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I'm in the market for a home equity line of credit (HELOC). In the past for lines of credit, loans, or mortgages, I'm used to applying with several lenders within the same few weeks and having them run my credit, getting a relatively quick approval response with concrete loan terms (APR, costs, fees, etc.), negotiating a little bit with one or two lenders, selecting a lender, and then finally submitting necessary documents to the one lender I selected, which includes faxing tax returns, pay stubs, etc.

Today I had an interesting experience with one lender. I asked to begin an application so they could run my credit and verbally take my information down (income, liabilities, monthly expenses, etc.)

This lender said they require all the paperwork up front to submit with the application before they can give me any concrete terms, which means I need to provide my tax returns, pay stubs, mortgage statements, etc. now before they can tell me the APR, amount approved, and costs.

Is this typical nowadays?

If so, it means I have a lot of paperwork to provide multiple times and also provide personal information to multiple strangers just to get the one I want.

Should I send this lender the documents he wants, or should I tell him, "Thanks but no thanks?"

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Entirely typical for application. If you don't want real numbers, you could just ask for an approximate/worst-case quote... Photocopiers are your friend.

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