Mortgage Underwriting Process [2020]

The mortgage underwriting process: what exactly is mortgage underwriting, who does the underwriting process, why do they need so much information, and how can you influence the mortgage underwriter? Be the captain of your own ship and steer the mortgage seas by understanding everything you need to know about the mortgage underwriting process!

This video will not only help you understand the process, but also give you tips on how to ensure your application gets approved during the mortgage underwriting process, you won't want to miss this one!

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Video Transcript

If they want four paychecks, most recent, don't send them paychecks from four months ago. These are the kind of things that we see all the time that caused loan delays. 

Today's topic is all about the underwriter. And why am I wearing this handy dandy captain's hat? Because you wanna be in control and steer your ship when it comes to mortgage lending. How do you do that? You get on the good side of the underwriter. Who is this elusive underwriter, the magician behind the curtain that you keep hearing about, but never get to talk to? That's what you're gonna learn in today's video. (whooshes) 

This is your one stop shop for anything and everything mortgage education. I am Stephanie Weeks and thank you so much for tuning in. I've dropped new videos every Tuesday and Saturday. Be sure to subscribe to the channel and hit the bell to be notified. (whooshes) I have helped thousands of customers with millions and millions and millions of dollars in mortgage financing. And my goal and my mission is to spread mortgage peace and share my 17 years of mortgage experience with you guys, the consumer, the borrowers, the people looking to get pre-approved, the people looking to buy a home, to refinance a home; and teach you all the things that you've always kinda wondered. (whooshes)

Underwriting. What is it? Well, to sum it up, it is the person that is behind the scenes to make sure that you meet all of the guidelines required to obtain the mortgage loan that you are applying for. And for the most part, this is a person who's basically just double checking your loan officer and double checking your processor to make sure that they've covered everything. And this person works very closely, along with your loan officer and your processor to see that you get through to closing. Again, what they do is they have all the rules, they have all the books, they keep them handy. If you're going FHA, they make sure that you meet those requirements. If you're going real development, they wanna make sure that you meet those requirements. If you're going conventional, same thing. And if you're going VA, same thing. These underwriters sign their name to these approvals and they are licensed, and

their job's on the line. So they need to do a good job and they need to make sure they don't miss anything. They're not trying to be difficult at all. They're just trying to make sure that you approve, based on those required guidelines. (whooshes) Why do these underwriters need so much information? Oh my gosh, I could talk about this for hours. 

So I'm gonna give you just a few simple examples, so that I don't lose you in a super long video. Let's take income as an example. FHA has different requirements when it comes to calculating income than let's say conventional. So that underwriter has to look at that file and say, "Number one, do I have all the pieces and all the data to accurately get the result," meaning in some certain instances, you might need tax returns. Maybe one year, maybe two. You might need W2's and no tax returns. You might need K1s, 1099s, paycheck stubs. You might need one stub, you might need four stubs. So they make sure first all the data is there to do the analyzation and get the calculation that's required when it comes to income. The other thing is they'll look at the insurance coverage on the property to make sure there's enough coverage that's acceptable to the required guidelines, or meets the required guidelines. Another example is every loan's different. So with some loans, you might have 10,000 in the bank, and you can spend $10,000 and nobody cares. But with other loans, you might have to have 11,000 in the bank to be able to spend 10,000 at closing. It's all based on the guidelines. These are things the underwriter's looking at to analyze the file to make sure that it's a sellable loan and that it meets the requirements. 

Going back to job or income, job history. If you needed to do your job history for the program requirement, then they're gonna make sure that your application says you've been there two years and they're gonna make sure that with your employer, that they also concur that you've been there two years. If you fill out your application, you put you've been there two years, it's really been 22 months? Boom. (claps) You're gonna get a condition and underwriting that says, "I need a previous job history, I'm missing W2's, I don't have accurate data.” That'd be one example of some more of the things that they do to make sure you meet the guidelines, and what they're doing behind the scenes on your loan to make sure that you do approve. (whooshes)

I mentioned earlier that the underwriter is like your judge and your jury. The way that I like to look at a loan file, is your loan officer is like your attorney. They're putting a package together to take you to court to make sure that you win. Winning would be getting loan approval. The underwriter would be like the judge or jury that's making the decision, based on the information provided. Here's what is so crucial. Every loan officer's different. They work different, they do different things. They put files together differently. The same exact borrower can apply with two lenders. Two different loan officers put those files together differently. Therefore, they're presented differently. Goes back to whether you're gonna win or lose at trial. Just like in trial, you can have the same data, right? The attorneys have the same data. They have to share in a process called discovery. So they have the same data. And the way that it's presented then decides who wins. Right? So picking your loan officer is important to make sure that they're diligent, they're responsible, and they're good at what they do. So they put that file together great, so when it goes before the judge and jury, they don't have a million questions,

they don't come up with a bunch of issues that have been overlooked. They're like, "Hey, this looks good. Everything's great, give me these one or two other simple items and you're good to go. Loan approved." (bright, bouncy music) (whooshes) 

To wrap up today's video, I'm coming back to my handy dandy hat. So how can you be in control? How can you be the driver of your ship, the captain of your ship, and make sure that you have a smooth and on-time closing? What can you do to convince that underwriter to give you that loan when you're not the loan officer and you don't know what you're doing? 

Here are my tips on that. Number one, the application is everything. Make sure it's complete and it's detailed. Some top tips, full legal name. Don't put a variation of your name. Put your full legal name that's gonna match your social. Job history. If you've been there 22 months, do not say you've been there two years. Give a full 24 month job history. It's gonna help out a lot. If you've got five grand in the bank when you're applying and you plan on having seven grand in the bank by the time you go to closing, you need to put five grand on the application because the underwriter's gonna go, "You listed seven, your bank account says five. This doesn't match." They're just trying to match everything up. The other thing you can do is be super forthcoming with anything and everything. Don't forget to disclose if you pay alimony or child support, those are big deals. They can cause issues. If you think your house is worth 250, don't put 275. Again, they're just validating the information you provided. If they quote you at 275 when it's really worth 250, it's a different approval, potentially different mortgage insurance, potentially different interest rates. 

So many things, so many things get affected. Don't forget that if you've co-signed on a loan, make sure you mentioned that. Make sure you put that on the loan application. And be really, really detailed with that. Those are some of the top things that can make a difference, and the other thing that you can do to steer your own ship is be very consistent in replying quickly to your loan officer. If they ask for documents, get it to them fast. If they want four paychecks, don't send them three. If they want four paychecks, most recent, don't send them paychecks from four months ago. These are the kind of things that we see all the time that cause loan delays. (whooshes) So, how do we sum it up? (bright, bouncy music) Accurate, detailed, full disclosure, full documentation. Don't send screenshots, send actual copies of documents. Send exactly what they've asked for, not a variation. That is how you remain the captain of your ship, get your loan approved, and sail smoothly through underwriting. 

My free download for you, today, and I'm gonna put the link below, is your home loan financing checklist. It's gonna help you to pay attention to provide everything that we're talking about to make sure you stay on the good side of the underwriter and help yourself have a great mortgage process. (whooshes) 

Type "peace" in all caps in the comments below if this video has helped you better understand the elusive underwriter, what you can expect, and how all of that stuff works. Love to hear from you guys. (whooshes) 

If you enjoyed this video, be sure to give me a thumbs up. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel. (dings) Share it with your friends. I really appreciate it. Don't forget to hit the bell to be notified every time I post new videos. Reminder again, that's every Tuesday and Saturday.

And let's connect. I'm at, I'm at, and my Insta is _therealstephanieweeks, and I would love to hear from you guys. I answer all the messages directly.

September 1, 2020
First-Time Home Buyers