Don’t Be the Judge

Written by Posted On Thursday, 18 April 2024 10:52

I can remember this story from years and years ago, very near when I first got into the mortgage biz back in San Diego. I had probably been in this new career just barely a year or so but I can still see the young woman’s face and the tiny child she held in her arms sitting across my desk.

I don’t know how she found us but she did. We were running ads in the newspaper back then so maybe that was it or maybe a real estate agent referred her to us. Anyway, she walks in and the receptionist told me there was someone here that would like to talk about getting a home loan. The young woman walks in and yes she was carrying a baby. I asked her to take a seat and asked how I could help.

She basically replied something to the effect that she would like to buy her first home. She then forewarned me that she also had bad credit. I told her that if I couldn’t get her a home loan now I could chart a pathway for her to ultimately get a mortgage approval. So we filled out a loan application together and after that I ran her credit report. 

Back then, there were no credit scores and you couldn’t get a credit report instantly. You had to make a request through an agency and wait. Sometimes it took a day or so. Sometimes shorter sometimes longer.

I put in the request for her credit report and she again reminded me that she had bad credit. I continued and ran some numbers for her and gave her an initial loan amount she could qualify for. We started talking, just basic chit-chat. She was a single mom and it was her and her mom that were raising the baby. After a few minutes, her credit report arrived somewhat unexpectedly. I took the report, reviewed it and wondered if I was looking at the wrong report. There were no late payments. No bad credit. Just two credit cards and her car loan.

I told her about her credit. She didn’t believe me because she knew for a fact that when her credit card bills came in, she didn’t pay them exactly on the due date, she had to wait until the middle of the month until she got paid. Yes, she was late past the due date but nowhere near a late payment that would hurt her credit. I explained this all to her and she literally began to tear up a little, thanking me profusely.

Anyway, she took her approval letter with her and I suppose she did in fact buy a home and live happily ever after. I still remember this happening as if it were yesterday. I still feel good about it. 

The point is, don’t judge yourself. Let a loan officer review your situation and if you can’t get an approval now, get a roadmap that will point you in the right direction.

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David Reed

David Reed (Austin, TX) is the author of Mortgages 101, Mortgage Confidential, Your Successful Career as a Mortgage Broker , The Real Estate Investor's Guide to Financing, Your Guide to VA Loans and Decoding the New Mortgage Market. As a Senior Loan Officer and Mortgage Executive he closed more than 2,000 mortgage loans over the course of more than 20 years in commercial and residential mortgage lending. 

He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox Business, Fox and Friends and the Today In New York show. His advice has appeared in the New York Times, Parade Magazine, Washington Post and Kiplinger's as well as in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. 

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