You wouldn’t think it, but the slightest mortgage document errors could spell disaster to your closing process. That’s why it’s ultra-important to ensure that everything that is printed on your mortgage documentation is completely accurate, right down to the crossing of every T and the hyphenation of your name (if that applies to you).
What many people don’t know is that a simple misspelling of your name could create drama for you later on in life – particularly if you plan on obtaining any further credit for anything in the future, which most people do. So as you’re combing over your mortgage paperwork, keep an eye out for mortgage document errors and make sure your name is spelled and presented correctly. Also make sure that you’re using your legal name, rather than a nickname or an alias that you’re comfortable in using (this includes shortened names or initials instead of your full name).
That means if you usually use your middle name, or if you have a name that sounds like it’s spelled one way when it’s really spelled another way, or you have a hyphen or other unique naming characteristic, you’ll want to make sure it matches your I.D. and the name that appears on all your other credit accounts, as well as your credit report. This will ensure your payments get accurately reported to the credit bureaus, and you’ll continue to have a complete and accurate record of your credit history. Otherwise, it could adversely affect your score – sometimes from 10 up to 20 points.
You’ll also want to ensure your address is accurate on every aspect of your mortgage paperwork – both the address of the home you’re purchasing, and the previous addresses that you’ve listed as part of your home ownership or rental history. Not having accurate address information can cause headaches for your approval, as the lender might not be able to properly identify you, which may add conditions to your application. It may also signal to lenders that you didn’t actually live where you say you lived, as it may look as though you’re inaccurately reporting your address history.
As you’re nearing closing, your real estate professional may encourage you to sign an AKA Statement, which assists with name consistency across any credit inquiries from other creditors listed on your credit report. If you’ve not been checking your credit report on a steady basis – which you should – and ensuring that your information is accurate, the AKA Statement can help. Regardless, continue to work with your lender to ensure that you’re putting your best, most accurate foot forward. It will help you in the long run as both a home buyer, and a home owner.