What to Expect When Applying for a Mortgage Loan

Ready to buy a home? First, you'll need to get approved for a mortgage loan. Here's what you need to know about applying for a mortgage loan.

Approved mortgage loan application with house key and rubber stamp.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You've decided on your dream home and the type of mortgage you’re seeking, now you're ready for the next step: applying for a mortgage loan. However, before you can submit a loan application, there's a good bit of preparation to be done. 

Before applying for a mortgage loan, it’s helpful to start by gathering the appropriate paperwork (personal information, federal tax returns, bank statements, etc.). You’ll also want to check your credit report, and depending on where it ranks, raise your credit score. Raising your credit score can lower your mortgage rate significantly, savings you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. From there, you can research and compare several different lenders to look for the best mortgage rates available to you, and then get preapproved to borrow at a specific loan amount.  

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Erin Bendig
Personal Finance Writer

Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.