Savvy Homebuyer


Every Homebuyer Should Want to Learn

Take the first step in finding the right home loan for you.

The Mortgage Process

Applying for a home loan can feel scary. That being said, the better you understand what to expect in the mortgage process the more confident you will feel in your home purchase.

There are 6 basic steps to the mortgage approval process. Pre-approval, house hunting and writing offers, loan application, mortgage processing, underwriting and approval, and closing.

One of the biggest mistakes that first-time homebuyers make is waiting to speak with an expert about their personal situation.

Understanding the Mortgage Application

When filling out a mortgage application, homebuyers can expect to provide a range of information to lenders. The application process typically involves detailed questions about personal and financial circumstances. The application includes information such as job history, income verification, bank statements, tax returns, credit history, and details about any debts or liabilities. Being prepared with accurate and complete information can help streamline the application process and increase the chances of a successful mortgage approval.

Prepare Your Paperwork

Expect that when applying for a home loan, you will be required to provide various financial documents and information to lenders or mortgage providers. These documents help assess your financial stability and determine your eligibility for a home loan. Here are some common documents that you may need to provide:

Typical Mortgage Timelines

It is important to understand the timelines associated with getting your loan. Here’s what the mortgage timeline usually involves, keeping in mind that delays can arise from factors outside of your control:

“How much will my monthly mortgage payment be?”

Savvy Mortgage Calculator

Using an online mortgage calculator can help you estimate what your monthly loan payments will look like.

Types of Mortgage Loans

It is important to know that there are various types of home loans to choose from, each with its own features and benefits. When comparing mortgages, consider factors such as interest rates, loan terms, down payment, and closing costs. If you are curious about which loan best fits your personal situation complete our Buyer Power Approval™ and we will connect you to your personal mortgage professional to review your situation.

Conventional Loan

The conventional loan remains the most popular home loan option among home buyers. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set the lending rules for conventional loans. Homebuyers with scores as low as 620 may qualify for 3% down payment financing. 

VA Home Loan

Your military service may make you eligible for a no-down payment VA Home Loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA Loan often has lower interest rates and lower monthly payments because it does not require monthly mortgage insurance. There is no minimum credit score for the VA Loan.

FHA Loan

First-time home buyers with credit scores below 620 may find it more cost-effective to use a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). With the FHA Loan, homebuyers may qualify with only a 3.5% down payment and a 580 credit score. FHA Loan limits do apply.


The USDA Loan program is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and allows for no down payment financing to help low- to moderate-income earners buy homes in select rural areas.

How To Qualify For A Mortgage

Mortgage lenders assess four factors – down payment, credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio – to determine the amount they are willing to lend you. They view your down payment as a sign of your commitment and financial ability and your credit score shows your creditworthiness. Lenders look at your income to ensure you have enough to repay the loan. They consider your debt-to-income ratio to gauge your ability to manage monthly loan payments alongside other bills.

How long will it take to pre-qualify for a mortgage?

A mortgage pre-qualification letter can be provided on the same day if the borrower submits their application and needed documentation. This letter will give you the ability to see homes with a licensed professional.

What documents will a lender require from me to approve my home loan?

Some of the most common documents include proof of income, tax returns, bank statements, and employment verification. It’s important to have these documents ready and organized to streamline the application process and help ensure timely approval.

How does my credit score impact my ability to get a mortgage?

Your credit score plays a big role in the home loan amount that you approved. The higher your credit score, the better your chances you have of approval and securing favorable mortgage rates.

How does my employment history impact my mortgage application?

Lenders often require borrowers to show a history of consistent employment or exhibit at least two years of experience in the same field or industry.

Find the best home loan for you

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Buyer Power Approval™

Craft your custom homebuying plan!

Where are you at in the home buying process?
When do you plan to buy?
How will you use this home?
What type of home are you looking for?
Have you owned a home in the last 3 years?
Where are you looking to buy?
Do you already have a real estate agent?
Partner with an expert local Savvy Homebuyer® Real Estate Partner Agent and get a home loan with our Savvy Mortgage Partner. Would you like to be considered for this program?
Want to save additional money on your closing costs?
Great! Let’s add your agent's info to keep them up to date. We can update your agent up to date on key milestones like your appraisal status and closing to make the process run more smoothly. We won’t ever share private details like your bank statements or credit report.
Almost done... Your Buying Power Approval™ plan will include
A full overview of homebuyer grants & down payment assistance programs in your area. Credit improvement programs that may benefit you and a personalized homebuying plan.

Buyer Power Approval™

Get connected to a Savvy Homebuyer Agent
Our Savvy Homebuying agents have passed a rigorous professional vetting process to support you in your home purchase. When you use a Savvy Homebuying Agent you won’t have to worry about a rigorous interview process. We have already verified their sales record and confirmed their reviews. They are truly verified local experts.
Are you currently approved for a mortgage?
Have you ever served in the United States military?
In what state are you looking to become a homeowner?
Minimum Numbers of Bedrooms
Minimum Numbers of Bathrooms
When are you hoping to move?