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Underwriting by definition refers to the whole process of credit assessment, analysis, and approving.
But in practice, the word is usually only used when a loan is approved and an offer letter is in the process of being generated.
This is because if a home loan application is submitted by a borrower, gets past the automated system and it is under credit assessment, telling the borrower that it be being underwritten can be misinterpreted by him as the loan being approved and documents are being processed to generate the contract.
Informing a customer that his loan is being assessed by the credit department will lead to less miscommunications between lender and borrower.
This is why loan officers usually only use the term underwriting when the final facility letter is being generated and what is left on the part of the borrower is to accept the terms and sign the contract.
Underwriting requirements refer to the assessment criteria applied by banking staff when determining whether a loan application can be approved.
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