Divorce and Your Mortgage
An interview with Amy Terrell, Senior Loan Officer & Certified Divorce Lending Specialist with US Lending Corp.
I find it essential to develop a reliable network of professionals who can support my divorcing clients. There are such a wide variety of issues that arise during the course of a divorce. One that frequently occurs is refinancing the primary residence to remove one parties' name from the loan. I recently sat down with Amy Terrell, a Senior Loan Officer and Certified Divorce Lending Specialist with US Lending Corp. During our conversation, I realized there are some important issues that I wanted to make sure people are aware of when it comes to divorce and your mortgage. She was kind enough to complete a brief interview over email to share the information.
What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to their credit score when they are trying to refinance?
Some of the biggest mistakes people make are:
- Opening new accounts: This can cause you to go from being approved to not being approved
- Shopping for/purchasing a car: Even if you just look for a vehicle, the inquiries made by the car dealership can lower your credit score anywhere from 25-100 points depending how many times your credit is run
- Being late on any payments
- Having anyone run your credit: Any inquiries have the potential to lower your credit score
At what point in someone's divorce should they contact you?
People can contact me at any time during the divorce process. It may be advantageous to contact me earlier. This way, I can see what I am working with. If there is a credit issue, we can work together to improve what is necessary. This way, when we need to proceed with the refinance or purchase, the client will be ready. This will help if there is a specific time that the refinance or purchase needs to be finished.
How long have you been in the mortgage industry?
I have been in the mortgage business for eight years.
Why should those going through a divorce work with you?
I work well with people and have a great deal of knowledge and experience in the industry. As a Certified Divorce Lending Professional, I took classes to become knowledgeable in Divorce Lending. I take those practices and use them while working with people going through divorces. In addition, I make myself available to my clients any time. Clients can always reach me on my cell phone. I am focused on making clients comfortable with a streamlined process and always closing on time.
Can someone get approved for a home loan if their only income is spousal support?
Yes, people can be approved for a home loan if their only income is spousal support. First, they must have six months of documented payments. Once they have that documentation, they can apply. The support must be court-ordered to go on for a minimum of 3 additional years after the initial 6-month period.
Is there anything else you wish that people who are going through a divorce or their attorneys knew when applying for a home loan?
Things that I wish people knew ahead of time include:
- Pay your bills on time - especially your mortgage! Don't spite your soon-to-be-ex because your credit will be negatively affected also. No one wins.
- Don't open new credit cards. Your loan will close in 21-30 days. There will be time after that to get more credit cards.
- If you are PURCHASING a home, have your down payment money in a bank account for 60 days. This is called having your money seasoned. No underwriter will ever allow "mattress money" for a down payment. If you have cash and you want to use it for a down payment, go directly to the bank and deposit it.
Here’s how we can help you...
We get that divorce can feel really hard and leave you with a lot of questions about how to handle your finances. After all, this is the reason Leah Hadley founded Intentional Divorce Solutions in the first place.
After her divorce, she found herself stressed and overwhelmed about how to navigate life on her own with three kids and a new financial situation.
Helping families overcome this challenge is why we do what we do.
Whether you’ve never had to manage money before or you’re a master at investing, we are here to support you as your financial expert before, during, and after your divorce.
What our clients love most about working with us is that we’re able to help them avoid costly financial mistakes and achieve the financial stability they need to plan for the future.
We are here to help you with that, too. Learn more about our guidance no matter where you are in the divorce process.
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