If you’re in the process of purchasing a home – or even in the “just looking” stage – you may have already met with a lender who has suggested that you get yourself either pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan. Yet, while these two terms may sound very similar, they actually mean very different things.
If you’re going to be pre-qualified for a home loan, this will typically be a quick and easy process. What this means is that you will generally just either call or visit a lender’s website and provide them with some basic information such as your credit score, your annual income amount, and the amount of debt that you have. Based on these details, the lender will then tell you the “range” of mortgages that you may be able to qualify for, along with the amount.
This, however, does not mean that you “will” qualify for a loan. In order to do that, you will generally need to provide the lender with much more information and supporting documentation.
With the pre-approval process, you will actually be asked by the lender to provide documentation that supports proof of your income and other financial data, such as your:
- Recent paystubs
- W-2 forms
- Checking account statements
- Saving account statements
- Retirement / investment account statements
- Business tax returns (if you are self-employed)
In addition, the lender will also obtain your credit report. Once the lender has reviewed all of your information, they will then determine the amount of mortgage that you are pre-approved for.
Having a pre-approval letter in hand when you go into an offer situation can be a powerful tool. This is because it shows the seller that you are not only a serious purchaser, but that you are already pre-approved to borrow a certain amount. This can be especially beneficial if you are competing against other potential buyers who have not been pre-approved.
If you are seeking your next home in or around the Bakersfield area, we can help. We can also offer you a no obligation estimate of what your current home is worth – so Contact Us today!