Can a Mortgage Advisor Help Me After My Loan Has Been Approved?
Personal Finance Writer
Lauren Hargrave is a writer from San Diego who focuses on technology, finance, and healthcare. She worked in finance for seven years before pivoting to a career in writing, and now, instead of putting numbers into spreadsheets, she writes about them instead.
See full bio
Unless you’re buying a home with all cash, you will need to secure a mortgage loan in order to secure the purchase. If you haven’t been through the process before, or if you’re unsure about navigating some of the more complex requirements of buying a home, you may benefit from the guidance of a mortgage advisor.
Even if you’re already well into the loan underwriting process with a mortgage lender, a mortgage advisor can help you through any tricky situations that might arise with conditional approvals, closing disclosures, closing documents, and more.
What is a Mortgage Advisor?
If you’re not familiar with the term, a Mortgage Advisor is a qualified professional that provides guidance on the mortgages available to borrowers. They consider your whole financial picture, your needs, and future plans to help you find the right type of loan for your situation and lifestyle.
Mortgage Advisors also help borrowers navigate the mortgage approval process and closing process. This involves working with mortgage underwriters, the title company, and loan processors to ensure the necessary paperwork is in order, the closing documents are correct, and any outstanding issues or last-minute changes are handled so the loan can close and you can purchase your home.
Do Mortgage Advisors Differ From Mortgage Brokers?
Mortgage Advisors are not Mortgage Brokers, but there is a subtle difference between the two.
Both Mortgage Advisors and Mortgage Brokers help borrowers navigate the home mortgage process, keeping their loan on track from Loan Estimate, to pre-approval, through underwriting and conditional approval, and finally to loan closing.
Mortgage Brokers are licensed by the state to arrange first and second mortgages for borrowers. They have a fiduciary duty to act in their borrowers’ best financial interests and tend to have relationships with certain lenders from whom they will solicit loan estimates for borrowers.
This is a key distinction between Mortgage Brokers and Mortgage Advisors: While Mortgage Brokers will usually show you loan quotes from lenders with whom they have a relationship, Mortgage Advisors will discuss all of a borrower’s options, including loan quotes you receive from direct lenders.
There is also a difference in how each entity receives payment. Mortgage Advisors typically earn a flat fee regardless of which lender the borrower chooses, while Mortgage Brokers receive payment from either the borrower or lender at closing, and their fee is determined based on certain details of the loan, such as the loan amount and loan term.
Since the Mortgage Broker’s fee is wrapped up in the details of the mortgage, it might be difficult to discern which is the best financial decision for the borrower and which loan is most financially beneficial for the Mortgage Broker.
What Does the Home Mortgage Loan Process Look Like? And When Do the Mortgage Professionals Get Involved?
The home mortgage process goes like this:
1. The Borrower Determines Their Budget
This includes their down payment amount, the monthly payment they can afford, utilities and repairs they can afford to make, etc.
2. The Borrower Will Research Mortgage Rates and Lenders
Borrowers look for mortgage options and determine the loan type they want. This is when it could be beneficial to seek the help of a Mortgage Advisor, as one type of home loan could work better for you than others.
3. The Borrower Will Select a Lender and Apply for a Loan
A borrower will decide which mortgage lender they’d like to work with and complete a mortgage application to get pre-approved or prequalified for a loan. While it might be faster to ask a lender for a prequalification letter, it might be beneficial to go the extra step and get a pre-approval letter instead. But what’s the difference?
Loan prequalification is simply a letter stating that, based on the unverified information you provided the lender, they believe you will qualify for a particular type of loan. Loan pre-approval can be seen as more official because in order to issue a loan pre-approval, lenders will verify your financial information and credit scores. That means they pull your credit report and review your credit history, your payment history, as well as other financial documents like tax returns.
The terms offered on the pre-approval letter are what the borrower is likely to receive (provided nothing changes between the time the pre-approval letter was issued and the loan closed). A Mortgage Advisor can help you collect the required documentation and ensure you submit a complete package to the underwriter.
4. The Borrower Will Submit an Offer on the House
You will likely have a real estate agent who can help you through the formal process of submitting an offer and the required paperwork for that step.
5. The Borrower Will Apply for a Loan
Assuming the offer has been accepted, the borrowers will apply for a loan through a loan officer and submit all of the required financial documentation, including W-2 Forms, income tax returns, etc. to the loan underwriter.
A loan underwriter is someone whose job it is to determine if the borrower can financially afford the loan if the value of the house supports the loan. A Mortgage Advisor can help you through this process by ensuring all of the required documentation has been submitted and any questions the underwriter has are answered satisfactorily.
6. Third Party Reports are Issued
Depending on where you live and the type of contract you have, the property inspection and any other inspections that are required by either the buyer or lender will take place during this time. This will likely involve a home appraisal, as well. You will likely need to hire an appraiser to make sure the home value is close to the actual purchase price. Heads up: There will be an appraisal fee and an inspection fee.
7. Fingers Crossed, the Loan Receives Approval
There are two forms of approval: outright loan approval or “conditional loan approval." A conditional loan approval means the underwriter still has questions about the borrower’s financial details, or the value of the home came in lower than what was needed to justify the loan amount. If borrowers are issued a conditional approval, a Mortgage Advisor can help them navigate this process and submit the additional documentation needed to satisfy the underwriter’s questions.
8. The Lender Issues a Closing Disclosure
Federal law requires lenders to issue this document three days prior to closing. It includes all the costs the borrower owes. You’ll want to go line by line and check everything from the interest rate to the closing costs to make sure they match the loan estimate the lender has issued. If there are discrepancies between the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure, a Mortgage Advisor can help you rectify those differences.
9. The lender will conduct their final financial and credit checks
They’re going to check to make sure you haven’t taken on any additional debt, that your credit score and debt to income ratio has remained the same (or gone up), and that your income hasn’t changed.
10. The Lender Will Issue Closing Loan Documents
Your Mortgage Advisor can help you in reviewing this paperwork to make sure everything is correct.
11. The Borrower Signs Closing Loan Documents and Pays Closing Costs
This is considered closing day and is a major milestone in the homebuying process.
12. The Lender Funds the Loan
You’ve gone from borrower to homeowner! Congratulations!
How can a Mortgage Advisor Help After Your Mortgage has Been Approved?
A Mortgage Advisor can be your guide when things get tricky. For instance, your Mortgage Advisor can help you craft your responses underwriters’ questions and ensure you have the proper documentation (and any additional document requests that may come up) to satisfy their conditions.
After your loan has been approved, a Mortgage Advisor can help you review your closing disclosure and compare it to your Loan Estimate to make sure there aren’t any discrepancies that need addressing. And if there are discrepancies that need addressing, your Mortgage Advisor can help you through that process too.
The Bottom Line
Mortgage Advisors are the experts in the home mortgage process and they are there to guide you through it so that everything goes smoothly and you can close on your loan and purchase your home. They work for you.