So you’re broker hands you the application form and says “hey fill this out, and sign it”. Well before you do, here are 4 things to check:
1) Check that it’s already filled in!
Yep, If you don’t see those numbers and figures and boxes filled in on your form then something’s going wrong.
Well, filling out the mortgage application form is actually your mortgage brokers job.
I remember my first mortgage application form, not only was I confused by all the questions they were asking, I wasn’t sure what information the mortgage company actually needed.
Giving too much information, as I later learned, can sometimes be a bad thing. You want to give the finance company only what they need.[pullquote]Your mortgage broker should be filling out your mortgage application form for you and you should just be signing it.[/pullquote]
If your broker is charging you a fee for getting a mortgage (and most good ones do), then make them do the hard work for you. That fee should include filling out the mortgage application form for you.
2) Make sure you give them only what they need
We already mentioned that too much information can be a bad thing, so when filling out the mortgage application form, don’t give more than you need to.
If there’s a small box give them a small answer. If there’s a big box then maybe you should give them a big answer. Make sure your broker, even if he isn’t filling out the application form for you, is advising you on how to fill it out.
Too much is bad, and so too, is too little.
3) Make sure you check that all the information you’re giving is truthful
I guess this goes without saying, but it’s very very important to be truthful. You don’t want to be lying on a mortgage application form. In most parts of the world that’s fraud and it could be a criminal offence.
Even if your broker says “It’s OK, everyone lies”, don’t do it. What can seem like a small lie just to get a mortgage can end up costing you dearly in the long term.
4) Make sure you’re going to get the mortgage
This may seem strange, but there is absolutely no point signing a mortgage application form if you’re not sure you’re going to be approved.
This is where your mortgage broker really comes in.
Filling out the form should just be a formality. Your broker should have already spoken directly with the mortgage underwriters (Those are the people who decide to give the mortgage or not). He should have made sure that the mortgage is going to come through. Providing, of course, all the data you provided checks out.
You see, good brokers have direct contacts with underwriters, if they don’t, then maybe it’s time to find a new broker.
In some parts of the world, your broker can help you get what’s called a “pre-approval”. It is what it sounds like. it’s where the bank says “providing everything you tell checks out, we’ll give you the mortgage” and it can be pretty useful (especially when negotiating).
So before you sign the application form your broker must have the mortgage agreed already and filling out and signing that form is just a formality.[pullquote ]So before you sign the application form your broker must have the mortgage agreed already and filling out and signing that form is just a formality.[/pullquote]
Of course, having a good broker is important. It can make the difference between success and failure. So, in future episodes, we’ll talk about how do you actually find a good mortgage broker.