What to Do When Your Loan is Declined

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Loans are declined, or actually, the next thing to it, all the time. It is pretty rare for a loan to be outright rejected; I do not recall ever having had a loan outright rejected. That's a sign of a loan officer who wasn't paying attention to guidelines when the loan was submitted. What happens is that the underwriter puts conditions on it which cannot realistically be met. Documentation for more income than you make is probably the classic example of this. What usually causes this is that the underwriter finds a debt that didn't show up on the credit report and that you didn't tell your loan officer about, and so a loan with a marginal but acceptable Debt to Income Ratio became unacceptable. Or the appraisal comes in low, raising the cost or lowering the cash out due to a higher Loan to Value Ratio than the loan was priced for. Sometimes there is something that can be done about it; sometimes there isn't. If your loan officer can't think of anything to do about it, he'll tell you the loan was rejected. Sometimes they'll tell you that the quote that got you to sign up was rejected, also, but they have this other loan over here "that isn't much more expensive" that you do qualify for. Telling you that a loan was rejected is one of the best ways there is for a loan officer to do bait and switch.

Unfortunately, there really isn't anything you can do to verify that your loan was rejected, as opposed to bait and switched, or just couldn't meet underwriting guidelines. (Whether it had any chance of meeting underwriting guidelines is a subject for many more essays).

The first thing to do is realize that the fact you cannot meet guidelines for the loan that got you to sign up means that it is time to start shopping around again. That loan that got you to sign up does not exist as far as you are concerned. It's not like they are suddenly going to discover that the guidelines allow 5% higher debt to income ratio. If your loan officer is not a complete bozo, they will have gone over alternatives with the underwriter before telling you about the difficulty. If there's something they can do with a little bit more paperwork or a little more income, they're going to ask you if maybe you have the paperwork, or if you make $500 per year in some other fashion. A good loan officer told you about the loan because he believed you would qualify, but you don't. A bad loan officer told you about the loan because he thought he could use it to get you to sign up, and then pull a switcheroo on you once he had the originals of all your paperwork and control of the appraisal that you've already paid for. There really is no good way to tell for sure. In either case, you are back to square one - shopping your loan. I would also think twice about staying with the same loan provider. He's told you about one loan he couldn't do to get you to sign up. Why not two? At a minimum, I'd want a good back up loan.

So being told you don't qualify for the loan you thought you were going to get is always a sign that you need to start shopping your loan around again. That's why you don't ever give a loan officer your originals of anything. Even if somebody brings me an original, a copy is just fine and I can hand the original back. The only paperwork I need the originals of is the loan paperwork - the application I fill out and have you sign, and the disclosures associated with it.

Now I mentioned the appraisal, and you need to be careful here too, so that you don't end up paying for two appraisals. Now every time I write something about controlling the appraisal, some appraisers who want you to pay for two appraisals come on to the site and start defending their interests (i.e. $ in their pocket). Well, a good loan provider who fully intends to deliver the loan he talks about has no problem promising in writing to release the appraisal if he can't do the exact loan he talked about. Once the appraisal is released, it only costs a re-typing fee (about $100), not a whole new appraisal fee, to take your loan somewhere else. Without a release, you have to pay for a whole new appraisal - so you're out the money for two appraisals. But don't choose an loan provider because they will front money for an appraisal. I've dealt with Loan Providers Who Will Pay For Your Appraisal before. One way or another, you are paying for that appraisal. Not only are you paying for that appraisal, you are paying for the appraisal of everyone who canceled their loan, too, and a good margin on top of that.

Caveat Emptor


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This page contains a single entry by Dan Melson published on June 26, 2008 7:00 AM.

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