Looking to get pre-approved for a home loan? Trying to understand the home loan pre-approval process? 

Looking to buy your first home? 

Whatever your home buying goals are, it will take a team to accomplish them! Think of your home loan process as a puzzle. There are many pieces, and they must all fit together in order to work.

As an experienced loan officer who walks homebuyers through the home loan approval process, I’ve put together countless puzzles. I know how to make the pieces fit together perfectly to create your desired picture.  

However, in order for me to put it together, I also have to participate in a scavenger hunt to find all the pieces! That's essentially what lenders and loan officers have to do. And if any piece of the puzzle is missing, or even late, then you will not get the loan you desire. 

The Devil is in the Details

If I say to a consumer,

“I need your complete tax returns, including every page and every schedule"

It's not uncommon for the client to only send in the first page of said tax return.

Why? The first page shows you all the totals.

"That's all you need, right?"


"Why do you need more?"

Lenders do not work from totals.

As lenders, we can't work from just totals. We need to analyze all of the information–all the numbers, all the lines, all the details. In other words, we need all of the puzzle pieces to work with.

So yes, that first page does show the total for W-2 income, just for an example, but it doesn't explain if it was from one job or five jobs, or if it was from one person on the return or both.

We need every page.

This is why your lender needs every

  • Form W-2 (Wage and Tax Statement)
  • Form 1099 (Miscellaneous Income)
  • Schedule K-1 for business income (if applicable)
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form and schedule

They need all the information to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Often, lenders will get pushback from borrowers who own various businesses or have spouses operating side businesses at a loss that they forget to mention. Borrowers might resist submitting their K-1 or 1099 if they don't feel it's relevant.

The problem is, if there are pieces of the puzzle that are missing, the final picture won’t be clear and the loan could fall apart.

Knowledge is Power

ASK QUESTIONS! Good loan officers want you to understand every part of the process.

But have patience! 

Please know, we might not have all the answers...yet! Until we have every single document we've requested, it's almost like we have nothing. Mortgages are complex and each piece is often dependent on the other.

As a loan officer, I am responsible for putting the puzzle together, and you as the borrower have all the pieces, so we have to work together as a team.

When you're able to give a loan officer all the pieces, they are able to see entire picture. This means, they are able to give you all of your options to make an educated decision on what works best for you and your family.

So, a loan closing smoothly comes down to teamwork between the borrower and the lender.

When choosing your loan officer, you need to find a master puzzler–someone who knows how to make the pieces fit together. And then you need to hand over the pieces so they can put them to work for you!

If you're in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida and want to know if I can help with your loan, call the The Weeks Team office at 985-300-LOAN or check out my website www.WeeksTeam.com.

June 24, 2020
First-Time Home Buyers