The Home Loan Process

Intimidated by the loan process? We understand, and we have your back. Here is a brief run-through on what to expect when getting a mortgage loan. Keep in mind each loan is unique, just like every person is unique, and because of this, the loan process may need to adapt to the individual we are working with. This is a general idea of the loan process.


This is the very first step! When a new potential borrower is ready to see what they can qualify for, it is time to take the guesswork out of the way and fill out an application. Be as detailed as possible. Your Loan Officer will call with questions once they receive your application. This is normal and allows you to share details they need to understand your financial situation. Learn more about what not to do before and during the loan process.

Credit and Prequalification

Upon receipt of the application, your Loan Officer will “pull” credit. We pull all three bureaus, which include TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. Once we have the credit score, now the Loan Officer can start figuring out what Program (FHA, USDA, VA, or Conventional) is the best option for you. Once they have it narrowed down, they will get with the consumer to go through the potential options and terms. At this point, a Prequalification letter can be issued. This Prequal letter will be used to show the Realtor, Seller, or other interested party that you have applied for a loan and we have determined you do qualify.

Needs List

This is our term for the list of documentation we need from a borrower. By this point, you may already have provided several documents to your Loan Officer as part of the prequalification request. Unfortunately, most documents do expire according to our underwriting guidelines and must be updated every 30 days or so. Your Loan Officer will give you a list at this time for any documents needed with the goal of getting your loan into underwriting within 2 – 3 days from the time you sign your loan disclosures. This can only happen with your assistance. When you are presented with a Needs List, please get the items on the list back to your Loan Officer as soon as you can. Within 48 hours is ideal to keep the loan moving to meet closing deadlines. Delays in getting documentation from our borrowers have the potential to cause us to miss closing date deadlines.


Now that Initial Disclosures are signed and the items requested on the Needs List are coming in, the file is sent to our Processing Team. Our Processing Team will order an appraisal, title commitment, verification of employment, and complete a bunch of other tasks needed by underwriting. This step is when all the information contained in the application is validated and confirmed. Questions may arise at this step, and if this happens, your Loan Officer or their Loan Officer Assistant will reach out to you for information. It is also possible that the Processor determines further documentation is needed based on the reports they pull or information that is updated as the file progress. Please provide the information we need as soon as you can to keep it moving forward.


This is the step that the Loan Officer and Processor have prepared the file for! The underwriter is the final decision maker on the loan application. They will review the file once the processor has it ready to send to them and determine if the file will be approved, suspended, or denied. We rarely see denials at this point, but it does happen on occasion. Approved with conditions is the normal outcome of the underwriting review the first time they see the file. A suspended file only happens when the underwriter cannot calculate income, and that is usually due to a piece of documentation missing to help them understand the income clearly.

Closing Day

Congratulations! You have become a homeowner! Make sure you take your Driver’s License to the closing along with a cashier’s check for any funds your Loan Officer told you would be required. Prepare for about 30 – 40 minutes of reviewing documents and signing papers. As part of this process, our Funding team will review a specific list of documents to make sure they were signed and dated correctly. You will be asked to wait while we do this, as we don’t want you to have to come back in to sign a document if we can help it. Overall, the closing process should take about an hour to an hour and a half, depending on questions that may be asked and the discussion that occurs at the closing table. Again…ask questions! We want you to understand your loan!


               Flanagan State Bank NMLS 408461. Equal Housing Lender

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