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My loan officer said that I need to express my —Intent to Proceed— in order for my mortgage loan application to move forward. What does that mean?

When you are shopping for a loan, you may contact more than one potential lender to compare available options. If you intend to proceed with a particular mortgage application, you must notify your lender of your intent to proceed by telling the lender you want to move forward with the application for that loan. 

If you're applying for a mortgage, it is a good idea to request Loan Estimates from three or more lenders and compare them to determine which loan offer is best for you. 

After you receive your Loan Estimates, it's up to you to decide whether to move forward with a mortgage application. If you decide not to proceed with an application for a particular loan, you don't need to do anything further.  If you do not communicate further with the lender, the lender will most likely close out your application.  

If you do intend to proceed with a particular mortgage application, you must take the next step and tell the lender you want to move forward with the application for that loan. The lender is only required to honor the terms of the Estimate for 10 business days so it is important to notify the lender within those 10 days. If you wait more than 10 business days after you receive a Loan Estimate to tell the lender you intend to proceed, the lender can revise the terms and estimated costs and provide you with a revised Loan Estimate.   

The lender cannot assume that silence means you intend to proceed. When you first receive a Loan Estimate, find out what the lender's requirements are for proceeding with a loan application. After you have reviewed and compared Loan Estimates, make sure you take the next step of notifying the lender within 10 business days if you want to proceed with a loan application. Ask questions if any of the steps or information is unclear. 

Once you've notified the lender, you typically then need to pay an application or appraisal fee and provide full supporting documentation of your income, assets, and other financial information. If you delay providing documentation or other items necessary to move your loan application forward, your lender may need to delay your closing. For example, documentation of your income and assets is typically needed to approve your loan, so you'll want to send that information to the lender you have chosen as soon as possible.

A delayed closing can be costly—your rate lock could expire. If your purchase contract specifies that you must close within a certain time frame, you could risk losing the home and the deposit you gave the seller. So be sure to send requested information to your lender as soon as possible.