What To Expect At Your Initial Meeting With A Mortgage Lender

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge into homeownership, and you’ve scheduled a meeting with a mortgage lender you trust. Naturally, you want to be prepared to provide a host of financial information, including your income, personal debts and savings. However, you’ll be asked a few questions that may take you by surprise. Although the following questions are personal – even intrusive – in nature, they represent important parts of your mortgage loan application and should be answered to the best of your ability.

What is your ethnicity?

Although you aren’t required to answer this question, most lenders will ask anyway. This is because the federal government tracks patterns of discrimination in lending. Answering the question may help prevent unfair practices in the future.

What is your marital status?

Sure, you probably aren’t used to bringing up your divorce the first time you meet someone, but a lender asks this question because it can be pertinent to your financial standing. For example, if you’re paying out or receiving alimony from a former spouse, it may affect the value of the mortgage loan for which you qualify.

How old are you?

This taboo question in social circles comes with good reason when you’re applying for a mortgage. Your credit report will be pulled to determine your loan risk, and knowing your age, birthdate and name is the best way to ensure the lender pulls your credit report, rather than someone else’s.

Have you been involved in a recent lawsuit?

Lenders ask this question in order to protect themselves. If you’re a plaintiff or defendant in a court proceeding, there is the possibility of monetary loss associated with the judge’s ruling. Lenders’ chief concern is that you won’t default on payments, which gets trickier when you’re paying court settlements.

Are you a parent?

Lenders are prohibited from discriminating amongst mortgage loan applicants in any way, but knowing whether you have children – including their ages – helps lenders know if you qualify for special programs, such as the 100% USDA Home Loan.

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