It’s 2022, Why Is Income and Employment Verification for Mortgage Still So Painful?

August 17, 2022 by Scott Hamlin

Last year, my wife and I decided to take advantage of Experian’s remote-work policy and move back to my hometown, so we could be closer to family and friends. As excited as we were, the idea of selling and buying a home during the market frenzy was a little intimidating. Surprisingly, finding a home wasn’t our challenge. We lucked out and found what we were looking for in the exact neighborhood we wanted. Our biggest challenge was timing. Our goal was to sell our current home and immediately move into the new one, with no overlap of payments or having to put our belongings in storage while we temporarily stayed with family (or in a short-term rental).

Once we sold our home, we had exactly 30 days to close on our new home and move in. Since this wasn’t our first rodeo, I felt confident all would go smoothly. Things were on schedule until it came time to verify our income and employment. Who knew something so simple could be so hard? Let me share my experience with you (crossing my fingers you have a smoother experience in place for your borrowers):

  1. Pay statements — I was initially asked to provide pay statements for the previous two months. Simple enough for most borrowers, but it does require accessing your employer payroll system, downloading multiple pay statements and then either uploading them to your lender portal or emailing them to your loan officer (which no borrower should be asked to do). This took me less than 30 minutes to pull together.
  2. Verification report — After reviewing my pay statements, my lender told me they needed an official verification report on my current and previous employers. At the time, Experian had just acquired Corporate Cost Control (now part of Experian Employer Services), a company that offers verification-fulfillment services for employees, employers and verifiers. I told my lender I could provide the verification report via Corporate Cost Control and they agreed it would be sufficient. This took me several days to figure out.
  3. HR information — Just when I thought we were good, I received an email from my lender asking for one last thing — the HR contact information of my current and previous employers. Obtaining this information from Experian was easy, but I didn’t know where to start with my previous employer. I ended up texting some former colleagues to get the information I needed. This too took several days to figure out.

Finally, I got the call from my lender saying everything checked out and I was good to proceed with the underwriting process. Whew! What I thought would take 30 minutes ended up taking a full week and threatened our ability to close on time. And not to mention was a massive headache for me personally. This isn’t how you want your borrowers to feel, which brings me to the title of this blog, it’s 2022, why is mortgage employment verification so painful in today’s digital age? Other industries have figured out how to remove pain and friction from their user experiences? Why is the mortgage industry lagging?

Mortgage employment verification made easy

If it’s lack of awareness, you should know there are tools that can automate verification decisions. Experian Verify™ is a perfect example where mortgage lenders can instantly verify a borrower’s income and employment information (both current and previous employers), without needing to ask the borrower to track down pay statements or HR contact information. You can literally verify information in seconds — not hours, days, or weeks.  And the service supports Day 1 Certainty® from Fannie Mae — giving you increased peace of mind the data is accurate and trusted. This not only improves the borrower experience but increases efficiency with your loan officers. Tools like Experian Verify are a win-win for you and your borrowers.

So, what are you waiting for? Modernize your experience and give your borrowers (like me) the frictionless experience they deserve, and if we’re being honest, are starting to demand.

Learn more about income and employment verification for mortgage