While lenders use government guidelines for mortgage approvals, the decision ultimately belongs to the lenders. That’s not the problem.
As anyone who has applied for a mortgage learns the hard way, the application includes a big stack of paper documenting your financial status, including records like tax returns.
In most cases, lenders want to verify all that paperwork, especially after the housing crash a decade ago when lenders went light on documentation, an approach that ended badly.
If the government does shut down, that includes workers at the IRS who are usually asked to verify the tax returns aspiring homebuyers submit to their mortgage lenders. (If you hear there’s a problem with IRS Form 4056-T, you may have hit that particular roadblock.)