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What to Expect During the Mortgage Process

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exchange of home keys

Process Overview

Buying or refinancing a home is easier and you can feel more confident when you know what to expect. Here's a guide to our mortgage loan process. Your VACU mortgage team will assist you throughout.

1. Getting started

Contact a mortgage loan officer directly and submit a request for to be contacted about a home purchase loan or refinance. Your loan officer is a mortgage expert who will answer all your questions and discuss options to help you find the right loan for you. They can meet with you by phone or schedule an appointment to meet with you at a branch.

2. Selecting the type of mortgage

Virginia Credit Union offers a variety of mortgage programs to fit members’ needs. Your mortgage loan officer will talk with you to learn about your individual situation and help you evaluate your options based on things such as:

  • Approximately how much you want to spend on your new home
  • How much money you have for a down payment and closing costs
  • How much you are comfortable with for your monthly payment
  • Your income and total debt 

Before you go home shopping, you should consider getting pre-qualified for a set loan amount. That way you can move quickly when you find the home you want. A pre-qualification letter is a tool that says to the seller you’re serious about your intent to buy.

3. Applying for your loan

You should apply as soon as you have made an offer that has been accepted and you have a fully executed sales contract. If you’re refinancing, you can apply for your loan any time you are ready to move forward.

To complete the application, your loan officer will gather additional information about you such as:

  • Borrower information – The basics about you
  • Income – Where you work and how much you earn
  • Assets – Source of funds for your down payment and closing costs
  • Property information – Address

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Having all the necessary information when you apply saves time and helps your loan request move more quickly. Your mortgage loan officer will let you know what documents and information are needed.

Once you have submitted your application, a loan estimate disclosure package will be sent to you containing important information and documents for you to review, sign and return to proceed with the processing of your mortgage. This includes your authorization for us to collect an application deposit that will be applied toward the cost of your loan.

You can lock your loan rate once we’ve received your signed documents, application deposit, and fully executed sales contract if a purchase. Learn more about rate locks.

Reminders: From the time you apply until after your loan closing, you should avoid doing any of the following, which could impact your mortgage request:

  • Change jobs or retire, 
  • Open any new credit accounts, or
  • Move money from one financial institution to another.

Please contact your mortgage loan officer first if you must do any of these things.

4. Loan processing

Once we have your signed documents and application deposit to proceed, we will order an appraisal and preliminary title work for the property. Guiding you through this stage of the process will be your loan processor, who will work closely with your loan officer.

Your processor will talk with you about any additional information and documents needed, complete verifications such as employment, assets and liabilities, answer questions you may have, and keep you updated on the progress of your loan.

5. Underwriting and loan decision

The loan decision involves reviewing the property, your loan application information and documentation, the amount you are requesting, and the specific loan program requirements based on your income, debts and assets. You will be notified of the decision as soon as it is available.

Once final approval is given, your loan will be prepared for closing.

6. Document preparation and loan closing

Before your loan closing appointment with a settlement agent or attorney, we will prepare and send you an initial closing disclosure for your review. This is a statement of loan terms and closing costs, which includes any funds you will be receiving or that you may need to provide for closing.

We will also prepare your loan documents and send them to the settlement agent/attorney handling your closing. Please contact your settlement agent in advance to verify the final amount and payment method of any funds you need for closing.

At the loan closing meeting, the settlement agent will review the closing documents with you and ask you to sign them. You will also pay any applicable closing costs and down payment. Once everything is completed, you’ll receive the keys to your new home! Learn more about what to expect during closing.

Whether you're buying your first home or refinancing a current mortgage, Virginia Credit Union is there at every step.

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