Understanding Your Mortgage

When processing a mortgage loan, it is a good idea to have some sort of checklist in each file. This will enable you to keep track of what documents you have and those that you need to receive.  Most lenders require you to put the documents in what is known as a stacking order. The stacking order helps the loan officers and underwriters look through your file with ease. If the documents are grouped together in a certain order, the speed of your file being underwritten in a timely fashion is increased. Some lenders have their own stacking order, but most will accept a file that is organized neatly by you.

Document properly

During the mortgage process, most documents, you receive will come via fax. It is very important that you make clean, legible copies, with accurate information. Documents that cannot be read will slow or delay the loan process. It is always a good idea to have the original documents available when requested by the lender or underwriter that is going to close and fund the loan. Most processors send a copy of the file to the lender until they have gotten a clear to close, at which point you should be prepared to send the original file with original signatures of the lender.

Understanding the options

When it comes to finding the right lender for your situation, there are three main options: Go to your existing bank, do it yourself with the research and application process or to use a mortgage broker.

Contacting your existing bank

If you are getting your first loan, going to your existing bank is unlikely to be your best option. With the thousands of lending products out there, what are the chances that your bank will have the most suitable loan for your circumstances, both for rates and any additional services you might want?


It is like starting with a clean slate. You need to be a good researcher and potentially a good negotiator. Doing it yourself can be personally rewarding, like any DIY project can. If you are a fast learner and a natural researcher, this could be the option for you.  This can be a good option if interest rates are your most important consideration.

Mortgage brokers

They will, undoubtedly, save you potentially dozens of hours of time and probably money. They will teach you the basics of the various mortgage products, help make the final decision as to which lender might work best for you, then negotiate with them, help fill out their forms and conduct all of the follow-ups until the loan is approved.

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