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Our Lending Process

At Citizens National Bank, we give our customers the personal attention they deserve, whether it is their first home purchase, refinancing an existing mortgage loan or capitalizing on the equity in their home.

Application Process

The first step in the application process for both a purchase transaction and a refinance is to submit a real estate loan application.  You may complete the application ahead of time or complete this with your loan officer.

You are not required to bring any financial information with you to your first appointment, but there are several items that are commonly requested in connection with a mortgage loan application.

  • Proof of your identity – usually a driver’s license or other government issued identification
  • Income Tax Returns– tax returns for the previous 2 years; 3 years for first time home buyers.  Include all schedules and W-2's.
  • Pay stub – Two most recent pay stubs for all borrowers; must contain at least 30 days of year to date earnings
  • Bank statements – two most recent months bank statements for Savings and Checking accounts


Once an application has been submitted, the lender will obtain a Tri-merge credit report which reports your credit history with the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax & Experian.  Many loan programs require that there are a minimum number of credit references.  Some programs also have a minimum credit score requirement.  The higher your credit score, the more financing options that will likely be available to you.  Borrowers with credit scores over 740 usually qualify for the best interest rates and terms.  If you would like a free copy of your credit report, you may access it at

For resources on repairing your credit, visit the Minnesota Home Ownership Center.


The loan officer will need to gather information about your income.  Documents that are generally requested include the two most recent tax returns, complete with all schedules and W-2’s along with your two most recent pay stubs.  The lender will consider your employment history and stability.

Debt Ratio

The lender will compare your monthly income to your monthly payment obligations.  The lender will calculate two debt ratios, the housing ratio and the total-debt ratio.  The general rule of thumb is that your housing payment should not exceed 29% of your income. Your housing payment includes principle, interest, taxes and insurance.  Your total monthly payment requirements including the proposed housing payment plus your other debt payments should not exceed 40%-45% of your gross income.

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