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Mortgage Process Timeline

Mortgage Process Timeline

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru
, Mortgage and Finance Guru

    Review the interactive mortgage process timeline below to understand how long it takes to process and close your loan. The timeline covers the mortgage process from start to finish including getting prepared and organized, comparing lenders, selecting your loan program, submitting your application, lender underwriting, getting approved and closing. There are many steps involved in getting a mortgage and the process can be time consuming and overwhelming. Use our mortgage process timeline to understand how long each step takes. The time frame required to get a mortgage and buy a home typically takes six-to-ten weeks, although you may be able to close your loan faster in some cases.

    The length of time required to process and close a mortgage varies depending on many factors including the following:

    • The complexity of your loan application including your income, assets and job history.  The mortgage process usually takes longer for applicants with more complicated employment and income profiles.  For example, self-employed borrowers are required to provide more documents than salaried or hourly employees.  Additionally, it can take longer to process loan applications for borrowers with multiple bank or brokerage accounts or sources of income.  It may also take more time to process loan applications for borrowers with credit challenges. 
    • Market conditions.  If the mortgage market is active and a lot of people are buying homes or refinancing, it can take longer to process and close your loan.  Lenders have a limited amount of bandwidth so make sure they have the resources to complete your loan on time.
    • Lender application process.  Each lender applies their own underwriting guidelines when you submit your loan application.  Some lenders use a more rigorous approach and spend more time reviewing your application and requesting follow-up information.  Be sure to understand how long it takes the lender to process and close an application before you apply for the mortgage. 
    • Mortgage amount.  In some cases it may take longer to process larger loans, also known as jumbo mortgages.  Depending on the size of the loan, value of the property and other factors, lenders may require additional documentation including multiple appraisal reports, which may extend how long it takes to close your loan.
    • The type of loan. In many cases, lender prioritize mortgages to buy a home over refinances because there is usually a deadline to close the home purchase.  This means that home purchase loans may take less time to close while refinances may take slightly longer.  The positive about the timeline for a refinance is that you have been through the mortgage process before so you may already have your paperwork in order which can speed up the process.  Plus having already been approved for your original mortgage can make it easier when you apply for your refinance.  
    • The type of property.  The mortgage application process if you are buying a condominium or co-op is more complicated than if you are buying a single family home.  For example, lenders are required to approve the condo project in addition to the individual applicant, which can prolong the mortgage process.  If you are buying or refinancing a condo be sure to include a buffer in your schedule so that your loan closes within your desired time frame.        
  • Great Mortgage IdeaIt is important to emphasize that when you get a mortgage you should expect the unexpected including delays and unforeseen issues.  The process almost always takes longer than anticipated so you should build a cushion into your time frame to make sure your mortgage closes when you need it to.
  • Scroll through the mortgage timeline below to explore different parts of the process from selecting a lender, to reviewing loan documents to closing your loan.  The timeline provides an estimate for how long each step in the process takes so you can better understand how long it takes get a mortgage.  We also provide a day-by-day mortgage process schedule that provides a detailed timeline from when a home buyer's Offer to Purchase is accepted through mortgage funding.

Week 1

Get Orgranized

Determine What Size Mortgage and Property You Can Afford

Mortgage Calculators  Mortgage Qualification Calculator

Check Your Credit Report

Credit Score Required for a Mortgage Credit Karma


Weeks 2-4

Select Real Estate Agent

Find Your Dream Home

Trulia Zillow Realtor

Accepted Offer to Purchase Property


weeks 5 - 8

Finalize Mortgage Application

Lock Your Mortgage

Settlement Agent Opens Escrow

Settlement Agent Orders Title Report

Lender Orders Appraisal

Receive Lender Underwriting Approval

Review Closing Disclosure (CD)

3 Day Closing Disclosure Review Period

Settlement Agent Orders Loan Documents

Review & Sign Documents

Fund Mortgage

Record Mortgage Documents

Close Mortgage!

Finish Line
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    Data provided by Informa Research Services. Payments do not include amounts for taxes and insurance premiums. Click here for more information on rates and product details.
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About the author

Michael Jensen, Mortgage and Finance Guru

Michael is the co-founder of FREEandCLEAR. Michael possesses extensive knowledge about mortgages and finance and has been writing about mortgages for nearly a decade. His work has been featured in leading national and industry publications. More about Michael


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