“The way I run my business seems to be easier than the way I run my life."
– Donald Trump, Real Estate Developer and U.S. President
Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has a lot to say about pretty much everything — especially money. While this real estate mogul and billionaire has likely negotiated his fair share of deals, he's doesn't exactly have a way with words. Here are five of quotes from "The Donald" you might not want to repeat when applying for a mortgage.
"I think my strongest asset by far is my temperament. I have a winning temperament."
- 2016 presidential debate
It's great to have an endearing demeanor, but banks will likely be interested in your more tangible assets. Depending on their worth and liquidity, assets can heavily buttress a loan application. Things that qualify as assets are: mutual funds, stocks, 401(K), life insurance and other property like a car or valuable art or antiques, for example. Though it's not always necessary to have assets (especially if you have a large income), for major banks like Chase and Wells Fargo they could help you qualify for a larger loan and a more favorable interest rate.
"My net worth fluctuates, and it goes up and down with markets and with attitudes and with feelings—even my own feelings."
- Lawsuit deposition
Donald Trump and his net worth may be mercurial, but there's no room for instability in a mortgage application (or feelings for that matter). A large bank like Bank of America wants to see that your income exemplifies a steady and healthy financial position. Feelings can fluctuate, your net worth should not.
"You don't learn that much from tax returns."
- 2016 presidential debate
While we may never learn much from (or even see) Trump's tax returns, a financial institution will definitely want to see yours when applying for a mortgage. Tax returns are the most reliable way to get an accurate picture of your taxable income and expenses. Potential lenders need this information so they can accurately assess what kind of debt load you can afford to carry. As much as banks enjoy lending money, they want to be sure they're going to get it back — with interest.
"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game."
- "Trump: Art of the Deal"
It may come as no surprise that someone who enjoyed amassing Atlantic City casinos views the pursuit of wealth as a game. But keep in mind that money is only a game for those who can afford to lose. According to a study by the federal housing agency Fannie Mae, when applying for a mortgage, a lender prefers someone who is risk adverse, not a risk taker, as exemplified by their credit worthiness. Making loan payments is a serious responsibility that will require discipline, dedication and sometimes even sacrifice. In this way, managing a homeowner's loan can be more like an endurance sport than a game.
Banks will also be impressed if you go in with a budget that shows how much you generally plan to spend over the next few years. Showing a lender that you've considered how much you plan to attribute to housing costs, food and other essentials illustrates that you are taking the mortgage seriously and not treating it like a game.
"As long as you're going to be thinking anyway, think big."
- "Trump: The Art of The Deal"
From his buildings to his attitude, Trump certainly goes big. Don't follow suit. The low- interest rate environment makes it tempting to ask for more than you need when applying for a loan. But a larger loan means larger interest payments over a longer period of time. Stay within your means to ensure that you won't be in over your head if rates suddenly spike or there's another recession.
While a billionaire like Donal Trump may be able to rely on his bravado, connections and money to get a deal done, to get an affordable mortgage, it's in your best interest to speak plainly about the excellent credit score you've worked so hard to achieve and to cheerfully turn over your tax returns.
Finding the right words is hard. Getting an affordable mortgage for your own "tower" is easy at Quote.com