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

Pre-Qualified Home Loans


A home loan calculator can help you determine your monthly mortgage payment and assess your interest rate, but this shouldn’t be your only source of information when shopping around for a mortgage loan. If you don’t fully understand the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified loans, it could cost you thousands of dollars in savings over the course of your loan. Here’s what you need to know about each type and how to get started.

What is Prequalification?

Prequalification indicates that the creditor has run a basic credit check to see whether you’re likely to be approved for a loan or credit card. It may entail disclosing basic financial information such as your yearly income, monthly housing payment, and savings. Lenders will run a soft inquiry on your credit for some prequalifications, which has no influence on your credit scores. You may be required to present formal papers rather than estimations, as well as consent to a hard credit investigation, as part of the evaluation.

What is pre-approved?

Preapproval may give you a greater chance of being approved for a loan or credit card, but it all relies on the procedure. If you’re preapproved for a credit card online, the card issuer may use the terms preapproval and prequalify interchangeably. Tax returns, proof of income, and bank statements may be required, as well as consent to a credit check. Preapprovals for mortgages and auto loans can be time-consuming and difficult to get.

Advantages of both

Despite the fact that pre-approval and pre-qualification are not the same, both have advantages. Both approaches might provide purchasers with an idea of what they can afford. Buyers won’t have to bother about searching for pricey homes or determining whether a particular property is within their budget. Pre-qualification can provide important affordability and mortgage expectations, whereas pre-approval takes a step further and outlines your projected mortgage. You may speed up the purchase process by getting pre-approval. Sellers will regard you as an excellent buyer, which will increase the likelihood of them accepting your offer.

The major difference in both

What’s the difference between a mortgage pre-approval and a mortgage pre-qualification? While there are some parallels between mortgage pre-approval and pre-qualification, they are two distinct procedures. The following are the significant distinctions:

  • Pre-qualification does not need an application; however, pre-approval must.
  • Pre-approval includes a formal financial evaluation, whereas pre-qualification does not.
  • A credit history check is required for pre-approval. Although pre-qualification does not need a credit check, certain lenders may still do so.
  • Your lender will grant you a particular loan amount if you are pre-approved, however, pre-qualification does not guarantee a loan amount.

Consider these advantages and disadvantages to determine which choice is best for you.

What to Do After Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval

You can begin looking for a house after receiving pre-approval. Find ones that are inside your mortgage’s affordability parameters. Make an offer once you’ve found your dream house. The purchase procedure is accelerated if the seller accepts your offer. You may pass over the purchase agreement because you already have a lender.  The lender then engages a third-party contractor to do a house appraisal. The appraiser should value the home at the sales price if it is in excellent condition and fits certain market conditions, and the buyer will be approved for a mortgage. Keep in mind that your lender will re-verify your credit and income, so don’t make any changes throughout the buying process until you have permission from your lender.

What to Do Once You’ve Been Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Homebuyers have two options: they either wait to buy a property or they can start looking right now. Pre-qualification is only an estimate of what you can afford; you have not been legally authorized for a loan. What if you decide to look for a place to live? A lender will provide you with a pre-qualification letter, similar to a pre-approval letter. The letter should be addressed to the seller or the real estate agent.  Despite the fact that this is not an official mortgage approval, it is nonetheless helpful to sellers and real estate brokers. It demonstrates that you’re a serious buyer who’s assessed their financial status and is already working with a lender. 

Pre-qualified means the creditor has done a basic credit check to see whether you’ll be accepted for a loan or credit card. You have not been legally authorized for a home loan, so pre-qualification is merely an estimate of what you can afford. For pre-approval, a credit check is necessary. If the seller accepts your offer, the buying process will be sped up. Because you already have a lender, you may skip the purchase agreement.

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