[SC, USA] Met with a mortgage specialist for the first time today. It was a mess that’s still getting sorted out.

TL;DR: In the initial stages of looking for a home and asked for a consultation with a mortgage specialist. Mortgage specialist went ahead and got us pre-approved on a mortgage.

So in the last year me and my fiancee have had a lot of changes. We live together for the first time in five years, we live in more or less an entirely new area, our combined gross income has gone from $75k to around $185k-200k (I'm commission so my income is a bit variable), and we've decided to buy a house. Our timeframe is sometime in 9-12 months. We have a realtor we like and have told her that we don't want to take up a ton of her time yet, but we'd like some help laying groundwork. Learn about the quality of different neighborhoods, learn about how far our money goes in different areas, etc. Then next summer when we're ready to buy a house the basic research will be done and we'll just need to pick something.

We have a lot of details in our financial portfolio that are going to be a pain. The main things are that we have a lot of educational debt and my income is 100% commission with absolutely no base (started a few months ago). I asked our realtor if we could see a mortgage specialist to help us figure out what we could potentially qualify for assuming static income and what we can do between now and buying to improve our application. Eg, we'll make so much money in the next nine months, should we throw it all at our debt? Keep some for a down payment? Etc. My parents went to a mortgage broker when they bought their last home two years ago, gave him permission to run their credit, and after looking for five minutes he told them "When you're ready to buy I could get you approved for up to $400,000, maybe a bit more," so I expected something similar (albeit different numbers) with a little bit of "What if we do XYZ…" mixed in.

We went in and gave her some basic information to pull our credit. She did and we found out two compounding problems: I haven't worked at my 100% commission job long enough to utilize my income, and our DTI was around 65%. Until we improve the DTI to get it under 50%, there's not really anything to do. Got it.

Something didn't seem to be adding up for me so I did some napkin math on the way home. Our DTI was way higher than I expected because it included none of my income, but still all of my debt. We called her back and asked her if it's possible to just take me off the application and if so how things would look.

We hang up and 90 minutes later she calls us back. We've been approved (I assume she meant pre-approved) for $115,000, and she has provisional approval of $150,000 with income verification.

The fuck WHAT?

I called back my realtor absolutely furious that the mortgage specialist has actually sent out an application to banks. She told me to call the agency immediately and ask for the Broker In Charge, whom I had a long conversation with. He's assured me that this sounds entirely out of line and even if there was a miscommunication, the mortgage specialist should never have sent an application for a loan when we said explicitly we're not planning to buy until next year. He said that the mortgage people and agents are organized separately in the company but that he'd talk to the CEO directly today who would be in contact with us. I also was explicit that I want our credit profiles to have no reflection of any applications/inquiries beyond letting their mortgage specialist do a soft pull to look at our credit. He said that wouldn't be a problem.

I'm mostly posting to vent, but I do have a few questions.

  1. Did I do anything wrong, and is there anything in particular I should still do moving forward?

  2. I've made it clear I will not do business with this broker's mortgage people, but once this is resolved should I cut ties to the brokerage completely? It's not as if they're the only game in town. I'm reasonably sure they'll be amenable voiding the exclusivity contract.

  3. What's the best solution I can hope for? Is getting the inquiries (aside from a soft pull to let them look) stricken from my credit reports a reasonable expectation?

Edit: By the way, neither of us signed anything while we were there. Neither of us even touched a pen while there.

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