FYI: What I wish I’d known before my first appointment

Home Forums Purchase Program FYI: What I wish I’d known before my first appointment

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    Hi all,

    I had my first appt today. It was 3 hours of mostly scanning! If anyone is organized like me and nervously preparing for their first appointment I have some tips that could help you avoid 3 hours of scanning:

    -Nothing can be deleted from your web-file by federal law. If you mis-upload, it’s okay. Just keep going.

    -The handbook implies getting registered to vote, but you NEED a voter registration card. Get it in advance. A print out from a city or county website ensuring you are registered should work.

    -Thin credit files require proof of payment on other accounts. If you don’t have much credit, bring a year’s worth of documentation of everything else you pay. The handbook isn’t as clear about it, but it definitely says it. I’m glad I noticed it in advance.

    -The NACA counselors don’t have great tech on their side, just like the web-file isn’t so easy for us. I brought a 270 page stack of materials since I didn’t trust the web-file uploads, but it took a long time for my counselor to scan each piece in to the correct place on the site. His scanner only scanned 1-sided, and everything I brought was 2 sided, so I wish I had uploaded just one file for each item of the 35 or so items, noting it in a spreadsheet with the date and number of pages each day for a month. LISTEN TO ME ON THIS ONE. I had uploaded just 3 really large files with everything in them and a table of contents. Totally unnavigable for the counselor. Someone wrote the advice of uploading just one small doc or type of doc each day, but I didn’t understand what they meant. The counselors can’t see labels on the files! They just see page numbers and dates, so unless you space the uploads on different days, it’s very confusing on their end. They also can’t really go digging through a huge .pdf as much as you think they might be able to, even if it’s already uploaded.

    -Write letters of explanation for everything in advance. Varied addresses, varied rent amounts, inconsistencies, charge-offs, delinquent accounts, job changes, big expenses, name changes, etc. Keep them short. Bring a blank piece of paper and pens to handwrite any that may come up on the spot. Make them out to “To Whom it May Concern” since the bank, not just your counselor will see them too.

    -Be way over-prepared. Come with way more than you might need. The second set of underwriters at the bank may need the over-preparation, even if your counselor doesn’t.

    -The max file size to upload is 10MB. Trust me, do not use a pdf compression software to take a bigger file to that size. You’ll lose large chunks of documents! Stick with uploading one type of small doc each day and noting the date and number of pages.

    -Order your IRS tax transcripts 15 days early. Register to vote with enough time to mail. Try to get your proof of payments online ASAP. Our Geico insurance only went back 9 months without needing to send the transactions by mail, so we were missing a 3 months of a full year, which we needed for my fiance’s thin credit file.

    -If you are a couple, do a shared preliminary budget on the web-file, not two individual ones. I started inputting just for me and that was a mistake. You should bring your combined preliminary budget to the appointment, since they need the numbers on it, not the individual budget numbers.

    -Inputting things online first helps the counselors, even when you bring docs in person for face-to-face. He was relieved to find I’d input all 4 of my savings account numbers and he didn’t have to!

    That’s all for right now. Hope this is helpful to someone!

    All the best,


    Hello DeeCee,

    Good advice! Nicely done!

    Tim Trumble
    Online Operations, NACA


    Thank so much for the great advice @DeeCee
    I am overly prepared and excited for my first intake on the 24th


    VERY solid information!


    This is great information. I was going to post something similar, but have been busy focusing on home shopping right now. The only things I would are are:

    Bring 3 or more pay stubs. My MC wanted 3 in case I had overtime on one check.

    Sign your printed tax returns.

    Have your bank account STATEMENTS as well as a printed register of the last 90 days of activity on your account.

    Come prepared with proof of alternative credit just in case. My credit isn’t thin, but a lot of my accounts are active and had no recent activity. She wanted back up just in case.

    Write letters of explanations for money leaving or entering your account around and above the $200 threshold, or if your license address doesn’t match your current address.

    It’s better to over prepare as the original poster said. My financial situation was a lot simpler (just me, no debt, no credit blemishes, had MRF and proof of saving shock for 6+ months) and when I left my appointment I didn’t have ANY action items. My verification of employment and verification of rent were sent in quickly by those parties and I was NACA qualified in 4 days.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by KrispyKareem.

    Nothing can be deleted from your web-file by federal law?
    Is that true?


    Hello Truthier,

    That is absolutely true. Not just for NACA but for any financial application you have ever filled out.

    Ever apply for a credit card and be turned down? They still have your application. That bank account you had in college? They still have the application.

    Many years ago I worked for (what was then) Amoco Oil in their credit card center in Des Moines, Iowa. Every application ever submitted to the company was on file via microfilm. I saw some from when they first experimented with credit cards in the late 1950’s.

    Those documents are stored in some form somewhere, and it pretty much has always been that way.

    Tim Trumble
    Online Operations, NACA


    When I went to the initial NACA workshop with several hundred people, they made an announcement that they were doing two public sessions to help prepare people for their intake meetings.

    I went to one on Saturday and I thought I was in the wrong place at first because I was the only one there. One other woman did show up 15 minutes late, her counselor had recommended she come since she was not organized and I don’t think she had a computer at home. The NACA employee helped set her up on a computer, and then I pretty much had my own personal q&a session. I was provided templates for all of the letters and all my questions were answered.


    DeeCee spelled everything out so nicely!

    Would any recent members who have closed or those of you who are near closing like to add something you wished you would have known?

    I am interested in hearing some of the things you have written an LOE for? More specifically things that were kind of out of the “normal” and by normal I mean deposits/withdraws and the items already listed above.

    Thanks in advance!


    Hello all,

    Let me add one more bit of advice to this thread that everyone should heed:

    Read your Home Buyer’s Workbook cover-to-cover!

    Sadly, I know for a fact that a lot of members don’t read it because of some of the questions I get, even here in the Forum, that are clearly answered in the workbook.

    The workbook actually contains almost everything the majority of our members need to know to get through the NACA Purchase Program and certainly prepares members extremely well for the process.

    In my opinion, one of the best things we have done lately is to put the entire workbook on our website in a downloadable form so even people who want to learn about the process before going to a workshop can get a very detailed picture of how it all works. It also makes sure any updates and revisions that may be necessary are instantly available to everyone.

    We’ve all heard the saying, “When all else fails, read the book”. Well this is a process where you don’t want anything to fail, so read the book first!

    Tim Trumble
    Online Operations, NACA


    Do they have Wi-Fi in the office? I have all my documents in pdf on my laptop. Kind of a bummer to have everything printed and then scanned again. Or should I bring an external drive? I’m thinking the organization wouldn’t want to plug a random drive into their network.


    They might. But the system is not setup like that. If you really don’t want to print anything out you can email everything to your MC and copy your nacalynx address. Your MC will probably just print everything out anyway. They use use proprietary software that *I think* either pulls from your web file or accepts a scanned image directly from the scanner hooked up to it.

    I seem to remember my MC going back and forth from the printer to his scanner.


    Thank you @Nelsont! I uploaded everything I had or that is listed in the workbook to the web file but it sounds like sometimes those uploads do not go through. So my understanding is that people bring hard copies with them just in case. Better safe than sorry. I was going to bring my computer with me where I have everything in a pdf format. My question was is it something doable or should I print everything anyway?

    I also wonder why do they still need to print anything, if let’s say my upload to the web file was successful? Does NACA keep hard copies of any of our documents for anything? Thank you!


    Naca does not keep hard copies. They will reuse the paper though. So whatever is printed out might have something else on the other side lol.

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