Home buyers may face an unexpected delay or cancellation of their loan if subsequent financial activity raises any red flags for lenders, especially since Fannie Mae now requires a borrower’s credit to be rechecked right before closing a mortgage.
Making sense of the story
- Borrowers are advised to keep their credit picture in the clear by refraining from any purchases that may be seen as a liability from the lender’s view. For example, the sudden addition of a $3,000 balance to a new credit card account for an item you’re planning to enjoy in your new home may cause the lender to send back the loan to underwriting in order for the calculations to be redone, which could result in a higher interest rate.
- If in doubt, borrowers are advised to check with their loan officer before accruing any new debt so that the purchase of a new home is not jeopardized.
- Fannie Mae allows the maximum debt-to-income ratio to be 45 percent (meaning that a maximum 45 percent of your gross monthly income can go to cover debt, mortgage and housing expenses).
- When only one spouse of a couple is named on a loan, credit rechecks can cause problems if the other spouse has a low credit score. When the loan is based on one spouse’s income instead of two, the lender will see a higher debt-to-income ratio.
- In addition, lenders now routinely re-verify the employment status of borrowers just before closing, which represents a standard practice being reignited after the financial crisis. If a borrower’s employer is undergoing a name change, then the lender also should be notified to avoid delays.
- The most creditworthy borrowers may not have their loan status affected by large purchases before a mortgage is closed, but those with tighter finances are advised to be more cautious.