Mortgage lenders dealing with a backlog of applications

With interest rates continuing to hover near record lows, many banks have been swamped by stacks of refinance applications, which are causing delays for many people looking to buy a home.

The average loan now takes between 45 and 60 days, instead of the usual average of 30, according to this month's Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse poll of real estate agents. Those delays, according to the report, are widespread and causing significant issues in some situations with no end in sight.

"Per other agents in office, approximately 45 to 50 percent of transactions [are] delayed due to mortgage application timelines," said one agent in Mississippi. "And the issue seems to be getting worse."

The survey found that in some cases, the loan process took so long that buyers lost their mortgage preapprovals.

With delays already present in the situation, those looking to buy a home may also want to review their credit reports prior to sending in an application. Typographical errors and other examples of unfair credit reporting found within some credit reports could reduce credit scores or cause additional hurdles during the mortgage application process.