Mortgage underwriter keeps asking for more documents. What should I do?
First of all – don’t panic! Waiting to hear on a mortgage can be stressful, but just because your underwriter is asking for more documents, doesn’t mean there’s necessarily a problem.
A mortgage underwriter’s job is to find out as much about you and your financial situation as possible, so your lender can be confident you’re in a good position to be able to pay back your loan. Getting the requested documents to your underwriter as soon as you can will avoid delays in the application process and help you get your mortgage decision quickly.
What exactly are they doing with all of my information?
Initially the role of an underwriter is basic fact checking – they’ll look at your credit file for any previous issues with late payments and investigate these and they’ll also check your bank statements to make sure the income and expenditure information you’ve put in your application tallies with your bank.
Underwriters will also use your bank statements to get a broader idea of your attitude to money and risk, looking for spending patterns and any potential red flags such as regular spending on gambling.
Why couldn’t they just ask for everything they needed to start with?
Ideally of course your underwriter would present you with a list of everything they need and that would be that, but life isn’t always that simple. Everyone’s financial situation is unique, and as they review the initial documentation there may well be issues or additional questions that come up that just need a little more information.
For example, perhaps your recent payslips show an abnormally high take home pay one month, but this is because of a bonus payment – the underwriter may need some documentation explaining the details of the bonus and how often it’s paid.
Another common request is to provide further explanation if you have any instances of bad credit or gaps in unemployment. Again, don’t panic, just be honest. Lenders don’t expect you to be perfect, they just want to have a clear picture.
Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?
Being responsive, honest and sharing as much as you can definitely helps. Applying for your mortgage through a specialist broker can help too, as they’ll have the experience to pre-empt many of the likely questions and queries that the underwriter will have, meaning you can be as prepared as possible and have all of your documentation ready.
The mortgage industry is highly regulated and making sure you can afford your mortgage is protection not just for lenders but for you too. Keep communications as open as possible, provide information clearly and quickly, and you’ll be doing everything you can to help the process move swiftly and smoothly.