Understanding a Mortgage Pre-Approval

If you’re thinking about buying a home, it’s a good idea to get pre-approved before you start your search.

Do You Need a Mortgage Pre-approval?

What exactly is a mortgage pre-approval? A mortgage pre-approval letter allows the seller and listing agent an opportunity to see if you indeed qualify to buy the house you are looking at purchasing. Here is everything else you need to know about pre-approvals.

What is involved in the pre-approval process?
The pre-approval process with your lender involves them reviewing your income, credit, debt service and ability to afford a home looking at proposed payments or PITI (principle, interest, property taxes and insurance).

Does the pre-approval mean I am approved?
It does not mean you are “home,” so to speak, as you still go through a full underwriting and approval process after an offer is accepted.

Could I still get denied during the full underwriting and approval process?
While unlikely most of the time, if there are major changes in income, employment and/or the appraisal of the property does not fit the lending standards, it is possible you could be denied.

Does getting a pre-approval hurt my credit score?
No, lenders pull credit to see your qualifications for a mortgage – how you handled your credit in the past tends to be how you will handle it in the future.

How long will my pre-approval last?
Typically, a pre-approval is good for 90 days. Do not be concerned though, most lenders will renew a pre-approval if there is a limited supply of homes and finding a home would take more than 90 days.

Can I still write an offer without a pre-approval?
Sure, but without any backing by a lender, the odds favor that the seller will not accept it or look at other offers that come in.

How much does it cost to get a pre-approval?
Most lenders will not charge anything for a pre-approval – they want your business and to help you get into a home of your dreams!



You are now leaving Guardian Credit Union

You will be linking to another website not owned or operated by Guardian Credit Union. Guardian Credit Union is not responsible for the availability or content of this website and does not represent either the linked website or you, should you enter into a transaction. We encourage you to review their privacy and security policies which may differ from Guardian Credit Union.

You will be redirected to

Click the link above to continue or CANCEL