- 1Property Info
- 2Applicant Info
- 3Contact Info
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You provide some basic personal and financial info
We connect you with FREEandCLEAR approved lenders
The lender reviews your credit score and financial info. You get pre-approved for your mortgage!
- You are Pre-Approved for a Mortgage, Not a Home. Most lenders pre-approve borrowers for a certain loan amount and not to buy a specific property. The type of property you buy such as a single family home, condo, co-op or duplex can impact how much mortgage you can afford as well as other qualification requirements.
- Understand the Conditions. Lenders usually attach multiple conditions to your pre-approval including verifying your income and employment and completing a property appraisal. You must satisfy these requirements over the course of the loan application process to go from being pre-approved to closing your mortgage. To avoid potential confusion and frustration, it is important that you understand the conditions of your pre-approval and the lender’s application guidelines, including all personal and financial documents you are required to provide.
- Get to Know the Lender. Borrowers should use the pre-approval process to learn more about lenders. Make sure that the lender’s experience and mortgage program offerings match your needs. Borrowers should also ask lots of questions to get more comfortable with the lender and better understand their application and underwriting processes.
- Get It In Writing. It is important to get your pre-approval in writing from the lender. Most lenders provide a letter or online certificate that outlines the key pre-approval terms. You can provide this letter to property sellers when you submit an offer to buy a home to show that you are serious and that you can move quickly. This can make your offer more appealing to sellers, especially if there are other offers from potential buyers who are not pre-approved.
- Getting Pre-Approved is Different than Getting Pre-Qualified. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is different than getting pre-qualified. Getting pre-approved involves a more in-depth review of your personal and financial profile so it carries more weight and offers more value for both prospective home buyers and sellers. Getting pre-approved requires a little more effort and information but the benefits are worth it.
Our easy-to-use get pre-approved form enables you to get approved for your mortgage before you shop for homes. Being pre-approved provides several advantages for home shoppers including knowing the mortgage amount you qualify for which helps determine your home price budget, making your offer more attractive to sellers and greater certainty that your loan closes on time when your offer is accepted. Getting pre-approved can also save you time later on in the mortgage process, help you identify and overcome possible obstacles to your loan application and potentially save you money.
To get pre-approved, you provide summary financial, credit and employment information to the lender. Based on how much money you make, your monthly debt expenses, credit profile and type of employment the lender determines the mortgage amount you are approved for. Most lenders should be able to approve you without pulling your full credit report so there should be minimal impact your your credit score.
In many cases it can be beneficial to contact several lenders about getting pre-approved as they may apply different qualification requirements or offer different mortgage programs. This means you may get approved for a different loan amount, depending on the lender. Our get-pre approved service simplifies the process by allowing you to use one form to connect with multiple lenders to understand the mortgage you can afford.
We outline several important points to keep in mind as you go through the pre-approval process:
Now that you know how the process works, use the form below to connect with top-rated lenders to get pre-approved for your mortgage. Simply provide preliminary information about the property you want to buy and your financial profile to learn more about your pre-approval options. Getting pre-approved can provide a competitive advantage for home buyers plus our form is quick, free and there is no obligation.
Benefits of Getting Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage
Certainty of Closing Your Mortgage
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage provides certainty that your loan will close and that you will have the necessary funds to complete the home purchase. This certainty provides confidence when you make an offer to buy a home and gives you a potential advantage from the seller's perspective. Sellers want to know that buyers have the financial wherewithal to buy a home and will be able to qualify for a mortgage. The last thing that a home seller wants is to enter into a sales contract and then have the buyer drop out because he or she does not get approved for the loan. Providing a pre-approval letter to the home seller indicates that you are well-positioned to get a mortgage to buy the home.
Speed of Closing
Being pre-approved should position you to close your mortgage faster when you apply for the loan. Providing qualification information to the lender in advance of applying as well as identifying and addressing potential issues with your application should accelerate the mortgage process after your offer to purchase has been accepted by the seller. Being able to close and fund your loan quickly can provide an advantage for home buyers, especially in competitive bidding situations. Your ability to quickly close your mortgage can give your offer an edge over other potential buyers and may be the reason the seller selects you to buy his or her home.
Address Potential Issues Before You Apply
One of the main benefits of getting pre-approved for a mortgage is that it enables you to identify potential issues before you officially apply for the mortgage. For example, you may have an item on your credit report that you were unaware of that you need to resolve. Understanding and addressing potential mortgage pitfalls before you make an offer on a home helps to minimize surprises that could make make it challenging or impossible for you to get approved for your mortgage. In short, getting pre-approved is almost like a test run for the actual mortgage process so resolving any issues in advance can help the process go much smoother.
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be free. If a lender attempts to charge you a fee to get pre-approved for a mortgage, you should work with a different lender. Additionally, in most cases lenders do not need to charge you a fee to pull your credit report and can use summary credit score information to evaluate you for pre-approval. Because getting pre-approved should not cost borrowers money, there is little financial downside to doing it.
No Obligation for Borrowers
It is important to emphasize that borrowers are not obligated to get a mortgage from the lender that pre-approved them. In many cases borrowers do decide to work with the lender that provided the pre-approval because they have an existing relationship and the lender offers attractive mortgage terms. In other cases, however, borrowers may choose to use a different lender for their mortgage. This may be because they find a lender that offers better loan terms -- such as a lower mortgage rate and closing costs -- or they select a lender that offers loan programs that better meet their needs. For example, you may realize that you need a specialized loan program to qualify for a mortgage but the lender that pre-approved you may not offer the program. Additionally, we always recommend that borrowers shop multiple lenders to find the best mortgage terms which may result in working with a different lender. Because borrowers are not required to work with the lender that pre-approves them, they maintain the flexibility to work with the lender that is right for them.
More FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Resources
Review our comprehensive explanation of the mortgage pre-approval process including the steps involved, borrower information required and the difference between getting pre-approved and pre-qualified.
We provide a detailed overview of the many reasons borrowers should get pre-approved for a mortgage including certainty, speed and making your offer more attracting when you are trying to buy a home.
Not quite ready to get pre-approved but want to compare lenders? Our lender tables enable you to compare mortgage rates and fees for lenders in your area. Comparing multiple lenders is the best way to save money on your mortgage.
Use the FREEandCLEAR Lender Directory to search for lenders by state, lender type and loan product. Our lender directory features over 3,700 lenders including banks, mortgage brokers and credit unions. Use the directory to find the lender offering the loan program you are looking for.
Understand the questions you should ask before you select a mortgage lender. Knowing the right questions to ask helps you find the lender and loan that are right for you.