How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Jun 23, 2023

Are you thinking of buying a new home or refinancing your existing mortgage? Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important first step in the process. Pre-approval gives you an idea of how much you can borrow and what your monthly payments might be. It also shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. Here's how to get pre-approved for a mortgage:

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the most important factors in determining whether you can get approved for a mortgage and what interest rate you'll pay. Check your credit score before you apply for pre-approval. If your score is low, take steps to improve it before you apply.

Gather Your Financial Documents

Lenders will ask for a variety of financial documents when you apply for pre-approval. These may include pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, and investment account statements. Gather these documents ahead of time to speed up the process.

Choose a Lender

Shop around for a lender that offers pre-approval. You can start with your current bank or credit union, or look for online lenders. Compare interest rates, fees, and customer reviews to find the right lender for you.

Fill Out an Application

Once you've chosen a lender, you'll need to fill out a mortgage application. This will ask for information about your income, assets, debts, and employment history. Be prepared to provide detailed and accurate information.

Wait for a Decision

After you submit your application, the lender will review it and make a decision on whether to pre-approve you for a mortgage. This may take a few days to a few weeks, depending on the lender's process.

Get a Pre-Approval Letter

If you are approved, the lender will provide you with a pre-approval letter. This letter will state how much you are pre-approved to borrow and what your interest rate will be. Keep this letter handy when you start house hunting.

Use Your Pre-Approval Wisely

Remember that pre-approval is not a guarantee that you will get a mortgage. You will still need to go through the full underwriting process once you find a home you want to buy. In the meantime, use your pre-approval wisely. Stick to homes that are within your pre-approved price range and don't make any major financial changes that could affect your credit score or income.

Renew Your Pre-Approval

Pre-approval is typically good for 60 to 90 days. If you haven't found a home within that time frame, you may need to renew your pre-approval. This will involve submitting updated financial documents and going through the approval process again.


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important step in the home buying process. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of getting pre-approved and make the process smoother and faster.

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