Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

You’ve heard the terms pre-qualification and pre-approval, but what do they mean? They are the same thing, right? Not quite! The terms have been used interchangeably, but their true definitions differ. We’re going to break it down and explain the difference between the two.

Pre-qualification

The very first step to take if you are ready to start your new home search is to get pre-qualified. This is a no-cost, no-commitment, 10-20 minute analysis that will give you a great starting point for your new home loan. You can do this in-person or on the phone with a loan officer, or in most cases complete an online form. You will need to provide some basic information such as income, current monthly debts and credit score, but typically you won’t need to provide any documentation. By providing these items, your lender will be able to determine an estimate of your maximum monthly mortgage payment and how much you can borrow. These aren’t concrete numbers, more of a gauge so you know your price range.

Pre-approval

Once you are pre-qualified, the next step will be to get pre-approved. This process is more involved, requiring more paperwork and the help of a loan officer. Documents you typically need to provide are copies of your paystubs, bank statements and tax returns; additional documents might needed as well. The loan officer will also pull your credit report to get a better understanding of your credit history and financial situation. Once your information has been reviewed, your loan officer will provide you a pre-approval letter stating how much you are approved to borrow. Having a pre-approval letter can give you a competitive edge against other buyers. This shows the seller you are serious and ready to buy.

You should refrain from making large purchases and incurring new debt at this time, as this can affect your pre-approval amount. Keep in mind getting pre-approved does not mean final approval. Once you put an offer on a home and the offer has been accepted, the loan will still need to go through processing and underwriting before final approval is granted.

Getting pre-approved will help speed up the home buying process since you will have a solid foundation of information. Once you are pre-approved, you are on your way to homeownership! Contact one of our loan officers to get started.

Related Posts

What Are Construction and Renovation Loans?
What Are Construction and Renovation Loans?

When most people think about mortgage loans, they think of the standard, long-term financial commitment to purchase a home. But did you know there are mortgages available specifically for building or renovating a home too? Keep reading to learn exactly how you can benefit from a construction or renovation loan. Construction Loans Construction loans are […]

September 08, 2021
Full Post
Using a Mortgage Calculator to Understand Your Home Loan Options
Using a Mortgage Calculator to Understand Your Home Loan Options

When considering buying a home or refinancing your current mortgage, it can be hard to know where to start and how to tell what the right decision is. While talking to a mortgage lender is always going to be your best bet for truly figuring out how much your home loan may be or if […]

September 01, 2021
Full Post
5 Common Home Buying Mistakes
5 Common Home Buying Mistakes

Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or seasoned house hunter, there are some commonly made mistakes you should know to avoid. Not Determining How Much House You Can Afford You should know how much your budget is before you start looking for houses. This will help you avoid wasting time looking at homes outside your […]

August 11, 2021
Full Post

Connect With Us