Securing a mortgage when buying a home can be an in-depth process that comes with a hefty set of criteria that borrowers need to meet before being approved. Generally speaking, lenders want to see that a borrower has a healthy credit score and sizeable income in relation to accumulated debt before a mortgage is offered.

Having said that, there are certain things that borrowers should avoid doing while they’re in the midst of applying for a mortgage and awaiting an answer from their lenders. Such actions can easily lead to a “denied” stamp on a mortgage application.

Don’t Change Jobs

If you are a salaried employee, you should ideally maintain your current position while you’re in the middle of waiting for approval on your mortgage application. Don’t go from your current salaried job to one with a commission structure; or worse, don’t become self-employed just yet. Lots of mortgage programs require that borrowers show a minimum of two years of history in the line of work or pay structure.

Don’t Make a Large Purchase on Credit

If you decide to take out a loan for a new car or finance a bunch of new furniture in your home, your debt ratio will be thrown out of whack. This is a critical number that mortgage brokers use to assess your ability to obtain a mortgage, and if that number goes up, you might no longer qualify for that home loan.

Don’t Apply For a New Credit Card

Your credit report will be pulled by the credit card company through which you are applying for a new card. Every time your credit report is pulled, it lowers your credit score. Not only that, mortgage brokers must account for the new debt in the ratio, which can delay the mortgage approval process or deny it altogether.

Don’t Close Old Credit Card Accounts

Having some form of credit card debt is a good thing, as long as you are able to show that you are capable of paying it off on a regular basis. If you have an old credit card account, don’t close it just yet. Wait until after the mortgage closes to make any changes like these.

Don’t Increase Credit Card Debt

Just because you’ve been approved for a certain credit limit on your card doesn’t mean you should spend up to that amount. In fact, it’s generally recommended that you limit your spending to no more than 30% of your credit limit in order to avoid negatively affecting your credit rating.

Don’t Fall Behind on Your Bill Payments

Whether it’s your credit card, auto loan, student loan, or any other type of bills that you’re responsible for, don’t forget to pay them. Failure to pay your monthly bills on time and in full can negatively impact your credit score and your ability to pay a mortgage in the eyes of your lender.

You want to do absolutely everything in your power to strengthen your position when applying for a mortgage. That entails avoiding making certain moves that can lead to a rejected application very quickly. Your real estate agent will be able to help you identify what you should and shouldn’t do to boost your odds for approval so you can finally enjoy a home of your own.