Before you start the mortgage approval process, there are few simple steps you can take to make the underwriting process a bit quicker for you. These tips will help get you and your loan officer organized and hopefully creates a seamless experience for you both. Have your paperwork ready You will need several different documents to get your mortgage process started. You can use the same paperwork to get a mortgage preapproval as well. Different lenders may require different paperwork, but most require paycheck stubs, W-2s, bank, investment, and tax documents. Check your credit reports One of the most essential parts of the process is credit for mortgage approval. Knowing your credit score can help give you more realistic view of what you are going to be able to afford. You can use your credit score to plug into MortgageBite’s mortgage calculator and it will help you estimate your mortgage principal and your monthly payments. Credit Karma will give you two credit scores for free, but the most commonly used credit score checked is your FICO score. You can request a free credit report once a year, but will need to pay for the report after the first request. Use a mortgage calculator Mortgage calculators are great tools that can help you better understand how your mortgage will work. MortgageBite’s calculator will give you a preview of what you will be able to afford and shows offers you can choose from. Mortgages take into consideration your credit scores, the amount of the down payment, the interest rate you are aiming for, and the mortgage term. They will estimate your monthly payments for you and help you develop a budget for your new home. It can help you determine if you will get approval for a mortgage or if you need to make some changes before applying. Research the current rates MortgageBite offers a unique set of tools to give you the best rates for your personal financial situation. You can use the mortgage payment calculator and then MortgageBite will find the lenders that offer mortgages that will best fit you and your needs. Staying up-to-date on the current rates will help you determine when the best time to by a home. Look for special programs There are special programs available for those who qualify that help with down payments and other aspects of mortgages. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has a great list of programs designed to make the mortgage approval process faster and easier. They provide a list of programs organized by each state. Take some time to see if you qualify for any of the programs offered in your state and you could decrease the amount of money you are spending upfront. We have listed just a few programs for you to take a look at, but take a look at our Special Mortgage Programs blog for more information. American Dream Down Payment Assistant Initiative – This initiative assists low-to-mid-income families and families of those in uniform like police officers, firefighters, sanitation and maintenance workers, and even teachers in participating states with their down payments so they can achieve homeownership. Zero Down Payment Act – This act is designed to help first-time homebuyers purchase a home. It assists credit-worthy, but cash-poor working individuals and families purchase a home. Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) program – These mortgages credits families home energy efficiency in the mortgage itself. It helps the families qualify for a larger loan amount and a better, more energy-efficient home. Good Neighbor Next Door Program – This program gives a discount of 50% from the list price of homes to law enforcement, pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, firefighters, and EMTs that contribute to their community revitalization. The families must commit to live in their property for 36 months as their sole residence.