Have Selling Questions? Ask Poli


Fannie Mae customers! Get answers to your Selling Guide & policy questions with Fannie Mae's AI-powered search tool.

Launch Ask Poli for Sellers  

Guide Resources

Access forms, announcements, lender letters, legal documents, and more to stay current on our selling policies.

View Resources  

B3-2-07, Refer with Caution Recommendations (02/01/2023)


This topic contains information on Refer with Caution recommendations, including:


Overview of Refer with Caution Recommendations

The layering and degree of risk factors that result in a Refer with Caution recommendation represent a greater risk of serious delinquency than for those loan casefiles that receive an Approve recommendation.

Any loan casefile that receives a Refer with Caution recommendation from DU does not represent a level of risk that is acceptable to Fannie Mae for DU loans. If the data DU considered was an accurate representation of the borrower’s income, assets, liabilities, and credit profile, the loan is not eligible for sale to Fannie Mae as a DU loan.

The following table provides further information about this DU recommendation.

Refer with Caution
Eligible for Fannie Mae’s limited waiver of certain mortgage eligibility and underwriting representations and warranties? No
Satisfies Fannie Mae’s credit risk standards/assessment? No, the loan does not meet Fannie Mae's credit risk standards for DU loans.
Satisfies Fannie Mae’s mortgage eligibility criteria? No, the loan does not meet Fannie Mae's stated eligibility requirements for DU loans.
Eligible for sale to Fannie Mae?

Not as a DU loan.

The lender may manually underwrite the loan in accordance with this Selling Guide if the loan product or transaction otherwise allows for sale of manually underwritten loans. See  B3-1-01, Comprehensive Risk Assessment and the Eligibility Matrix for appropriate eligibility requirements and considerations.


Lender Response to a Refer with Caution Recommendation

When a loan casefile receives a Refer with Caution recommendation, the lender should:

  • Review the DU loan data for accuracy and verify that all income, assets, and liabilities were accurately recorded and fully disclosed by the borrower. 

  • Determine if there is any information outside of the data submitted to DU that could have affected DU's recommendation.

  • Update the loan application data (if applicable) and resubmit the loan casefile to DU for an updated recommendation.

  • Review the credit report data to determine if the information accurately represents the applicant’s credit history. Erroneous data in the credit report, or contradicting or derogatory information, could have affected DU’s recommendation. (See  B3-2-01, General Information on DU, for additional guidance.)

  • Investigate whether there were any extenuating circumstances that contributed to serious instances of derogatory credit.

If the loan casefile still receives a Refer with Caution recommendation, the lender may manually underwrite the loan in accordance with the requirements in the table above. 


Recent Related Announcements

The table below provides references to recently issued Announcements that are related to this topic.

Announcements and Release Notes Issue Date
Announcement SEL-2023-01 February 01, 2023


Have You Tried Ask Poli?

Poli knows. Just ask.

Ask Poli features exclusive Q&As and
more—plus official Selling & Servicing

Try Ask Poli

Related Articles


Customers Recommend Ask Poli

If you have additional questions, Fannie Mae customers can visit Ask Poli to get information from other Fannie Mae published sources.

Guide Resources

For a comprehensive list of resources such as access forms, announcements, lender letters, notices and more.

Visit Selling and Servicing Guide Communications and Forms

Having Issues with Seeing this Page Correctly?

Use Firefox or Chrome   How to do a hard refresh in Internet Explorer
We recommend that you use the latest version of FireFox or Chrome.

Download Firefox
Download Chrome
  A hard refresh will clear the browsers cache for a specific page and force the most recent version of a page.
    Hold the Ctrl key and press the F5 key.

Email Us
If you still have Technical Support questions, feel free to emailAsk_Poli@fanniemae.com.