Understanding the Loan Process

Finding Out How Much You Can Borrow

Your maximum loan amount depends on many factors, including:

  • How much you can afford for monthly payments.
  • The appraised value of the property.
  • The amount of equity in your home, if you’re refinancing.
  • How much money you have available for closing costs and a down payment (if you’re purchasing).
  • Your credit history.

Choose a loan that’s right for you

Countrywide Home Loans’ Full Spectrum® Lending Division offers many home loan  options. We have instant information and friendly tools to help you explore different types of  loans.

Apply for a loan
Depending on the loan you choose, you may complete an application online, over the phone or in a local branch.

How can I speed up the application process?

No matter how you apply, one key to getting your loan quickly is filling in the application completely and accurately. It’s also very important to attach all the supporting paperwork required.

Begin loan processing

To process a loan, the lender will go through a series of steps. Being familiar with the process will help better understand what happens on our side of the table and will make the process far less stressful. After receiving your application, the lender or mortgage broker  will:

  • Review your application to make sure the information is complete and consistent. A Home Loan Counselor may contact you for additional information or clarification.
  • Verify the information you provided and confirm that all necessary documents are included.
  • Evaluate your loan information in a process known as underwriting. Underwriting is a major step in the approval process because it evaluates your ability to comfortably make your loan payments.
  • Order and review an appraisal of the home you are buying or refinancing. The appraisal confirms whether the property’s value is in line with the purchase price and loan amount.
  • Understand that in order to finance or refinance a loan the lender requires documentation to verify and substantiate your employment, credit and financial situation to assure its investors that you have the  ability to repay the money. This documentation may consist of tax returns, recent pay stubs, bank statements, verifications of employment, deposit and rent or mortgage, appraisal, purchase agreement, divorce decrees, bankruptcy papers and any other information the lender deems necessary.

What happens at closing?

The actual closing process varies, but usually includes the following steps:

  • A closing agent (usually escrow officer) reviews the settlement sheet with you. This document includes all the final costs for the purchase transaction or refinance loan.
  • You sign loan documents such as the mortgage or deed of trust, note and Truth-in-Lending statement.
  • For a purchase loan, you provide a certified check or cashier’s check to the closing agent to cover the down payment and closing costs (See who pays for what during escrow).
  • For a purchase loan, your lender gives a check for the home loan amount to the closing agent.
  • If the monthly payments will include amounts paid toward the payment of property taxes and insurance, an escrow account is set up.
  • You receive the keys to your new home, along with copies of all the closing documents.