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Securing a mortgage can be a tricky process. Between getting your finances in order and learning the lingo (APR, debt-to-income ratio, and LTV are just a few of the fun new terms), many people can be left feeling like their head is spinning. Add an out-of-state move to the mix, and things can become downright complicated. Ahead, loan originator Carrie Casey with Appli Home Loans shares what you need to avoid when your hunt for a new home is taking you out of state.
Failing to Clear the Move with Your Boss
Having the ability to repay your mortgage is a major part of your loan approval, which is why Casey says you need to ensure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row with work before you make your move.
“If you are a remote employee and are staying with your same employer in your location and purchasing a home, you will need a letter from your employer that you will be able to continue your remote job in your new location,” she explains, adding that some employers require their remote employees to remain within the state.
Altering Your Existing Debt Profile
Another potential pitfall Casey says you need to avoid has to do with changing your existing debts. “Hold off until buying a new vehicle or selling a vehicle (selling will close that line of credit and impact your credit score negatively at least for the next month or two), avoid switching banks, don’t spend all your money you’ve set aside for your down payment and closing costs, and please don’t lie about having a job in the new location,” she continues. “We always verify!”
Trying to Hide Recent Spending
Casey knows that things can come up, which is why she says it’s important to keep an open line of communication with your lender. “If you’ve bought anything on your credit cards outside of the ordinary usage, let your lender know right away so they can determine if there’s an issue,” she says. “I once had a client book a trip to Thailand during the process and it dropped her credit score 30 points and caused her mortgage insurance rate to increase about $80 per month.”
Fortunately that borrower had a credit score in the 800s, which allowed her to take the hit to her credit. But not everyone will be that lucky. “If credit had been in the 600s it could’ve been a lot worse and it could knock someone out of qualifying.”
Putting Your Moving Expenses on Plastic
Long-distance moves can wreak havoc on your budget, as they tend to be more expensive than local ones. Some people may be tempted to put those initial fees and charges on their credit cards to help offset the costs, but Casey says that can spell trouble for your application — even if you plan to pay them off right away.
“The charges affect your credit immediately, but the credit bureaus can take a month to reflect after paying the credit cards back down,” she explains. “If there is a major credit issue while under contract on a home, there is something called a ‘rapid rescore.’ It involves following a set of instructions to get credit back in line by paying down specific lines of credit, but it can be costly and difficult to do if you don’t have the funds.”
If you have the funds in your bank account, Casey says that she recommends going that route rather than putting anything on credit. And when in doubt, talk it out! Your lender should be able to answer any questions you may have, so give them a call before making any changes before your loan closes.