How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Taylor Yates  |  April 4, 2023

How to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

If you're planning to buy a house, it's essential to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting. Having a pre-approval in hand means you have been conditionally approved for a mortgage loan for a certain amount based on your income, credit score, and other financial information. It will help you determine what you can afford and make your home-buying process smoother. Furthermore, a pre-approval gives sellers the confidence that buyers can get the finance needed to complete a purchase.

Here's how to get pre-approved for a mortgage:


Step One: Check your credit score.

Your credit score is one of the most critical factors in determining whether you get approved for a mortgage loan and what interest rate you will be offered. Check your credit report to ensure there are no errors or fraudulent activities. Every year, you can get a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus. If you find errors, dispute them and get them corrected before applying for pre-approval.

Step Two: Gather your financial documents.

To get pre-approved for a mortgage, you must provide proof of your income, assets, and debts. So gather your recent pay stubs, W-2s, tax returns, bank statements, and other financial documents showing your financial stability.

Step Three: Find a lender or mortgage broker.

There are many lenders that offer mortgage loans, such as banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Shop around and compare rates and fees from different lenders to find the best deal. Alternatively, work with a qualified mortgage broker to do the comparison work for you and help you complete your loan application. If you don't know of a lender or broker to work with, you can also ask for recommendations from friends, family, or real estate agents.

Step Four: Apply for pre-approval.

Once you've chosen a loan officer, you can apply for pre-approval online, over the phone, or in person. The lender will review your financial information, check your credit score, and determine how much you can borrow. They may also provide you with a pre-approval letter that shows the loan amount and interest rate you're approved for.


Step Five: Understand the terms of pre-approval.

It's important to understand that pre-approval does not guarantee that you will get approved for a mortgage loan. Pre-approval is based on the information you provided and is subject to verification. Therefore, you will need to provide additional documents and undergo a more thorough review before getting final approval once an offer is accepted. Also, remember that pre-approval has an expiration date, typically 60-90 days, so make sure to start your home search within that time frame and get your pre-approval updated as needed.


Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important step in the home-buying process. It helps you understand your budget and gives you an advantage when making an offer on a property. Follow these steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage and be on your way to owning a home.

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