Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved: What’s the Difference?

Pre-Qualified v. Pre-Approved : An overview

Most real estate of the realm buyers have heard that they need to pre-qualify or be pre-approved for a mortgage if they ‘re looking to buy a property. These are two identify steps in the mortgage lotion process. Some people use the terms interchangeably, but there are authoritative differences that every homebuyer should understand. Pre-qualifying is just the beginning gradation. It gives you an mind of how large a loanword you ‘ll probably qualify for. Pre-approval is the second step, a conditional committedness to actually grant you the mortgage .

” The pre-qualification serve is based on consumer-submitted data, ” said Todd Kaderabek, a residential broke associate with Beverly-Hanks Realtors in business district Asheville, NC. “ Preapproval is control consumer data—for example, a credit discipline. ”

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-qualification is based on data the borrower submits to a lender.
  • Loan pre-qualification is based solely on the information handed over to the lender, so it doesn’t mean much if accurate data is not provided.
  • The pre-qualified amount is only based only on information provided.
  • The lender won’t take a close look at a borrower’s financial situation and history to determine how much mortgage they can reasonably afford until they reach the pre-approval stage.
  • The borrower receives a conditional commitment in writing for an exact loan amount after they’ve been pre-approved.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved
Investopedia / Sabrina Jiang


Getting pre-qualified involves supplying a savings bank or lender with their overall fiscal picture, including debt, income, and assets. The lender reviews everything and gives an estimate of how much the borrower can expect to receive. Pre-qualification can be done over the call or on-line, and there ‘s normally no cost involved .

Pre-qualification is promptly, normally taking equitable one to three days to get a pre-qualification letter. Keep in beware that loanword pre-qualification does not include an analysis of credit reports or an in-depth count at the borrower ‘s ability to purchase a home .

The initial pre-qualification step allows for the discussions of any goals or needs regarding a mortgage. The lender will explain versatile mortgage options and recommend the character that might be good suited .

mortgage lend discrimination is illegal. If you think you ‘ve been discriminated against based on race, religion, sex, marital status, consumption of populace aid, home beginning, disability, or historic period, there are steps you can take. One such step is to file a report to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( HUD ). again, the pre-qualified amount international relations and security network ’ t a sure thing, because it ’ s based only on the information provided. It ’ second just the come the borrower might expect to get. A pre-qualified buyer doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate carry the same weight as a pre-approved buyer, who has been more thoroughly investigated .

Pre-qualifying can however be helpful when it comes meter to make an offer. “ A pre-qualification letter is all but required with an offer in our market, ” said Kaderabek. “ Sellers are grok and do n’t want to enter into a compress with a buyer who ca n’t perform on the condense. It ‘s one of the first base questions we ask of a potential buyer : Have you met with a lender and determined your pre-qualification status ? If not, we advise options for lenders. If so, we request and keep on file a copy of the pre-qualification letter. ”

Pre-Qualification letter

here ’ s an case of what a pre-qualification letter looks like :


Getting pre-approved is the following step, and it ‘s much more imply. “ A pre-qualification is a good indication of creditworthiness and the ability to borrow, but a pre-approval is the definitive word, ” said Kaderabek. The borrower must complete an official mortgage application to get pre-approved, a well as supply the lender with all the necessity software documentation to perform an extensive credit and fiscal background check. The lender will then offer pre-approval up to a pin down come .

Going through the pre-approval process besides offers a better theme of the interest rate to be charged. Some lenders allow borrowers to lock in an interest rate or charge an application fee for pre-approval, which can amount to several hundred dollars .

Lenders will provide a conditional committedness in writing for an demand loanword measure, allowing borrowers to look for homes at or below that price level. This puts borrowers at an advantage when dealing with a seller because they ‘re one step closer to getting an actual mortgage.

Key Differences

Below is a quick summation of how pre-qualification and pre-approval disagree .

  Pre-qualification Pre-approval
Do I need to fill out a mortgage application? No Yes
Do I have to pay an application fee? No Maybe
Does it require a credit history check? No  Yes
Is it based on a review of my finances? No Yes
Does it require an estimate of my down payment amount? No Yes
Will the lender give me an estimate for a loan amount? Yes No
Will the lender give me a specific loan amount? No Yes
Will the lender give me interest rate information? No Yes

special Considerations

The advantage of completing both steps—pre-qualification and pre-approval—before looking for a home is that it offers an mind of how much a borrower has to spend. This prevents wasted clock looking at properties that are besides expensive. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage besides speeds up the actual buy work, letting the seller know that the offer is serious in a competitive commercialize .

The borrower gives the lender a copy of the purchase agreement and any other documentation necessity as separate of the wax underwrite summons after a home has been chosen and an offer made. The lender hires a third-party attest or licensed contractor to do a home appraisal to determine the home plate ‘s measure .

Your income and credit profile will be checked once again to ensure that nothing has changed since the initial approval, so this international relations and security network ’ t the time to go out and finance a large furniture purchase. The concluding step in the serve is a lend committedness, which is alone issued by a bank when it has approved the borrower, a well as the home in question—meaning the property is appraised at or above the sales price. The trust might besides require more information if the appraiser brings up anything that should be investigated, such as geomorphologic problems or a faulty HVAC system .

Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved for a mortgage gives likely homebuyers a good mind in progress of how a lot house they can afford. But most sellers will be more volition to negotiate with those who are pre-approved. Pre-approval besides allows borrowers to close on a home more promptly, offering an boundary in a competitive market .

Do I Have to Spend How Much I’m Pre-approved for?

No. Keep in heed that you do n’t have to shop at the top of your price range. Depending on the grocery store, you might be able to get into a home you like for less money than you ’ re approved for, leaving you with supernumerary cash each month to set aside for retirement, kids ’ college funds, or checking something off your bucket list .

Are a Pre-qualification and Pre-approval the Same Thing?

A pre-qualification versus a pre-approval are two different things. A pre-qualification means that the mortgage lender has reviewed the fiscal information you have provided and believes you will qualify for a loan. Pre-approval is the second footstep in the lend process, which is a conditional commitment to loan you the money for a mortgage .

Do I Need a Pre-qualification Letter to Buy a House?

not constantly but it may help convert sellers and their agents that you are a dangerous buyer who will most likely be able to obtain a mortgage without any fuss .

source :
Category : Finance

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