Cadence Bank’s Mortgage Approval Process
All lenders follow their own process for approving a mortgage. Discover how to apply for a mortgage loan at Cadence Bank.
The prospect of applying for and getting approved for a mortgage can be overwhelming, whether or not you’re new to homebuying. Every lender has a slightly different mortgage approval process, and it can be hard to know exactly what is required of you during each step of the application.
Debbie Acebo, SVP, Mortgage Division Lending Manager, explains that your mortgage lender can be a valuable resource for guiding you through the homebuying process. “Your mortgage officer is your advocate to get your loan closed so you can buy your house. There is a lot of terminology involved and there’s a process behind what we do, so never be afraid to ask questions,” she says.
Below, we discuss how to apply for a mortgage at Cadence Bank—so you know what to expect when you take out a home loan with us.
Before you fill out an application
If you’re eager to get the mortgage process started, it may be tempting to go ahead and fill out an application, but there are several steps you should do first.
1. Check your credit score
“One of the first things I suggest homebuyers do is pull their credit report and make sure there are no surprises. A lot of times, if there are collection accounts or late payments affecting your credit score, you can resolve this before getting a mortgage,” Acebo says.
The credit score needed to buy a house varies depending on what type of mortgage you are interested in, as well as the lender’s individual requirements.
You are entitled to a free credit report once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. To improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage, consider working on improving your credit before filling out a loan application.
2. Talk to multiple lenders
Considering multiple lenders can help you land the best interest rate for the type of mortgage you’re looking for. In addition, it can help you get a feel for the lender and the type of services that they offer.
When selecting a mortgage lender, consider what types of loan products they offer, what their interest rates look like and what types of requirements they have for obtaining approval.
“I recommend calling several different lenders to find out what’s out there and what’s best for you,” Acebo says. That said, she advises against filling out a formal application with multiple companies. “Every time your credit is pulled, it can drop your score. This is especially important if your credit score is right on the edge of qualifying for a certain program.”
Wondering how much you can afford for your monthly mortgage payment? Use our mortgage calculator to see how different interest rates affect your repayment.
Our mortgage loan approval process
Once you’ve taken some time to check your credit and explore different mortgage options, it’s time to formally begin the mortgage process.
Prequalification—often used interchangeably with the term preapproval—is the process of filling out a loan application with a lender and receiving an estimate of how much you may be able to borrow before you have a signed contract to purchase a new home.
Getting prequalified usually only takes a few days. After you apply, Cadence Bank will review your income, assets, liabilities and credit history to determine what types of mortgage programs you may qualify for.
Not only does prequalification give you an idea of what you can afford—it can also be an instrumental part of your home search.
"Most sellers want a prequalification letter before they'll accept an offer. They want to know that a borrower has applied with a lender and has done the initial work towards getting a loan."
2. Loan application
A loan application is very similar to a prequalification application, but it’s done at a different step in the homebuying process. The formal loan application is not completed until after you’ve found your new home and signed a purchase agreement with the seller.
“What you fill out for prequalification is the start of the process,” Acebo says. She explains that Cadence Bank will hold the buyer's application in a prequalification state for 120 days, or until the buyer finds a property. “Once you have a signed contract with the seller, we will go ahead and enter the property address and send out loan disclosures.”
At this point, you can also lock in your interest rate. Cadence Bank’s loan applications can be completed online, over the phone or at a bank branch with the help of a mortgage loan officer.
Since most credit documents need to be dated within 60-90 days of closing on your new home, you will probably be asked to provide additional documentation after filling out your loan application—even if you’ve already been prequalified through Cadence Bank.
While your loan is being processed, your loan officer or processor will reach out to you and let you know what type of documentation is needed. This will usually include documentation to verify your income, down payment, and total cash for closing and liabilities. The specific documentation required depends on your individual financial situation and what type of loan you are getting. By responding quickly to any requests from your loan officer or processor, you can keep the mortgage approval process on track.
At this time, your processor will order the property appraisal, open title and send out all needed verifications. They will also work with your real estate agent and the title company to gather any needed information on the property. Buyers can take this time to work with their real estate agent on any property inspections and a survey (if applicable).
The amount of time it takes to process a loan depends on how quickly you provide the required documentation, and how long it takes to obtain appraisal, title work and verifications. In general, you can expect processing to take several weeks.
>> Related Reading: Homebuyer’s Checklist: What Does an Inspector Look for During the Home Inspection?
Once the processor has everything verified, they will submit the file to underwriting for final approval. During the underwriting process, the completed loan file is reviewed and the underwriter confirms that all program guidelines have been met. This is when the final credit decision is made.
Before final approval, you need to have your property insurance (and flood insurance, if applicable) set up with your preferred insurance agent.
5. Approval and closing
Acebo estimates that it could take a month—sometimes more—to close on a house after signing your initial purchase agreement with the seller. This time frame varies from person to person, depending on factors such as what types of documentation are needed and how quickly your home can be appraised.
"We keep you posted on the progress of your loan every step of the way."
After your loan is approved and all other requirements have been met, you will attend a closing at the title company to complete the deal. At this meeting, you will sign paperwork that transfers the ownership of your new home. You’ll then receive your keys, and your loan will be disbursed.
If you have any questions about what happens after closing—such as how to set up your first monthly payment—our mortgage team is here to provide continued guidance.
Find the right mortgage solution for you
To learn more about Cadence Bank’s mortgage services, get in touch with a mortgage professional today. Our team of experienced loan officers specialize in a variety of mortgage products, from conventional loans to FHA, VA and USDA loans. We are happy to discuss your financial situation and help find the right loan program for you.
This article is provided as a free service to you and is for general informational purposes only. Cadence Bank makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the content in the article. The article is not intended to provide legal, accounting or tax advice and should not be relied upon for such purposes.