Perhaps the single biggest change in mortgage lending involves credit and how your credit information is analyzed. Just a few years ago, your credit report was reviewed by a human being, who would pore through your credit history asking things like, “Why were you late on your student loan two years ago?” or “You went over your credit limit twice on your credit card; please explain.”

In fact, loan officers would help potential borrowers craft special “explanation letters” that would answer the underwriter’s question, all the while aiming for loan approval.

But automation has changed all that. Credit scoring and automated underwriting ...

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