Learn About the Mortgage Pre-Approval Process
Mortgage pre-approval is a commitment from a lender to provide you with home financing up to a customized pre-approved amount. A mortgage pre-approval is issued by your lender to show home sellers that you’re a serious buyer.
Being pre-approved proves that your finances, employment, and other pertinent information have been evaluated and pre-approved to that specific amount.
Sellers like to see that you have a seal of approval that the deal will go through as planned, should the seller accept your offer.
If you’re not pre-approved and you find a home you want to make an offer on, you’re taking a gamble. REALTORS® and sellers are less willing to accept offers from a buyer without a pre-approval.
Expires 120 days from application date
After You’re Pre-Approved
As your pre-approval has an expiration date, you’ll want to move quickly after getting pre-approved. First, you’ll need to find a realtor to work with. At Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, we have a network of realtors that we can recommend you use. We recommend a realtor based on the area you want to buy your home in, your budget, and any other factors relevant to your home search.
Clients should put as much time and care into selecting their realtor as they did their mortgage lender. Your realtor is going to be the key to helping you find the home of your dreams.
When your realtor knows you have a pre-approval letter, they’ll act quickly to get you set up for viewings.
Benefits Of Being Pre-Aprroved
Once a lender has pre-approved you for a mortgage, you’ll get a letter you can then take to sellers. This letter shows sellers you’ve already started working with a lender, and that the lender is willing to work with you. It gives sellers peace of mind to know they won’t be wasting their time with someone who couldn’t afford their house in the first place.
Will My Pre-Approval Expire?
All mortgage pre-approval letters have an expiration date. Many things can change after you get pre-approved, such as your income, credit history, or even the interest rate. Because of this, your pre-approval normally lasts for 60 to 90 days. When the pre-approval expires, you’ll have to update your paper work to get a new one.
Are a pre-approval and a pre-qualification the same thing?
No, a pre-approval and a pre-qualification are not the same things. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warns consumers to confirm and understand if their lender offers them a pre-approval or a pre-qualification.
We’ve defined a pre-approval above. A pre-approval is a strong guarantee of your creditworthiness and is as close as you can get to show sellers that you essentially have a contract approved for a certain amount of financing. In comparison, a pre-qualification is much easier to get and is less reliable. A pre-qualification means the lender reviews your information (without diving too deep) and estimates how much you can get approved for.
Most consumers choose to get pre-qualified first to understand what range of mortgage they may get. From there, the natural next step is to lock in a pre-approval so you can be more secure when shopping for a home.
Are there any downsides to a pre-approval?
There aren’t really any downsides to pre-approvals. However, clients should know what to do with a pre-approval. For example, a client shouldn’t assume that a pre-approval is a good reason to remove the “subject to financing” clause in a purchase offer. A pre-approval isn’t a final approval and doesn’t include a property appraisal. Note that a property appraisal is necessary for final financing approval.
Never remove a “subject to financing” clause in your offer unless your realtor has insight into why you should do so.
What happens if I can't get pre-approved?
Unfortunately, not everyone can get pre-approved. Some of the most common reasons for being denied a pre-approval include:
- Bad credit
- High debt
- New job
- Low down payment
The good news is that being denied a pre-approval doesn’t mean you won’t get a mortgage. Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation will be happy to work with you to review your options. We will look at why you were denied and see if the issue can be resolved quickly. For example, perhaps you have a low credit score, but there are negative items on your report that are inaccurate. These can be disputed and your score will rise.
Or, perhaps a non-conventional loan is a better approach. In that case, we will review your options and offer our recommendation.
Do you check my credit to grant a pre-approval letter?
Yes, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation will conduct a hard credit check to issue a pre-approval letter.
What happens if I can get a better rate? Do I have to stick to my pre-approval rate?
Getting a pre-approval letter from a lender doesn’t mean you ultimately have to apply for a mortgage with them. If you believe you can find a better mortgage rate elsewhere, it’s in your right to choose.
However, note that applying with too many lenders means there will be several hard credit checks on your credit report. Having several of these checks back-to-back can result in a drop in your score, which can impact your application.
Additionally, if you choose to go with a different lender, you’ll have to resubmit all documentation and reapply with the new lender. This can delay the process, so it may not be the best choice if you have a home already in mind.
To learn more about pre-approvals, reach out to us today.
Get A Quote
FAIRWAY MORTGAGE - THE POTEMPA TEAM
5450 E High St #275
Phoenix, AZ 85054
AZ License #BK-0904162
4750 S Biltmore Lane
Madison, WI 53718
NMLS Consumer Access