For all of your mortgage needs, we specialize in FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, Jumbo, Rehab, and New Construction anywhere in Minnesota, Oregon and Washington.
Brian Merritt

Mortgage Loan Expert / Owner 

NMLS# 292485

Getting qualified




At Minuteman Mortgage - we never charge you anything to get Pre-Approved.  Unlike other lenders who charge up-front application fees, we simply give service with a smile!  Just like your Realtor will be paid by the Seller of the new house, your loan officer will be paid by the lender who will service your new loan.



CLICK HERE to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. The form will take less than 4 minutes to fill out.

The first step to buying a house is finding out how much you might Pre-Qualify for.  What it really means to be pre-qualified is, you will fill out a form or speak with a loan officer over the phone and they may even pull a credit report to see what your scores are and what debt obligations you may have.  The other component is determining your qualified income.  Once these two items are recorded, your debt-to-income ratio is calculated and rated according to national lending and underwriting guidelines to determine a maximum potential house payment.

However, what your Realtor will want before they will spend much (if any), of their time with you is a PRE-APPROVAL LETTER.  In order to receive a Pre-Approval, your loan officer will ask you for documentation to verify the information you provided.  The typical documentation that you will be asked for will include:

  • 30 days most recent YTD Pay Stubs
  • 2 months most recent Bank Statements
  • 2 years most recent Federal Tax Returns with W2's and/or 1099's
  • Photo ID

Once these items are received, they are reviewed and matched up to your application for accuracy and completion.  Once this review has been completed, a PRE-APPROVAL LETTER will be delivered to both the borrower(s) and their Realtor.  It may take a period of time to find your "Dream Home," and interest rates do fluctuate - as well as the taxes and insurance may vary substantially from one house to another.  When you are ready to make an offer on a house, you will need to call your loan officer to update your PRE-APPROVAL LETTER based on the particular house and the current market rates.

VERIFIABLE INCOME -  Lenders need to see a 2-year history of income.  It is ideal if it is the same job for 2 years.  You can still qualify for a mortgage if you have had several jobs over the last 2 years, but underwriting guidelines will not allow the income from overtime, commission, tips, or bonuses unless you have been at the same job for 2 years.  If you are self-employed, you will be required to provide 2 years tax returns of your self-employment income and will use the average of the 24 months as income.  If you made less in self-employment the more recent year, they call this "diminishing income" and will only average the second years' income.

VERIFIABLE ASSETS - Your down payment will need to come from a source that can be verified.  Cash in your safe at home cannot be verified.  Typically, once funds have been in your bank account for more than 2 months can be considered verifiable.  Gifts from a family member may be used as verifiable assets.

CREDIT HISTORY and scores can play a big role in the pre-qualifying stage of the mortgage process.  Lenders order mortgage credit reports from the three major credit bureaus - Experian, TransUnion and Equifax to create a TRI-MERGE credit report.  These credit bureaus collect information from retailers, banks, finance companies, mortgage lenders, and a variety of public sources on all consumers who use any type of credit, including credit cards, car loans, mortgages, personal loans, and charge accounts.  The credit score is based on a statistical analysis of your credit history.  Factors that determine your credit score vary from company to company, but generally include:

  • 35% History of Past Payments - on all types of credit
  • 30% Amount of Credit Outstanding - balances on your credit cards and other loans compared to the credit limits for those loans
  • 15% Age of Credit - of all credit cards and charge accounts
  • 10% Mix of Credit - car loans, charge cards, mortgages, etc.
  • 10% Recent Credit Inquiries - suggesting that you are seeking additional loans or credit cards 

The credit score many lenders use is the FICO score.  FICO scores range from 350 to 850, with 850 being the best score.  The higher the score, the less likely there will be a  default on a mortgage.  Therefore, the better the score, the easier it is to pre-qualify.  These scores are viewed as very accurate predictors of future delinquencies.


If you would like to get additional information about pre-qualifying for a loan or see how much you can pre-qualify for, fill out the Short Application Form.


Brian Merritt

Mortgage Loan Expert


Minuteman Mortgage


25777 110th St
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501

Office: 218-850-2112




Get Pre-Approved with Minuteman Mortgage Today!

Lets do this!