Mortgage Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval: What’s the Difference?

 · document provides more of a commitment than a pre-qualification letter, though nothing is official and guaranteed until you sign the papers to close on the loan. There are two significant advantages to going beyond mortgage pre-qualification and securing a pre-approval letter. First, you will know exactly how much you can afford to

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You may have heard of the terms "pre-qualification" or "pre-approval" and you might be wondering what the difference is. Both of these processes can help you be approved for a home mortgage, but the terms of pre-qualification and pre-approval are vastly different.

Pre-Approval vs. Loan Commitment. One of the most misunderstood item in the mortgage process is the difference between a "pre-approval" (sometimes referred to as "pre-qualification" or "preliminary loan approval") and a "loan commitment". Knowing the differences between the two will help you avoid unpleasant surprises when you are in the process of obtaining a mortgage loan.

Mortgage Pre-approval Compared to pre-qualification, pre-approval is a much more thorough process that will take a close look at all your finances. The process will take an average of about 30 days.

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Prequalification and preapproval both refer to a letter from a lender that specifies how much the lender is willing to lend to you, up to a certain amount and based on certain assumptions. These letters provide useful information, but are not guaranteed loan offers.

Pre-approval is based on a buyer’s credit rating and submission of an official loan application. When the buyer is pre-approved, his application, which includes documented income and asset information, has already been submitted and reviewed by the underwriter and is a step closer to final approval.

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A pre-approval letter is the real deal, a statement from a lender that you qualify for a specific mortgage amount based on an underwriter’s review of all of your financial information: credit report, pay stubs, bank statement, salary, assets, and obligations.