Tips for Qualifying for Your New Northern Virginia Mortgage


Buying a new home is one of life’s most exciting milestones, but can be a daunting experience for many potential home owners.  The best way to avoid any potential pitfalls is to make sure you are as prepared for the process as possible.  One of the most important steps in buying a new home is to qualify for a mortgage.  Here are some great tips to help you get the mortgage you need so that you can move into your dream home.

Know Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

If you want to qualify for a mortgage, you will need a debt-to-income ratio of 28/36.  This number can vary somewhat depending on how much of a down payment you have as well as the type of loan you are applying for.  The first number, 28, represents the highest percentage of your total monthly income that can go toward housing.  The second number, 36, represents the highest percentage of your monthly income that can be used for your total monthly debt, which includes your mortgage payment.  Debt can include car loans, student loans, and credit card debt.

It is important to know this ratio so that you are only taking on a mortgage debt that you can actually afford.  Your lender will help you understand what you can afford, but be sure to keep in mind any other regular expenses that are not figured into the ratio, including food or hobbies.

Important Factors for Your Mortgage Application

Lenders will be looking at your employment and credit histories to determine how likely you are to pay back your loan.  Stability is important, so lenders will be on the lookout for any late payments in your history.  Stability is also important, so the longer you are with the same employer the better.  Lenders generally look back the past two years.  If your employment history does not demonstrate that type of stability, don’t worry.  It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t qualify for a mortgage, you’ll likely just end up paying a higher interest rate.

Documents You’ll Need for Mortgage Application

Applying for a mortgage is an intensive process, and the more information you can have assembled before you being the application process, the better off you will be.  There are several documents you’ll need for your mortgage application, which include (but are not limited to):

  • Evidence of money for closing costs (bank statements, etc)
  • Completed sales contract signed by buyers and sellers
  • Social Security numbers for all applicants
  • Addresses for the past two years
  • Employment history for the past two years
  • W-2 forms for the past two years
  • Most recent pay stubs showing year-to-date earnings
  • All information for other loans and lines of credit
  • All information for checking and savings accounts, stocks and bonds
  • Last three statements for deposit accounts, stocks and bonds
  • Copies of court records and receipts of payments for child support and/or alimony

By being prepared for the mortgage application process and following the tips outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to moving into your new home!


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