Mortgages

Getting a mortgage approval could be easier than you think

Getting a mortgage approval could be easier than you think

So what does it take to get approved for a mortgage to buy a house this summer, whether you’re a first-timer, planning to move up or downsize? Maybe not all that you think.

For most people, the key requirement is that you’ve got the right package — acceptable credit score, down payment, financial reserves, debt-to-income ratio — to get an acceptable grade from the automated underwriting systems or “black boxes” installed at the dominant investors in the market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Though the intricate webs of algorithms and big data spun inside Fannie’s and Freddie’s black boxes are kept under tight security, we do get monthly readouts on some of the characteristics of...

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