top of page
  • Writer's pictureShaila Campbell

How to Navigate the Loan Process

The best time to start navigating the loan process is before you start your home search. Waiting until your contract is accepted can leave you scrambling to make the right choices quickly, so it's important to at least start the process of choosing your lender and getting pre-approved from the get-go.

Need help where to start? Here's a few things to consider.

Loan Programs:

Besides finding competitive interest rates, there are a variety of things to consider--what kind of loan program are you interested in? Conventional Conforming Loan? Jumbo or Portfolio Loans? VA? Knowing what loan program you may be interested in can help guide what lender professional would have the best offering for you. A lender that specializes in Jumbo loans may or may not do VA loans often, or vice versa.


Who will service the loan after you close? Will servicing stay with the bank, or will the loan be sold, or servicing done elsewhere?

Closing & Underwriting the Loan:

Our purchase contracts in Hawaii are structured such that if the Buyer does not make certain loan deadlines, the Seller has the opportunity to cancel the contract on the Buyer. Finding a loan officer that can close on time, is key. How long will it take to close? Most re-sale closings are within a 45 day timeframe. How does your lender stack?

Loan Locks & Interest Rates:

How long is your loan lock good for? In other words, how long is your quoted interest rate good for and more specifically, how long will they hold that rate for?

Know Your Numbers:

Lastly, it's a good idea to ask your lender for a "loan cost worksheet" or a "loan cost illustration". This will give you details on your closing costs, cash required to close, and estimated monthly mortgage payments. You can have your lender run you a high, medium, and low figure, to help get an idea of where your comfort level is.

Getting Pre-Approved

Getting Pre-Approved is an integral step in purchasing a home. Below is a handy checklist of common items that most Lenders will ask for upfront. Start compiling these items now to position you for a successful transaction:

□ All W-2s and personal tax returns for the last 2 years.

□ Bank statements for the last 2 months.

□ Current pay stubs for the last 30 days

□ If self-employed—year-to-date balance sheet, income statements, personal & business tax returns, and all W-2s for the last 2 years.

□ Name, complete address, account numbers, balance, and monthly payment amount for all creditors.

□ If renting-name, address, & phone number of landlords for the last 12 months.

□ If you own rental properties—current rental agreements on all properties.


For a list of lender referrals, contact Shaila at 808-741-7155 or email


bottom of page