What is a Mortgage Underwriter?

Nov 2, 2021 | Blog, Mortgage


A mortgage underwriter has the fate of your mortgage in his/her hands. It sounds overwhelming, but their job is simply to make sure you can afford the loan and that it’s a good investment for both you and the lender.

Underwriters aren’t anything to fear – if anything, they’re helping you with a big financial decision.

What does a Mortgage Underwriter Do?

A mortgage underwriter is the backbone of the lender’s business. The underwriter’s job is to ensure you meet all loan qualifications and that your application is 100% accurate. Mortgage underwriters have a big job. They determine whether the lender loans you the money to buy a home or not. To do this, they’ll verify:

  • You are who you say you are
  • You make as much money as you claim on your application
  • Your savings or other liquid asset accounts are worth as much as you state
  • The home you intend to buy is worth enough (appraised value = sales price)
  • The home you intend to buy doesn’t have any liens or encroachments on the title
  • Your employment is as stable as you say it is

What to Expect from the Underwriter as a Homebuyer

Homebuyers are at the mercy of mortgage underwriters, but not the way you may think. Most buyers don’t talk to the underwriter themselves. Sometimes the underwriter is even a computer since most loan programs offer an automated underwriting program.

As the buyer, you’ll work with your loan officer at EPM. Think of your loan officer as the go-between for you and the underwriter. The loan officer collects your documents at the start of the process and communicates to you any further documentation or information required per the underwriter.

The faster you provide your documents, the faster we can get your loan back into underwriting and cleared to close.

How Long Does Mortgage Underwriting Take?

How long underwriting takes depends on the complexity of your loan. A simple loan with straightforward income, employment, and assets can be underwritten in a few days. A more complex loan with self-employment, complicated income, or complicated assets may take longer.

The key is to communicate with your loan officer at EPM to ensure you turn in all necessary documents as quickly as possible. The faster you provide the information, the faster we can underwrite it.

Tips to Speed up Mortgage Underwriting

We understand the importance of getting that ‘clear to close’ as fast as possible. Here are a few key ways to speed up the process:

  • Tell the truth. Don’t stretch the truth about your income, assets, or any other qualifying factors. The underwriter will find out the truth and then it will delay the process.
  • Don’t make any credit decisions. Try to keep your credit score the same (or as close to it as possible) once we pull it. Underwriters check your credit again before you close. If you racked up debt or made other credit mistakes, it can delay the process.
  • Don’t make large deposits or withdrawals. Keep your bank accounts how we saw them when you applied for the loan. Large deposits are red flags and large withdrawals can cause you to lose your approval.

Final Thoughts

Our mortgage underwriters are compassionate, flexible, and communicate well. With the correct documentation and good communication, EPM underwriters can get you on your way to homeownership fast. Feel free to start the process today

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