A free mortgage prequalification lets you know roughly how much you can borrow, based on basic financial data you provide. There is no fee or obligation and no credit check involved. As you search for a home, there’s an important step to take to help you know what you can afford: getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
Aarron: What we did was a pre-approval at a big bank. The pre-approval was good for 90 days. If we made an offer during that time we just called the mortgage rep and had him draft a letter that showed us pre-approved for the amount of the offer.
Mortgage pre-approval, on the other hand, involves the same steps as a mortgage application – you’ll provide detailed information about your income and assets that will be reviewed by the lender’s underwriters. If pre-approved, you’ll get a conditional commitment by the lender for a specific loan amount.
Find a local mortgage lender for a Home Loan or Refinance.
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Closing in 30 days or fewer is possible (and it may even get you access to a lower mortgage rate from your lender). However, to be ready to close in 30 days, you better be prepared.
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In order to get preapproved for a mortgage, you need to provide your lender with extensive documentation proving your income, assets and debt obligations. If you qualify, you’d get a preapproval letter indicating how much you can borrow to purchase your new home.
MORE: What is an origination fee? More from NerdWallet Get preapproved for your mortgage How much house can you afford? 5 tips for finding the best mortgage lender NerdWallet’s star ratings for.
It can take several days or weeks – even longer – to get approved for a mortgage, but that timeline heavily depends on how honest you are with your lender.
Not everyone will get pre-approved for a mortgage, but there are a few things you can do to get better prepared for the financial responsibility of homeownership: Work to improve your credit score. Your credit score is impacted by payment history, outstanding debt, the length of your credit history, recent new credit inquiries, types of credit.