What is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is an incredibly useful process that helps you get the home you want! When you apply for pre-approval, your lender will go over your finances and figure out exactly how much they can lend you at a specific interest rate. Armed with this information, you’ll be able to shop for homes knowing exactly how much money you can borrow. Read on to learn more about pre-approvals!

Why Pre-Approvals Exist

Mortgage pre-approvals exist for a few reasons:

  • 1For convenience: in contrast to a last-minute approval, a pre-approval is unrushed;
  • 2To help you figure out the maximum amount you can afford to pay for a home, saving you time from shopping for properties that are out of your price range;
  • 3And to protect lenders from lending out more money than buyers are able to pay back.

Don’t Get Caught Without a Pre-Approval!

If you don’t get a pre-approval, you might miss out on the house you really wanted to buy. Real estate is competitive, and a pre-approved buyer is much more likely to get a house than a non-pre-approved one. A pre-approval shows that you’re trustworthy and that you’re ready and able to buy a home right now (instead of wasting a seller’s time).

In fact, many sellers and real estate agents won’t even consider accepting an offer if the buyer is not pre-approved. Plus, if you skip the pre-approval, you might inadvertently be looking at houses you cannot afford.

Pre-Approvals Vs. Pre-Qualifications: The Difference

Contrary to popular belief, pre-approvals are different from pre-qualifications. With a pre-qualification, the lender does not check your credit or verify your documentation—it’s an informal process that doesn’t give you any promises. So, just because you got a pre-qualification doesn’t mean you’re good to go—though it can give you some helpful information to assist you in decision-making.

If you’re serious about buying a property, we recommend going ahead and getting pre-approved—that way, you’ll actually be closer to getting your mortgage!

Pre-Approvals Have an Expiration Date

Your pre-approval will expire. There’s always a possibility that your finances could change, so you will have to put in an offer within a certain time period to take advantage of your pre-approval. Most pre-approvals are valid for 60-90 days after they are issued, though it can vary depending on the situation.

Pre-Approvals Don’t Affect Your Credit Score

Worried that a pre-approval will decrease your credit score? No worries—it won’t affect it at all. Getting pre-approved won’t hurt, it will only help.