By Staff Reporters



Editor’s Note: FHA manual underwriting guidelines were updated in 2020 and require that, for those applicants with credit scores below 620 or a debt-to-income (DTI) ratio that exceeds 43%, mortgage applications must be manually underwritten. For a fiercely frugal doctor, or debt adverse medical professional with “poor” credit because of little to no debt, this may actually be good for them. But, it may also make it difficult for a modern automated mortgage lender to issue a loan. Our debt ridden and consumer driven society is largely causative.




With many Lenders now making automated lending decisions, much like emerging healthcare A.I. initiatives, it can seem confusing why others are still sticking to a manual process. But, a few physicians with little to no credit/debt history, and hence a low FICO score, may actually find it a bonus.

Banking A.I.:

Automated Decision Making

Many mortgage lenders currently use computer-based systems to assist with their lending decisions. These systems will look at your client’s credit score, borrowing history, etc. to decide whether or not to approve a mortgage application. It can then be argued that the value of an Underwriter is decreasing; much like physicians are slowly being devalued for many emerging reasons.

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So, Why Manual Underwriting?

Now, understand that not all [minority of clients] applicants will fit into the box that automated decision making systems like. Due to this, there is a need for manual decisions to be made, that will benefit both the Lender and the Borrower (client)!

Manual underwriting allows our Underwriters to look at the bigger picture and get a balanced view on the potential physician and/or client’s ability to repay the mortgage they are applying for. This means they can have a look at the overall risk to the Society and consider what conditions can be used to meet our lending policies. By using manual underwriting in every case, this embeds sensible and responsible decision making within the Society.

A hands-on approach means a look deeper into your financial position, and consider cases where physician clients may have:

  • Low credit scores;
  • Minimal credit history;
  • Self-employed applicants;
  • Applicants in fixed term employment contracts; and
  • Many more; like really a good personal risk profile.

Manual Underwriters

It is clear to see the benefits for the Society, and physicians, retrospectively. Some benefits of manual underwriting, according to experts David Cox and Richard Groom, include;

“I like that we can look at cases that many other high street lenders wouldn’t consider. This doesn’t mean we are risk takers; we just apply common sense”.

“I enjoy the hands-on approach we apply. Every applicant is different, so why should they all be pushed through an automated system?”

“Just because something doesn’t quite fit, it shouldn’t result in a computer says no decision. It’s great to be able to look at an individual’s situation and see what changes we can make to turn the negative to a positive”.

The great thing about manual underwriting is that while our lending policy is the core of what we do, applying a manual approach means we can consider applications outside of this, where it benefits the borrower and the Society”.





Thank You

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