mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed

If the Lender already has paid the guaranty fee and then reduces the loan amount after Conditions to be used on multiple loans require SBA approval. Pre-approval: With a mortgage application and a more detailed assessment of the buyers' financial situation, a bank has agreed to qualify the buyer for a. This financial process, which takes your average pre-approval a step mortgage company has already vetted your financials and agreed to. mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed

: Mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed

Mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed
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Mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed

10 Simple Steps to Get a Mortgage Preapproval

10 Simple Steps to Get a Mortgage (Starting with Preapproval) 

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  1. Mortgage Preapproval
  2. Mortgage Application Process
  3. Good Faith Estimate
  4. Mortgage Process
  5. Mortgage Loan Underwriting Process
  6. Appraisal
  7. Approval Decision
  8. Lock in Rate
  9. Mortgage Loan Approval
  10. Close on the Loan

The home buying process will vary state-by-state, but North Carolina is one of the most “buyer friendly” states in the U.S. In this article, we will cover the step-by-step mortgage process, starting with preapproval as step one. As with anything related to buying a home, applying for a mortgage can be an involved process, so it is important to speak with your real estate agent and gather his/her thoughts on the best loan officers in your area. 

Although every mortgage has a unique timeline and there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to the approval process, it typically takes about 30-45 days (sometimes more) to be approved for a mortgage here in Raleigh, North Carolina. There are several factors impacting this, so give yourself some extra wiggle room to ensure you’re not in a time crunch. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the 10-step process involved in obtaining a mortgage on a home: 

Step 1: Mortgage Preapproval and Loan Processing Checklist

You may have heard the terms ‘preapproval’ and ‘prequalification’ being used interchangeably in the past. However, there are some important differences between preapproval prequalification. Prequalification can be done very quickly online or over the phone and involves submitting your debt, income, and assets to get an estimation of the loan amount you may be approved for. Prequalification is typically free and doesn’t take a hard look at your credit or any other important financial information. 

Getting preapproved, on the other hand, is more involved. Getting preapproved for a mortgage is the best way to let sellers know that you are serious about making a purchase on a home and will set you apart from competing buyers who do not have mortgage preapproval. The first step in getting preapproved involves filling out an official application and providing the lender with financial documents. They will also run a credit report. 

Unlike prequalification, there is typically a fee involved in getting preapproval. After obtaining preapproval, you will have a much stronger sense of the mortgage you will qualify for and the interest rate that will come with it. Depending on the situation, you may even be able to lock in that interest rate.

This will be extremely helpful when looking for homes to buy, because it will help you know which price range you should be targeting as you begin your search. This also helps sellers know that you are serious about buying because obtaining preapproval puts you one step closer to getting an actual mortgage.

Mortgage Loan Processing Checklist:  

When obtaining mortgage preapproval in North Carolina, there are several documents you will be asked to provide. These include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Bank statements from the past several months (including investment accounts)

  2. Statements that detail outstanding loans, lines of credit, rent payments, etc. from the past several months

  3. Tax returns from the past two years

  4. Recent pay stubs from current employer 

  5. Any other supporting financial information such as explanations regarding coastal community bank hours gifts or large deposits, explanation of credit inquiries, and marriage licenses, divorce settlements, child support, bankruptcies, etc.

Step 2: House Hunting and the Mortgage Application Process

After you have been pre-approved, you can officially begin the house-hunting process. When you find the home you wish to purchase, you will need to fill out a mortgage application. You will submit the loan application to your lender directly or through a mortgage broker. Once you are under contract on the home it is now up to you to secure financing and this is why the home will go from an active listing to a contingent listing.

Most lenders use the same standardized form, which is called a Fannie Mae form 1003 (also known as a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), which makes the process fairly straightforward regardless of the state in which you are submitting an application. Click HERE for a sample of what a loan application typically looks like. The application will ask for information regarding the property being purchased, details about you as the borrower, and which loan type you are using. 

Step 3: Receive Good Faith Estimate

Within three days of submitting the loan application, you will receive a “Good Faith Estimate” (GFE) which will break down the estimated closing costs. This is not an exact list – closing costs will typically deviate a bit from this breakdown – but it will help you get a better sense as to what your closing costs will be.

Step 4: Mortgage Processing

After completing the loan application, the file will then be moved into the processing stage. In this phase, the loan processor will collect several documents relating to you and the property you wish to purchase. Some of the documents that they may request include tax records, employment letters, bank statements, the purchase agreement for the house you wish to buy, and more. 

After the mortgage is moved into the processing stage, the underwriting process will begin – which is one of the most critical steps in the approval process. 

Step 5: Mortgage Loan Underwriting Process 

In this stage, the underwriter will take a careful look at the documentation that has been prepared by the loan mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed to ensure it is in compliance with lending guidelines. The underwriter is ultimately the person who will decide whether or not you are approved for a loan, and they have the authority to reject a loan as well if it doesn’t meet certain standards. The underwriter is responsible for considering the level of risk that is being brought about with your loan. In doing so, the underwriter will take a careful look at how much debt you have, your income, assets, credit history, and any other financial details that may come into play when assuming whether or not you should qualify for a loan. 

Most underwriters will consider three primary details: 

  1.  Capacity: An underwriter will consider whether or not you have the means to pay off your mortgage and will carefully consider your income history, length of time you have been with your employer, and any outstanding debt when determining how likely you are to pay off your mortgage in the amount of time that has been allotted. 

  2. Credit: Your credit history is an extremely important aspect when obtaining mortgage preapproval. They will want to see that you have a strong credit score, mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed historically paid off your credit card, and have lengthy credit history. 

  3. Appraisal: The underwriter will request an appraisal to ensure that the amount of the loan being requested is equivalent to the amount that the house is actually worth. I delve into this in a bit more detail below.

If any problems occur during the underwriting process, they may give the borrower a list of conditions that need to be resolved (which is a conditional approval). For example, an underwriter might ask you to provide additional information regarding a specific withdrawal or pay my spectrum cell phone bill in your bank account. 

Step 6: The Appraisal

The loan commitment letter states that the lender is willing to fund the mortgage, but certain conditions will often need to be met. These conditions typically include an appraisal, which involves having a licensed appraiser come to the home you wish to purchase and provide an assessment of the property’s value. The mortgage broker or lender will typically order the appraisal through a central directory (often called an Appraisal Management Company or AMC).

Why is an appraisal necessary? If you seek to purchase a home that is listed for $250,000 but the appraisal reveals that the home is only worth $200,000, the mortgage lender may only approve you for a $200,000 loan. Mortgage lenders want to ensure that they are providing adequate funds based on the home’s true value, and an appraisal will help them know that. If the appraisal comes in lower than the purchase price, the buyer can walk away from the deal (if ibank for mac due diligence period hasn’t expired) or they can ask the seller to reduce the purchase price. The appraisal is an important step when under contract on a mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed is your home inspection which may have different requirements depending on your type of loan.

Step 7: Receive Approval Decision

Every borrower will vary when it comes to receiving approval. Some may glide right through the underwriting process and will not need to submit additional documentation, whereas others will be asked for insight into their financial history. Your loan officer will be able to guide you through the process of completing the application and submitting required documents to an underwriter. The underwriter will then respond back with one of four decisions regarding your mortgage application: 

If you are approved for a mortgage, you will receive a loan commitment letter in writing that specifies the exact loan amount that you qualify for.

This is a very common form of mortgage approval. Your loan officer will help you sort through the conditions that are being requested and will be available to navigate through the process.  

This means that more documentation is required before the underwriter can make a decision. 

If the borrower has questionable credit, employment history, etc., they may be rejected entirely.

Step 8: Lock in Rate and Terms

After you have been approved for a loan, it is imperative that you lock in an interest rate and loan terms. This includes how long the loan will last (20 years, 30 years, etc.) and whether the interest rate is adjustable or fixed. With a fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate is set and will not change. An adjustable rate mortgage will have a fluctuating interest rate that is tied to something called an ‘index.’ As the rate of interest rates (or index) increases, your interest payment will increase as well. If the index goes down, your interest payment will also go down. However, there are some adjustable rate mortgages that will set a cut-off point for how high or low your interest rate can go.  

Without locking in an interest rate with your lender, you run the risk of interest rates rising significantly. It is also important to note that you do not need to move forward with the lender you obtain preapproval from. If you are unhappy with working with them for any reason, you can switch lenders. If you are happy with them, it may be easier to stick with that company since they have all of your financial information, credit report documentation, etc. 

It is standard that the lender will provide the loan terms in writing along with a time limit as to how long the terms and conditions will be valid. You must finalize the loan before the terms expire to lock in the rate and terms. 

Step 9: Mortgage Loan Approval

If you receive mortgage art activities for kids at home and the underwriter agrees to let you purchase the home, that means the property has been “cleared-to-close.” This specifies that all requirements have been met and you can move forward with purchasing the home.

Step 10: Closing on the Home

Before the day of the closing, all loan documents are sent to the title company that will handle the closing. On the day of the closing, you and the seller will review any documents that pertain to the loan. In some states, buyers and sellers can close on their home separately or with different title companies, but in North Carolina the buyer and seller sit at the same closing table. 

Before the day of the closing, you will receive a form titled a “Closing Disclosure,” which is a standardized form that provides details regarding the mortgage loan such as the projected monthly payments, loan terms, fees, closing costs, etc. 

What can I do to prepare for the mortgage process?

There are several steps that can be taken to prepare for the mortgage process. When preparing to purchase a home, it is important that you do not make any large, costly purchases such as buying a car or other expensive items. 

With regard to credit, you will need a credit score of at least 580 to be eligible for a loan. Many other loan types require much higher credit scores that typically exceed 600 or even 700. To improve your credit score, work on paying off any outstanding debt. It is also advisable not to do anything that will run a hard check on your credit, such as opening a new credit card. 

It is advisable to carefully consider what you can comfortably borrow. Bear in mind that you do not need to take on the full amount that you are pre-approved for – you can borrow far less than that amount. For example, although you may be pre-approved for borrowing $250,000, you may be better off buying a home that is closer to $200,000 to alleviate some of the financial burden. Take careful inventory of what you mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis – car payments, private school education, general expenses, etc. – and create a budget to assess how much you can comfortably spend on a mortgage each month without breaking the bank.

In conclusion, there are several aspects of the mortgage process that should be considered when planning to buy a home. It is always advisable to work with a real estate agent and a mortgage broker who can guide you through the complicated mortgage process and help alleviate much of the stress. There are many different types of loans and requirements from conventional loans to FHA loans, to VA or even USDA loans. Beyond the process of being approved for a mortgage, there are also several different types of mortgages you can consider, so it is important to work with a trustworthy professional who can explain each loan type to you and help you understand the positives and negatives of every loan type that you are eligible for. 


Ryan Fitzgerald Raleigh RealtyHi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for building businesses, working out, inspiring others, technology, sports, and people. Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram!

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Mortgage Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification: What’s the Difference?

Mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification: which is better?

When it comes to mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification, it's important to keep in mind their two distinct purposes. Pre-approval is a commitment to lend. Pre-qualification is a quick and easy way to learn about mortgage possibilities when you plan to buy a home.

When deciding between mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification, it's most important to know that not everyone gets pre-approval, but just about anyone can get pre-qualified.

Anyone can get a mortgage pre-qualification because it’s based on information that you provide. For a mortgage "pre-qual," most lenders run a soft credit check, which gives them your credit score and a few details, but not your full credit history. (By the way, this kind of "soft" pull doesn’t affect your score at all.) The lender generally won’t verify employment, review your financial documents, or confirm your assets for a pre-qual.

Here’s a mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification example. U.S. Bank uses pre-qualification to determine if a borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is within its lending standards, but doesn’t examine detailed information about the borrower or perform a credit check. Pre-approval, however, entails verifying the information in your application.

This isn’t to say that a pre-qualification isn’t useful. A mortgage pre-qualification can be a great first step in your buying process -- use a pre-qual to learn how much you can afford to borrow before you start looking at homes.

Mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification: which process takes longer?

When it comes time to weigh mortgage pre-approval vs pre-qualification, remember you can usually apply for a pre-qualification and get results in a few minutes.

Loan pre-approval takes a little longer because the loan underwriter credit one bank card not working all the information you provide. A pre-approval is basically a mortgage application without a specific home attached to the application. The lender checks your credit report, and verifies your employment history, income, and assets.

Even with the higher level of scrutiny, if the lender can digitally verify your information, your pre-approval could be ready within a day. In some cases, you may have to wait two to three days for an answer.

Here’s a sampling of items you may need santander customer service number 24 7 free submit to the lender to obtain a mortgage pre-approval (this list is by no means exhaustive):

  • Your residential address(es) for the past two years, along with contact information for landlords if you have them
  • Bank statements for all checking, savings, and other asset accounts
  • Pay stubs from the past 30 days
  • W-2s for the past two years
  • Your Social Security number, so the lender can pull your credit report and score

You may be asked to provide additional documents if they apply to you, such as proof of child support, or documentation of any gift funds you plan to use.

Many lenders offer mortgage pre-approval for free, but some charge. If you are asked to enter a credit card number when you submit your application, that is, of course, a good indication you’re going to be charged. The lender may refund your application fee if you take the loan.

Once you are pre-approved for a mortgage, the lender gives you a mortgage pre-approval letter. The pre-approval letter includes information about the lender, the home loan program for which you’ve been approved, and the maximum amount of money they are willing to lend you. (Some lenders also offer a pre-qualification letter, but again, it’s not a commitment to lend.)

Loan pre-approval can help you tremendously as a prospective buyer

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification, consider that a mortgage pre-approval letter can be an important shopping tool. The last thing a seller wants is to take their home off the market for a month or longer, only to have to re-list it because the homebuyer couldn’t get a mortgage loan. In fact, some sellers only entertain pre-approved and all-cash offers.

While a pre-approval letter doesn’t give you quite the offer strength of a cash buyer -- since final mortgage approval comes later -- it is the next-best thing. A pre-approval tells sellers you are serious and prepared.

An important detail to know: you can typically request a pre-approval letter for an amount lower than your full approved amount. That way, if you want to offer $250,000 for a home, you don’t need to tell the seller you’ve been approved for as much as $300,000. Most lenders are happy to provide this letter, and it can be an effective component of your negotiating strategy.

Mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification: which one is required?

Whichever option you go with after considering mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification, the final decision is up to you. They are both optional -- you don’t absolutely need to obtain a mortgage pre-approval letter to start shopping for a home.

However, both can be useful parts of the mortgage process.

First, a mortgage pre-qualification tells you what ballpark price range to shop in. It’s especially useful for people who have no idea how much house they can solano property management rentals in fairfield ca. It can also alert you to steps you should take to improve your credit standing or financial situation before starting your home search. For example, you might find out you could get a better rate if you raise your credit score by just a few points. A pre-qual can help you learn how firm your footing is.

Mortgage pre-approval says you can get a loan, and for how much. And from a seller's perspective, a pre-approved buyer is more likely to be able to close on the home at the agreed price.

Obtain multiple pre-approvals to find the best loan

You can use pre-approvals to rate-shop if you apply for pre-approval with a few lenders and compare offers. You can apply to the lenders separately, or go through a mortgage broker.

Whether you obtain a mortgage pre-approval or pre-qualification, the lender tells you the interest rate you qualify for. You might be shocked to know how much difference even very small variations in the interest rate make. For example, on a $250,000 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the difference between a 4.75% interest rate and 4.80% is nearly $2,900 in savings over the term of the loan. Why put that money into someone else’s pocket if you don’t have to?

Even if two banks canada visa application login you the same interest rate, the fees they charge can vary significantly.

Furthermore, applying to a few lenders won’t hurt your credit score. There are special rules in the FICO and the VantageScore credit-scoring formulas that encourage consumers to shop for mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed best mortgage. While it’s true that each time you apply for new credit your score could dip, all mortgage applications you make within a specified shopping period count as a single inquiry for scoring purposes.

That means you can apply for pre-approval with one, two, five, or 100 mortgage lenders. The effect on your credit score is the same -- as long as you make all your applications inside the shopping window. It’s between 14 and 30 days, depending on the scoring model (stick with 14, since you won’t know what credit-scoring model a lender is using).

When it comes to mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification, both are good tools. Shopping around during your pre-approval process can save you money. You don’t have anything to lose, except maybe a few hours of your time, and doing so could save you thousands of dollars.

Choosing mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification can be easy. Pre-qual comes when you are educating yourself, before you shop. Pre-approval comes when it’s time to choose a lender and prepare to make an offer.


If you're thinking about buying a home, one of the first things to do is get pre-approved for a mortgage. In fact, it's a good idea to do this even before getting a real estate agent or looking around for properties.

Getting pre-approved means providing your financial details to mortgage lenders and getting a loan offer showing your likely interest rate and the amount you can borrow. Pre-approval isn't an absolute guarantee you will get a loan. But it does mean that you'll likely get one at the agreed-upon terms as long as your financial situation doesn't change and the home you buy is worth enough to serve as collateral.

Although pre-approval can take time and may seem like a hassle, you'll reap these three crucial benefits if you go through the process.

1. You won't waste time looking for homes in the wrong price range

Mortgage pre-approval sets an upper limit on the amount you're allowed to borrow. While you may not want to borrow the maximum amount the bank allows, you definitely can't borrow more than the bank approves you for.

If you don't know what your upper limit is, you could end up wasting a lot of time looking at houses that are too expensive. Not only does this mean you could spend hours on a fruitless quest, but it can also make it more difficult to find a property you love in your price range since you may get your heart set on features that are out of your budget.

2. You're more likely to get an offer accepted

When you find a home you want to buy and submit an offer, the home sellers will typically want you to provide proof of pre-approval. That's because it's in their best interests to make sure you can get approved for the loan needed to go through with the purchase.

Since it takes time to get convert 90 c to f and the market is very competitive, you don't want to find a house you love and then have to start searching for a bank to make you a loan. This could mean missing out on the opportunity to make an offer because you couldn't get your pre-approval letter on time.

Submitting an offer without a pre-approval letter could also lead to the seller declining because they don't have faith you'd be able to get the loan you'd need to buy.

3. It will be faster to close on a home

Once you find the perfect property, chances are good you'll want to move in quickly. And since it can take a long time to get approved for a mortgage and go through the closing process, you could find your timeline is slowed down if you don't have a pre-approval.

If you've already found a lender and submitted your financial information, you'll only need to go through the final approval st louis gateway to the west rather than starting from scratch. This can make it faster and easier to complete your purchase. Sellers will appreciate this as well, and a shorter timeline to closing could also help you get approved for a loan.

Pre-approval streamlines the home-buying process, making it faster and increasing the likelihood your offer to buy will be accepted. So there's no reason not to talk to a lender and get pre-approved before you start your property search.


Pre-Qualify vs. Pre-Approve: What’s the Difference?

The mortgage process typically includes getting how to find routing transit number wells fargo and/or pre-approved. They’re not the same, and in a competitive market, knowing which to get could be the difference between landing your dream home and losing it to another buyer.

What Does it Mean to be Pre-Qualified?

Being pre-qualified means a lender has decided you will likely be approved for a loan up to a certain amount, based on your current financial situation.

To get pre-qualified, you simply tell a lender your level of income, assets, and debt. The lender will then take that unverified information and determine how much you will likely be approved for. There are no guarantees you will actually be approved for the same amount.


  • No effect on credit score
  • No fees
  • Helps you estimate what you can afford
  • Good for first-time home buyers

While pre-qualification is often the first step of the mortgage process, some sellers won’t take you seriously until you’ve been pre-approved.

What Does it Mean to be Pre-Approved?

Being pre-approved means you’ve actually been approved by a lender for a specific loan amount. When pre-approved, you will receive a letter that states your approved loan amount.

Unlike getting pre-qualified, when getting pre-approved, you provide documented financial information (pay stubs, statements, obligations, credit report, etc.) to be reviewed and verified by the lender.


  • No fees
  • Gives you negotiation power
  • Helps you know exactly what you can afford
  • Allows you to close faster

Something to keep in mind is that being pre-approved doesn’t guarantee you a loan. You still have to complete the application, go through the underwriting process, and wait for final approval. But being pre-approved indicates your intent to purchase, so sellers look fondly upon buyers with pre-approval letters.

Which One Should I Get?

If you’re new to home buying, not sure whether you can support a mortgage, or if you’re just not ready to buy yet, pre-qualification makes more sense. Getting pre-qualified doesn’t affect your credit score, so it’s a good way to begin if you’re just browsing.

Now, if you’re ready to buy within 90 days, pre-approval is what you want. When the housing market is hot, homes sell fast — sometimes within hours of being listed. If you already have financing, you too can move fast, and that gives you an immediate advantage over other buyers. There is a small credit hit (typically around five points), but if you’re serious about buying a house, you need to get pre-approved right away.

How to Get Started

At Connexus, the easiest way to get pre-qualified or pre-approved is to give our professional mortgage team a call at 715.847.4726. Our team would be happy to help!


After looking at homes on Zillow all week, you might feel ready to contact a seller and schedule a tour. But before you even set foot in a property, you’re going to want to sit down and talk with a lender about mortgage pre-approval.

A pre-approval letter isn’t a magic ticket that guarantees you a house, but it will greatly increase your chances of getting the property you want and make the home buying process easier.

If you already know about the benefits of home loan pre-approval but you don’t think your credit is good enough, don’t worry – we’ll cover that too. By the end of this guide, you’ll know all about how it works, the difference between pre-approval vs pre-qualification, and how you can get approved even if your credit isn’t where you’d like it to be.

What is Mortgage Pre-Approval?

Getting pre-approved for mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed mortgage means that a lender has determined that, based on a thorough review of your finances, you will be able to pay the necessary down payment and mortgage payments on a property up to a certain value.

Your pre-approval letter will include the mortgage amount you have been approved to borrow. This can be shown to sellers as evidence of your ability to pay.

Why is it Important?

Unless you’re able to buy a home with cash (and if you are, you don’t need to be my 1st amendment rights this!), you won’t get very far in the buying process without a mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed letter in most markets. Here’s why:

It gives you a price range. House hunting is hard enough, but it’s near impossible when you don’t have an accurate budget in mind. After sitting down with a lender and getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll be given an estimate of what you can afford. This will save you from wasting time looking at properties outside your price range.

It alerts you to possible credit issues. You might think that you’re ready to get a loan for a house, but your lender may tell you otherwise. After a thorough review of your finances, they may catch issues that could prevent you from obtaining a mortgage. It’s much better to find this out during the pre-approval process than to get a nasty shock when you go to make an offer on a home.

Sellers expect it. Would you rather sell your home to someone you know nothing about, or someone who fallout 1st reddit guaranteed to have a good credit history and a stable income? In today’s competitive housing market, a pre-approval letter can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection. Most real estate agents won’t even give you the time of day without one.

You might be able to lock in an interest rate. Depending on the lender you work with, they may also offer a rate lock agreement. In exchange for a 1% deposit, they’ll lock in your interest rate. If you’re in an area where interest rates are particularly volatile, locking in your rate when it’s on the low end could help you save money.

Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification

You may have heard the terms “pre-approval” and “pre-qualification” used interchangeably. And it’s easy to see why – both provide an estimate of how much you can borrow, and both can be shown to sellers to increase the likelihood that they’ll accept your offer.

Despite their similarities, the two are actually quite different – here’s how.

What is pre-qualification?

Pre-qualifying for a loan means that a lender has checked your income, debt, and assets to give you an estimate of how much home you can afford. They do not look at your credit, and they won’t review your finances in depth – they’ll only go by the information you’ve given them (whether it’s accurate or not!).

Because the pre-qualifying process is so simple, it can be done online or over the phone, often for free. In a few days, you’ll receive a pre-qualification letter, which you can show to sellers as you start touring homes.

How is pre-approval different?

Pre-approval is a more extensive yet more valuable process. The lender will complete a thorough check of your financial background and credit history. Because they have more information to go on, your lender will be able to give you an exact loan amount in writing, not just an estimate.

Unlike pre-qualification, which is typically free, mortgage pre-approval will cost you a few hundred dollars in most cases.

Which one should I get?

There’s some debate surrounding pre-approval vs pre-qualification. Many people end up doing both. However, it is generally agreed on by mortgage experts that a pre-approval letter carries more weight and is more meaningful to sellers.

If you’re just curious to see how much you could potentially borrow, pre-qualification is the easiest way to find out. But if you’re serious about buying a home or you’re worried about how your credit will affect your mortgage, getting pre-approved is going to be more worth your while.

Plus, because pre-approval gives you an exact loan amount, you’ll be able to confidently shop below your budget. When a pre-qualification estimate is all that you have to go on, you might wind up looking at a few homes that are above what you can afford.

How to Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan: Step by Step

Applying for mortgage pre-approval is nearly as intensive as applying for the mortgage itself. However, the plus side to this thorough process is that sellers will see you as a more reputable buyer.

To get pre-approved for a home loan, you’ll need to:

1. Check Your Credit Score

One of the key benefits of getting pre-approved is that it will save you time. Do yourself a favor and save even more time by checking your credit score before you apply for home loan pre-approval.

Checking your credit score on your own is free on sites like if you catch any errors, you’ll have the chance to fix them and increase your chances of getting approved the first time around.

2. Find a Lender

You can find a pre-approval lender at any mortgage brokerage firm. Many will even let you fill out the application online.

Keep in mind that you do not have to go back to the same lender who pre-approved you when you’re ready to apply for a mortgage. After your offer is accepted by a seller, it’s actually recommended that you shop around and speak with several different lenders before you settle on a mortgage rate (unless you my location to fort smith arkansas in your rate during the pre-approval process).

3. Gather the Right Documents

You will have to show your lender many of the same documents you would need to provide with your actual mortgage application. Gathering all of these documents can be quite a chore, but when it comes time to apply for the real deal, you’ll be glad you have everything organized and ready to go.

For home loan pre-approval, your lender will want to see:

Proof best first time credit card chase Income: Your lender will want anything and everything related to your income, when can you apply for ssi benefits W2s (2 years), tax returns (2 years), and pay stubs (30 days).
Proof of Assets: In addition to what you earn, your lender will also want to see what you have on hand. This includes your checking and savings account balances, as well as any investments you may have, such as stocks, bonds, and CDs.
Debts: If you have monthly debt payments, such as student loans, credit card debt, real estate debt, or auto loans, you’ll need to report these, too.
Credit: You can’t apply for pre-approval if you haven’t built any credit. Most traditional lenders are looking for a score above 620, but certain types of loans may allow you to be pre-approved with a lower score. And remember, the higher the score, the lower your interest rate will be, so don’t just get up to the minimum score and stop trying to build your credit.
Prior Residence Documents: These include HOA documents and mortgage statements.
Personal Identification: Your Social Security Number & driver’s license are required as well.

If you are self-employed, gathering the information you need can be a bit trickier. Check out our guide to getting a mortgage loan when you’re self-employed to learn more.

4. Submit Your Application

If your lender uses an automated underwriting system and you’ve provided all of the necessary information, you could know if you’ve been approved in as little as a few minutes. Isn’t technology great?

Just keep in mind that if the information you provided was incomplete, the process will take longer. And if you’re denied, don’t worry – find out what went wrong and prepare to apply again.

Next Steps

Pre-approval letter way to go card oklahoma hand, you might feel like the hardest part is over – but don’t get too excited, because you’re not out of the woods just yet.

Remember, pre-approval is NOT a loan guarantee. In the weeks leading up to your closing date, you’ll have to walk on eggshells to avoid losing your financing.

Basically, you want to keep your finances as stable as possible.

That means you shouldn’t:

  • Leave your job or apply for a new job
  • Make a big purchase (a new car, a vacation)
  • Take on new debt
  • Miss a debt payment and hurt your credit score

On the other hand, there are things that you should be doing during this period. Saving for a down payment, fixing credit errors, and paying off debts are all smart moves.

But even something that seems positive, such as taking a higher paying job, could negatively impact your loan approval. Avoid major changes if you can, or run them by your lender to make sure they’re safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does pre-approval for a mortgage last?

You were sure that you were transferring to a job in a new city, so you got pre-approved for a home loan and started looking at properties. But things changed, and now it turns out you’re staying put. How long will your pre-approval last before you have to go through the whole process over again?

Because credit can change so quickly, pre-approval letters are only valid for 60 to 90 days, so time your house hunting accordingly.

How can I increase my chances of getting pre-approved?

Whether you’re worried you’ll be denied or you’re trying to get pre-approved for a higher amount, here are some ways to improve your application:

  • Check your credit before you apply and fix any errors right away
  • Continue paying your bills on time to build credit
  • Keep organized documentation of your finances
  • Add additional income sources (unemployment benefits, cash tips, Social Security, VA benefits, etc.)
  • Wait until you’ve been employed for 2 consecutive years to apply

A good way to test the waters before you apply for pre-approval is to apply for pre-qualification. While not as thorough as pre-approval, pre-qualification is typically free and will give you a good idea of what you can afford with your current income.

What if I can’t get pre-approved?

Tried all of the above, but still can’t get approved? You might want to consider alternative lending options. Look into bad credit home loans, such as hard money loans or VA loans that require little or no credit for approval.

Explore Your Home Loan Options

Pre-approval is by far the best way to know if you’ll qualify for a home loan and how you’ll be able to spend before you start your home search. Hopefully, this guide has made the pre-approval process less intimidating and easier to understand.

But pre-approval is still only one step in the home buying process – if you have questions about mortgages, interest rates, or alternative lending options, we have answers. Get in touch with Associates Home Loan of Florida to learn more about the loan application process and find a lending solution that works for you!

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How to Prepare and Buy Your First Home


Find a location that fits your lifestyle. If you’re single, the cityscape may be for you. If you have your family in mind, scope out neighborhoods at different times of day to see what fits your needs. Search nearby attractions and schools and do research of homes in the area to find the cost of mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed. KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD

Your financial situation will determine your ability to obtain a mortgage. Use our mortgage calculator to determine your monthly mortgage payment, adjusting for variables such as the size of your down payment, your mortgage type, and current interest rates. You will also need to factor in cost of homeowners’ insurance, utilities, taxes and, if applicable, associational fees.

Make a wish list that is divided into three categories. This can help narrow your focus on affordability.

  • Non-Negotiable
  • Nice to Have
  • Dream Features


Do not pass “Go,” do not start browsing homes until you have checked your credit score and credit report. This is the number that mortgage lenders will look at to determine whether you are “creditworthy,” and thus dictates the rates you will get. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate—and that’s what you’re going for. Get a free copy of your credit report at to see where you stand. Clean up any credit errors that you may have.

Once you’re ramping up to buy a home, it’s wise to not make any major changes in your life or, most important, your finances. Do not switch jobs. Do not buy a new car. Do not even buy furniture or apply for a new credit card, which could affect your credit.

Check out our 10 commandments to live by during your mortgage process.

4. SAVE Mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed A DOWN PAYMENT

To get the best rates, you’ll need to make at least a 20% down payment on a home. If you don’t have an adequate down payment, you could end up paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) to protect the lender in case you cannot repay your mortgage.


At MTC Federa, yourl mortgage lender involves more than just getting a good interest rate; you want a trusted financial partner who will guide you through the process. When you buy a home, you’re in it for the long haul. You’ll have a mortgage payment for 15, 20 or 30 years, after all, so it’s smart to shop around to find the best mortgage lenders out there.


  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages – An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, is a home loan with an interest rate that can change periodically. This means that the monthly payments can go up or down. Generally, the initial interest rate is lower than that of a comparable fixed-rate mortgage. Bank of america apple pay atm that period ends, interest rates — and your monthly payments — can go lower or higher.
  • Fixed-Rate Mortgages – A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that remains the same for the life of the loan. In other words, your monthly principal and interest payments won’t change.
  • Know home upgrade programs such as Energy Efficient Mortgage program for making energy-saving improvements or HUD offers for those who want to tackle a fixer-upper project.


Once you’ve found the mortgage that’s right for you, you’ll want to show sellers that you have what it takes to buy their home. In hot markets, a pre-approval is almost required for a seller to take your offer seriously. That’s because it spells out exactly how much a lender has agreed to loan you, thus assuring the seller that you’re both willing and able. What documents will you need for a mortgage pre-approval?

  • Personal information such as your driver’s license, Social Security number, marital status, contact information and address
  • Recent statements from your bank accounts and any investment accounts (exactly how far back you’ll have to go depends on the lender)
  • Employment information, including where you have worked and for how long, as well as recent paycheck stubs and W-2 income tax forms for the last two years
  • Your total monthly expenses—that includes bills you pay regularly • Your overall financial condition, which includes all your assets (stocks, 401(k), IRAs, bonds, cash) and all your liabilities (any debts such as credit card debt, student loans, car loans)
  • Profit and loss statements if you are self-employed
  • Rental property income
  • Canceled checks for rent, which shows your payment history
  • Gift letters, if you are using mortgage pre approval means a lender has agreed gift from a relative to help cover the down payment


Don’t try to tackle the housing market alone. MTC Federal partners with real north texas orthopedics denton professionals that can help make the process easier. Referrals are a good place to start to have a qualified source. An agent can narrow the focus of your wish list to fit a home with your budget.

For questions or to set a path for home ownership, check out our Mortgage Center to better serve you!

MTC Federal Credit Union (NMLS#411151) Mortgage Borrowing Center powered by Member Advantage Mortgage, LLC.


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