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The Mortgage Loan Process Explained

The Mortgage Loan Process Explained

A new home is one of the most important purchases in life. As you’re getting ready to take this exciting step, you might have some questions about mortgage loans. Different lenders have slightly different mortgage loan approval processes, but the basic steps are generally similar and usually include:

  • Applying for pre-approval
  • Finding your home and processing your loan
  • Closing

At Valley Credit Union, our mortgage loan process is simple and straightforward. We, along with our incredible partners at Centennial Lending, will guide you through every step from beginning to end. Here’s how it works:

Applying for Pre-Approval

We offer pre-approvals for mortgage loans as an optional first step. What’s the benefit of getting pre-approved before you start house shopping?

Being pre-approved means you receive a letter from a lender detailing what kind of loan you qualify for (including options based on your individual needs) and what your interest rate will be. This means you’ll know exactly what you can afford while you look at homes and consider options.

You can still get a mortgage without being pre-approved first, but this additional step gives you more information and control over the home buying process.

Finding Your Home and Processing Your Loan

Let’s say you’ve been granted pre-approval for a mortgage. What’s next?

With your pre-approval letter in hand, you’re ready to decide on a final price range and find your future home. You may even want to use an online loan calculator to figure out what your monthly payments would be.

Once you’ve chosen your home, it’s time to complete your mortgage application. If you’ve already been pre-approved, this step will be much faster and simpler, but your loan still needs to go through underwriting (risk assessment) and processing before it can receive final approval.

If you work with Valley Credit Union and Centennial Lending, you will receive a checklist of all remaining items and actions necessary to complete your application. We’ll work closely with you at this stage to make sure your loan is approved and ready to close on time.


When your mortgage receives final approval, we can set a closing date. This is when you’ll sign the necessary loan documents, agreeing to the terms of your mortgage. It’s also when your mortgage becomes final and the funds are distributed.

It’s common for home buyers to handle the closing of their home purchase at the same time as their mortgage. If this is the case for you, we’ll coordinate with you, the real estate broker, and the seller to schedule a closing date that works for everyone.

We’ll also choose a place to close. This could be at your local credit union branch, at a title company in your area, or even at your home. If you aren’t able to be present for closing, it may be possible to arrange a remote closing or power of attorney.

After closing, your next order of business is to enjoy your new home! If you have concerns about your loan, you can contact us at any time to get your questions answered.

Get Started On Your Salem, OR Mortgage Today

Ready to take the first step towards buying your new home? Our goal is to make the mortgage loan process as simple and low-stress as possible.

If you’re a Valley Credit Union member, you don’t even need to come into a branch to get pre-approved. All you need to do is apply online, and we’ll handle the rest.

If you’re not a member, but you’d like to become one, learn about all the benefits credit unions have over banks and apply for membership now.

About the Author

 Justin Roberts, Vice President of Lending

Justin Roberts is our Vice President of Lending and has been in the financial industry for over 18 years. He is an Oregon State University Graduate and has just completed Western CUNA Management School. When he is not focused on helping the members at Valley, you will find him coaching his two sons and volunteering his time to help develop the youth in our communities through sports.

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