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The mortgage loan process is the third and final stage in the home loan process. The mortgage loan process typically begins after executing a purchase contract with the seller. This page breaks down each of the mortgage loan processing steps so you know what to expect. This page is not intended for mortgage loan processing training, but you may use it as a guide.

Please revisit the do’s and don’ts from the qualifying for a home loan section to ensure a smooth closing.

What is the Mortgage Loan Process Timeline?

If you’re wondering, “how long is the mortgage loan process?” The answer is typically 20 business days. This process is done in a series, which means steps cannot be skipped. A typical purchase contract is written for 30 calendar days. This means there are only 20 business -days until closing during a mortgage loan process timeline. You’ll find there’s very little spare time along the way. Being quick in the beginning provides a cushion for slower third-party items.

Responding quickly promotes a smooth closing.

You can help the mortgage loan process by answering your phone and checking your email daily (if you don’t already). Please note we’re not fond of text messaging. Emails provide a written record AND are accessible by all of our team members.

Four Paperwork Stages

A lender will request paperwork from you at four different instances through the home loan process.

1. The first request is already completed – it was done when you got pre-approved. The next three requests are forthcoming and are noted below with red text in the “Mortgage Process Outline”.

2. The loan packaging step is largest effort required from you when staring the mortgage loan process. Document requests are drastically reduced after this stage; however, the urgency will be intensified the closer we get to closing.

3. The processing step involves the Loan Processor reviewing your file along with third party documents (like the appraisal, title work, your verification of employment, etc.). They may request additional information should is be needed before submitting the loan to underwriting for the conditional approval.

4. The fourth and final step where we request paperwork comes when your file is underwritten. Underwriters meticulously reviews files to ensure they meet all guidelines. It’s normal for additional information or documentation to be requested. These “conditions” are typically quick and easy requests.

Mortgage Loan Process Overview

You will be seeing this outline throughout the mortgage loan process. We’ll highlight each stage on it’s respective page so that you’ll know where you are in the process. As always, please contact us if you have any questions.

Mortgage Loan Process Outline

Please visit each step’s page for more details. You will be held accountable for the information contained in each section.

Loan Packaging & Lender’s Disclosures (1-2 business days)
  • Borrower provides the “green light” and the lender sends the loan disclosures
  • Borrower submits supporting documents and returns the signed disclosures

Loan Setup

(2-3 business days)

  • The Setup Team orders third party items (such as appraisaltitleinsurance, etc.)
  • Your insurance agent and employer will be contacted at this time
Processing / Credit Approval (2-3 business days)
  • Processor reviews file and may request additional docs for credit approval
  • Docs reviewed and Borrower becomes credit approved – third party items may be pending

Initial Underwriting Approval

(2-3 business days)

  • Appraisal and third-party items arrive and are sent to underwriting
  • Both borrower and property are approved – if needed, additional documentation requested

Sign the Initial Closing Disclosure (CD)


  • Lender sends initial Closing Disclosure (CD), must be signed by borrower(s)
  • This must be done three days before closing, no exceptions

Final Underwriting Approval

(1-2 business days)

  • Outstanding documents are provided to the Underwriter to satisfy conditions
  • Underwriter issues the Clear to Close (CTC), file goes to the Closing Department

Docs to Title / Final Closing Disclosure (CD) Sent

(1 business day)

  • Title receives lender’s instructions and prepares the final Closing Disclosure (CD)
  • Closing docs are finalized and sent to title; lender sends borrower the final CD

Closing & Funding


  • Everyone signs the closing documents at the Title Company; title faxes for funding
  • Funding occurs the same day for purchases; refinances on a homestead funds 3 days later

After Closing

  • Make your first payment, set up auto draft, watch for junk mail, etc.
  • Next year: file your homestead, contest your property value, etc.

As always, please contact the Mortgage Mark Team should you have any questions. We’re here to help.


Mark Pfeiffer

Branch Manager
Loan Officer, NMLS # 729612

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