Another potentially costly mistake to avoid is making big purchases before close. Occasionally I’ll see people purchasing a car in the last couple of months and that can really damage someone’s credit, especially if they use the dealership’s financing because the dealership tends to pull credit multiple times. I’ve seen credit scores drop a hundred to 150 points. I recommend that they don’t buy any vehicles or use their credit card. Sometimes people will go open a card at a department store and use all that is available. That will drop also their credit score. These are things that I discuss with my clients in full so they get pre-approved. If they take my home buyer class, we go over what to do and what not to do. It’s just because they don’t know. They don’t know that buying a car can really hurt their credit or that using their credit cards can also affect their credit negatively. It’s all back to education. I’m a firm believer in that. Educating them on the process and how important credit is.
Case in point: I have a case right now. This gentleman was referred to me in the spring of this year and his credit for a VA financing was about 80 points lower than what he needed to be at. I ran what was called a credit simulator. It’s a tool that I can use that will tell me what can be done to increase someone’s score. I then wrote out a plan for him that includes specific steps like okay, you need to pay this down, you need to write a letter here to get that dropped so he can improve his credit score. The result is a couple of months later he got his credit to where it needed to be and now he’s in contract and we’ll be closing on his VA purchase next week.
I asked Nicole what her inspiration was for becoming a mortgage broker and what lessons she has learned in the many years she has been in business.
I grew up around the business. My mother was a commercial loan officer and my grandmother was a banker. When I got a little bit older I would go to a closing sometimes with my mom and I really enjoyed it, I really enjoy people. I guess you could say I’m a people person. I did dabble a bit in the commercial world, but I really wanted to help first time home buyers and that’s been a really nice focus for me. That is my passion and that’s what I love doing because all the emotions involved and helping them with their dream. There’s a lot of fear and excitement. It’s the biggest investment for most people, it’s the biggest purchase that they will make in their life and it’s also the biggest asset that they have in their lives.
Homeownership is still the number one way Americans build wealth. So, for me just helping someone through the process, educating them, going through all those emotions and getting them their keys in hand is very gratifying. It’s why I get up every morning and do, do what I do. I love taking them through that process and getting homeowners into their first property. I’ve helped a lot of my clients move up from the first to second to a third home. I’m just really grateful to be a part of that process and helping them achieve their financial future and building their home and their families. So that’s, that’s my inspiration
When I first started in this business, I didn’t know as much about credit or what documents I needed to review fully upfront. Sometimes I would miss something and it would make the process kind of a struggle at the end. I’ve learned to review all of the docents and do my due diligence upfront and let my clients know, Hey, it’s a lot better to get everything reviewed and out in the very beginning so that way I can ensure that your loan is going to close on time and that we’re not going to have any problems with underwriting and that the rest of the processes is super smooth.
I also recommend careful vetting before working with a Mortgage Broker. Ask yourself: Does this person have experience? I have learned a lot through experience. Details about credit, different loan programs. etc. A seasoned loan officer is going to know more about specific programs and offer you more options vs. a newer person who may not know. It’s also important to ask, am I comfortable with this person? You want to make sure you’re comfortable and they’re easy to work with because through the process, you’re going to be talking quite often and you’re going to be pretty close to them until you find a home. And sometimes that can take years. I’ve had clients come to me and ended up not buying for whatever reason for years and so you want to be comfortable with them and know that you can trust them. You need to know that they’re giving you the best options and that they’re, putting your best interests first.
Do they offer all the programs that I am looking for? Some places don’t offer down payment assistance or certain other programs. , I would ask them when are they available. Many offers are made at night and on the weekends and it can be frustrating as a buyer if you find your dream home on a Sunday and you need to get that pre-approval letter and to make sure that your offer is accepted. , so that’s, that’s definitely something I would ask.
If you would like to learn more about Nicole Tennison you can visit her website at nicoletennison.com or call her directly at (206) 354-2006