Most people don’t know the difference between getting pre-qualified and getting pre-approved. Both are important stes in the mortgage process.
When looking in to buying a house, your first step should be to get pre-qualified with a lender so that you can see how much you can afford. This can be done over the phone for most lenders since it is just general information. It is a lenders way of telling you they might extend a loan to you if the information you provided is correct. This is a good way to get an idea of what type of loans you might be able to receive and the price range.
Your next step should be getting pre-approved by your chosen lender. You will need to fill out a loan application, along with other documents regarding yourself, your income and your finances. They will review your credit history and check the amount of debt you have. From the information they gather, they will calculate your debt ratio. After going through this process with your trusted lender, you will receive a pre-approval letter letting real estate agents know that you are willing and able to make a purchase if the right house comes along. Most real estate agents won’t begin working with you until you have been pre-approved. Getting pre-approval doesn’t guarantee you a mortgage, however. Your lender will most likely want to look at property appraisals and re-verify all information needed to fund your loan.
Once you find a home you, will begin the full underwriting process to be approved for your home loan so you can make an offer on the house. Although the process takes some time, it is all worth it in the end when you finally move in to the house of your dreams.