Are you wondering why a mortgage is denied after you have a preapproval? Maybe you would like to know the chances of getting rejected after having your preapproval.

Sometimes, even after you get the green light for a mortgage, it may still not work out. Things like losing your job, making late payments that hurt your credit score, or taking on new debt can all lead to the bank saying no.

More unexpected reasons could also include changes in the bank’s rules or problems with your home’s value being less than expected.

To prevent this, it’s wise to continuously pay bills on time, control your debt, fix any errors in your credit report, and keep up with any changes at your bank while waiting for the mortgage to be finalized.

Remember, even the small details matter when buying your Massachusetts home. The good news is that you will likely get a mortgage after preapproval.

In my thirty-eight years as a Massachusetts Realtor, I’ve never had a client not get a mortgage after receiving a preapproval letter.

The most common reasons for mortgage denial after pre-approval in Massachusetts include changes in employment, negative impacts on credit scores, taking on additional debt, changes in loan or lender guidelines, and issues with the home appraisal. To minimize the risk of denial, it’s crucial to maintain stable employment, avoid new debts, and promptly provide requested documentation.

The best advice I can give you based on many years of experience in real estate is to be vigilant about your finances before and after being preapproved for a home loan. You must make sound financial decisions to ensure you don’t run into any problems.

Let’s examine all the steps necessary to have a pleasurable mortgage experience.

Chances of a Home Loan Being Denied After Preapproval

What Are Chances of a Home Loan Being Denied After Preapproval?

Common Reasons for Mortgage Denial After Pre-approval in Massachusetts

Change of Employment Gaffs

The dream of homeownership in Massachusetts can quickly turn sour when a seemingly inevitable mortgage is suddenly denied. One of the most common reasons for this is a change in employment status.

Lenders expect consistency in employment. Any gaps in your work history or a job switch become subject to the underwriter’s scrutiny.

Maintaining a steady employment history is vital for lenders. It demonstrates stability and the ability to repay the loan. Any deviation from this perceived stability poses a risk. It makes the lender cautious about your financial ability.

I recommend you inform your lender as soon as possible if your employment status changes. You should also be prepared to provide any necessary documentation.

Credit Scores Moving Downward

Another significant factor that can lead to mortgage denial is a negative impact on credit score. Your credit score plays a pivotal role in securing favorable terms for your mortgage.

A minimum credit score is also needed to buy a house in Massachusetts. If you’ve taken on additional debt or your credit score has dropped since pre-approval, it can affect the interest rate offered and monthly mortgage payment.

For instance, new credit card debt or a car loan can increase your debt-to-income ratios. This makes your financial situation look riskier to lenders. To prevent this, it’s crucial to avoid taking on additional debt or lines of credit after pre-approval.

You’ll also want to maintain good credit discipline by paying bills on time and being cautious about significant expenses. One of the most common stories about borrowers being denied after preapproval is purchasing a car. Please don’t do it!

I’ve listened to some Realtor friends sharing bad experiences at the real estate water cooler. Also others across the country as well. Tina Saporito from Ronald Christopher and Associates share the following with me:

Bill, I always tell all of my clients never to buy anything large once you have either locked in a mortgage rate or you have started talking with a lender. Once you get the ball rolling, any major purchase can actually count against you with your debt to income ratio or how much liquid funds you have.

If the underwriters see that you are spending your money on a lot of frivolous or large purchases, it might give them pause to approve a loan thinking that you’re not as responsible as you should be. Hold off on any large purchases as hard as it might be. Many of my clients want to buy furniture and new things for the house. I tell them to save those items until after everything is closed and you’ve moved in.

You Have Large Undocumented Deposits Into Your Accounts

Before obtaining your mortgage loan, the lender will require up-to-date documentation reflecting the status of your accounts, such as your savings and checking accounts.

It’s crucial to note that a substantial deposit in any of these statements that doesn’t align with your typical income could impact your loan approval.

Before accepting gifts from family members or engaging in significant sales transactions, such as selling a vehicle, you must contact your mortgage lender. You’ll be required to gather all the necessary documentation to account for the large deposit.

Many lenders must ask for a letter of explanation to detail the reason for the significant deposit. Lenders will carefully scrutinize your spending habits over the last three years.

You and Your Spouse Are Splitting Up

When applying for a mortgage with a spouse, it’s essential to note that the pre-approval obtained is contingent upon the marital status remaining the same when purchasing the home. The entire loan process and calculations were predicated on the assumption that you and your spouse were together.

Addressing selling a house during divorce is a crucial aspect of my discussions.

In the event of a divorce, significant changes will occur. The lender will likely reject the mortgage application; at most, the lender will approve a loan significantly smaller than the pre-approved amount when you were married.

You could be forced into getting a co-signer to receive the loan.

Credit Standing and Mortgage Approval

When securing a mortgage, your credit standing significantly influences the lender’s decision. As I mentioned, one of the first things they look at is your credit score.

This is a three-digit number between 300 and 850, which indicates your creditworthiness. The higher your score, the more financially reliable you appear to lenders.

Factors That Lenders Consider

Apart from the credit score, lenders also closely examine an individual’s payment history and credit utilization rate:

  • The payment history includes records of all bills paid on time or overdue.
  • The credit utilization ratio denotes the proportion of available credit that a borrower uses. It is recommended that this rate be under 30%.

These factors show how responsible a person is with their finances.

Maintaining a Healthy Credit Profile

Potential homebuyers must maintain a healthy credit profile to improve their chances of mortgage approval. This involves diligent bill payments, reducing debt, and rectifying any inaccuracies in credit reports.

The chances of being denied after preapproval increase significantly if you don’t follow all the prudent decisions that led you to this point.

Reducing Debt

Keeping track of existing debts and managing them effectively can positively impact your credit standing. This includes making regular payments towards reducing outstanding debts and refraining from accumulating new ones.

Timely Bill Payments

One of the most critical aspects of maintaining a healthy credit profile is paying all bills on time. Even a single late payment can negatively affect your credit score. If you have a marginal credit score, mortgage denial after preapproval can happen with just a few mistakes.

Imagine your credit score being like a report card for adulthood. Just as you strive for good grades in school, maintaining a solid credit score requires diligence and responsibility in managing your finances.

Rectifying Inaccuracies

It’s common for errors to crop up in credit reports, which could erroneously harm an individual’s credit standing. To avoid problems, it’s crucial to monitor these reports for inaccuracies and promptly dispute discrepancies.

I constantly monitor my credit report, and it is a good thing I do. Over the years, I have caught a few instances of mistakes. I mention this to all my clients, too.

A few of them have also experienced erroneous reporting.
<h3Tips for Improvement

  • Regular monitoring: You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These are the three nationwide credit reporting companies.
  • Addressing errors: If you identify any errors, file a dispute with the respective reporting agency.

Understanding these fundamental aspects of maintaining a healthy credit profile can significantly influence mortgage approval outcomes. A commitment to prudent financial management reflects your ability to manage future loan obligations efficiently and responsibly.

Income and Assets: Their Role in Mortgage Approval

Your income and assets are crucial in getting approved for a mortgage. Lenders want to understand your financial stability, loan repayment ability, and whether you have enough money to cover potential down payments and closing costs.

It’s all about striking a balance between your income, debts, and reserves.

Stable Employment is a Necessity

As mentioned, lenders want to know that you have a dependable source of income. This means having a stable job with a consistent revenue stream, preferably for at least two years.

If you’re in a seasonal job, such as working in tourism or construction, lenders might want to see that you’ve had at least a year of consistent full-time pay spread out over several years.

If you’re switching jobs or changing from a salaried position to a commission-based one, it could raise concerns for lenders. They prefer having at least a two-year history of earning commission income. This is because it gives them a clearer picture of your earning potential.

What is Your Debt-to Income Ratio?

Your debt-to-income ratio is another essential piece of the puzzle. This compares how much you earn and how much you owe each month. Most lenders look for a DTI of 43% or lower.

For some borrowers, especially those who are self-employed or have variable income sources like investments, additional proof may be required to assure lenders of their financial stability.

Such proof includes tax returns, business profit and loss statements, or other documents validating income sources.

For some borrowers, especially those who are self-employed or have variable income sources like investments, additional proof may be required to assure lenders of their financial stability.

Having a stable employment history with regular income streams, maintaining a healthy debt-to-income ratio, and providing comprehensive documentation of assets greatly enhance your prospects of securing mortgage approval.

These factors are integral in assuring lenders of your financial stability and ability to repay the loan in Massachusetts. A denied mortgage loan after preapproval increases when your debt-to-income changes for the worse.

As critical as income and assets are in securing mortgage approval, another essential aspect is ensuring that the property meets specific standards set by lenders.

I will cover some essential things about property standards and how they impact mortgage approval.

Property Standards for Mortgage Approval

Property Condition Requirements For Mortgage Approval

Understand that some loans have property condition requirements for mortgage approval.

When applying for a mortgage, the property is a significant consideration in the approval process. Lenders must ensure that the property is a solid investment and meets their lending standards.

One of the first things lenders consider is the property’s condition. A well-maintained home is more likely to retain its value. Massachusetts homes are in great shape and are a safer investment for the lender.

On the other hand, a property with structural issues or major repairs that need to be made may pose a risk. This could potentially lead to mortgage denial.

Some mortgage programs, like FHA and VA loans, have minimum property condition requirements. It is essential to know these when buying. Condos also must be FHA-approved.

Location Matters

The location of a house also plays a pivotal role in valuation. Properties in areas with a stable market and strong resale potential are more likely to be approved for a mortgage.

Conversely, if the property is located in an area with declining property values or high crime rates, lenders may perceive it as a riskier investment, which can affect approval prospects.

For instance, a house in a flood zone or an area prone to natural disasters might be subject to additional scrutiny. In such cases, lenders may require specific insurance coverage or mitigation measures.

Valuation Inspection

The value of the property is another critical factor. Lenders want to ensure that the property holds at least as much value as the loan amount. The lender will have a professional appraisal to determine the fair market value.

If, for example, you’re purchasing a home for $500,000 and seeking a loan, but the appraisal values the property at $450,000, this discrepancy could complicate securing the loan. This is a significant appraisal gap.

Essentially, lenders seek assurance that you’re investing in a structurally sound property located in a stable market area and valued appropriately. Meeting these standards can significantly influence your mortgage approval process.

Understanding and meeting these property standards are critical to ensuring your mortgage approval goes smoothly.

Your Next Steps After a Mortgage Denial

Receiving a mortgage denial can be challenging, especially after pre-approval and getting your hopes up. But it’s important to remember that it’s not the end of the road. It could begin a new and more informed journey toward your homeownership dreams.

The first step is to find out exactly why your mortgage was denied. Sometimes, it’s related to something specific, like a credit issue. Other times, it might be due to multiple factors, such as employment history or debts.

Armed with this information, you can rectify any obstacles that led to the rejection.

At this point, it’s essential to seek professional financial advice. A financial advisor or mortgage broker can help you understand the reasons for the denial and provide guidance on the necessary steps. They’ll also assist you in reviewing your financial situation.

The best mortgage brokers will share options that may increase your chances of securing a mortgage.

Speak to Multiple Lenders

One crucial step is to consult with multiple lenders. Each lender has different requirements and guidelines, so what may have caused a denial from one lender might not be an issue with another.

Exploring various options increases your chances of finding a lender who can work with your financial situation.

Imagine if you were applying for a job. If one company didn’t hire you because they needed someone with more experience or specific skills, another company might see those very same qualifications as perfect for their needs. It’s similar with lenders—each one has different criteria and requirements.

Applying for a mortgage is like trying different keys to open a lock. You might have to try several before finding the one that works.


In addition to seeking professional advice and exploring multiple lending options, taking proactive steps to improve your financial situation is essential. These could include addressing any outstanding debt, improving your credit score, or changing employment or income structure if necessary.

Remember, everyone faces setbacks at some point in their financial journey. What matters is how you bounce back from them. Owning a home is about persistence and adaptability.

Don’t be disheartened by a roadblock. Instead, use it as an opportunity to grow and move forward with even greater confidence.

In an ever-changing financial landscape, setbacks can serve as stepping stones towards achieving your goals. Embrace these challenges as part of your journey. Let them strengthen your resolve towards homeownership in Massachusetts.