The Loan Process Timeline

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Understanding what to expect can help ease the stress of applying for a mortgage. For your convenience, we have outlined a typical loan timeline. Loans should not take more than 30 to 60 days from beginning to end, but can vary, depending on specifics of the loan/borrower.

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1.  Get Pre-Approved (Purchase Loan) and Submit Documents. Before you make an offer, have your file reviewed by an underwriter. Documents will be reviewed and problems addressed, making for a stronger offer.

2.  Find a property (Purchase Loan). Work with your real estate agent to find a home and submit a signed offer.

3.  Select a loan program and lock a rate. Once the property is under contract (if applicable), decide what program and rate best fits your needs.

4.  Sign loan disclosures. Disclosures will be prepared and sent by the lender and Home Loan Mortgage for signature (preferably e-signature, as this will cut down on mandatory waiting periods).

5.  Automated Underwriting. The loan is run through "Automated Underwriting" (i.e. a computer program that analyzes the inputted information), which gives a preliminary underwriting decision.

6.  Schedule a Home Inspection (Purchase Loan). A Home inspector will examine the home's condition and alert you to any issues that may be present.

7.  Obtain Homeowners Insurance. Homeowners insurance is required by the lender to protect your home from hazards like fire, storms and floods. The policy needs to take effect the day of closing.

8.  Loan is submitted to underwriting. Loan documents and signed disclosures are packaged and sent to the lender for underwriting (underwriting turn times vary based on current volume). Underwriters verify credit, employment, income, assets, purchase contract (if applicable), homeowners insurance, etc.

9.  Underwriting Decision. The underwriter issues (hopefully) a "Conditional Approval", meaning the loan is approved, subject to receiving (acceptable) documentation (a.k.a. "Conditions") requested by the underwriter.

10.  Appraisal. The appraisal is ordered through an Appraisal Management Company (AMC), who will search for an appraiser to accept the order. Once the appraisal is finished, the AMC will review for any errors. The appraisal is not released until the report passes the AMC's Quality Control.

11.  Submit Conditions for final review. The requested documentation, including the completed appraisal, is reviewed by the underwriter. If satisfactory, the loan goes through a final audit.

12.  Clear to Close. Once underwriting and audit is complete, the lender issues a "Clear to Close". The file now moves to the closing department.

13.  Sign Initial Closing Disclosure. The lender sends an initial "Closing Disclosure". Once e-signed, a mandatory three business day waiting period will begin before closing can occur (so it's imperative you e-sign the Closing Disclosure ASAP). Numbers can still change up to a small amount without a required re-disclosure (and restart of the waiting period) - we will inform you of any changes.

14.  Get a Cashier's Check. Once the final Closing Disclosure is complete, if necessary, you will need to obtain a cashier's check, made out to the title company, for the final amount due.

15.  Closing. Final closing documents will be signed and sent to the lender. If acceptable, the lender gives the title company approval to fund.

16.  Three Day Right of Rescission. On a refinance of an owner occupied property, the law requires a three business day (including Saturday) waiting period before the loan can fund.

Have questions about mortgage loans? Call us at (303) 931-3239 or e-mail us at  We answer questions about different types of loans every day.