Below is our latest homebuyer’s guide! Buying a home is a huge step, and there’s a lot to learn along the way. This may help you be prepared and excited about your new home. Here you’ll find tips, tools and further reading on whatever you might be wondering, wherever you are in the process.
A mortgage pre-approval proves you’re a serious buyer. Get pre-approved for your mortgage before you start shopping for a home.
A mortgage pre-approval is a letter from a lender indicating how much of a loan you can qualify for, issued after the lender has evaluated your financial history — including pulling your credit report and score. With a pre-approval letter, you can find a home you can afford by shopping within your means — while showing you’re a serious buyer.
A mortgage pre-approval letter can put you head and shoulders above other buyers who may be interested in the same home as you. Getting pre-approved will help you find a mortgage lender who can work with you to find a home loan with an interest rate and other terms suited to your needs.
Learn about becoming a Certified Homebuyer and why it’s important.
A pre-qualification is like an audition, while a pre-approval is a dress rehearsal for an actual loan application.
Without digging too deeply into your financial details, with a mortgage pre-qualification a lender can give you an estimate of how much mortgage you’ll likely qualify for and some preliminary loan terms. You estimate your credit score and provide a few details, including the purchase price of a home you would like to buy, your down payment, your monthly debts and how you would want to structure your loan (length, fixed- or adjustable-rate interest, and so on).
With a pre-approval, on the other hand, you complete a full application, the lender pulls your credit report and score and puts an offer in writing to give you a loan at a given interest rate.
Even with a mortgage pre-approval, your loan still has to go through underwriting — a final stage of due diligence before issuing the loan — after you have a home under contract.