Tag: preapproved

Pre-Qualified Vs #how #to #get #preapproved #for #a #loan


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Pre-Qualified Vs. Pre-Approved – What s The Difference?

Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet, once said that the future belongs to those who prepare for it. This is sage advice for homebuyers who need to lay the necessary groundwork to buy the home of their dreams.

Without proper preparation, many buyers get lulled into the mistaken notion that if a lender pre-qualifies them for a mortgage this means that they have been pre-approved for a home loan. Unfortunately, there’s a world of difference between these two terms. If you’ve ever been confused by the two, we’ll bring you up to speed on how these terms differ – and why a misunderstanding can mean disaster for borrowers.

The Skinny on Pre-Qualified

Getting pre-qualified is the initial step in the mortgage process, and it’s generally fairly simple. You supply a bank or lender with your overall financial picture, including your debt, income and assets. After evaluating this information, a lender can give you an idea of the mortgage amount for which you qualify. Pre-qualification can be done over the phone or on the internet, and there is usually no cost involved. Loan pre-qualification does not include an analysis of your credit report or an in-depth look at your ability to purchase a home.

The initial pre-qualification step allows you to discuss any goals or needs you may have regarding your mortgage with your lender. At this point, a lender can explain your various mortgage options and recommend the type that might be best suited to your situation. (For more, see Mortgages: How Much Can You Afford? )

Because it’s a quick procedure – and based only on the information you provide to the lender – your pre-qualified amount is not a sure thing; it’s just the amount for which you might expect to be approved. For this reason, being a pre-qualified buyer doesn’t carry the same weight as being a pre-approved buyer who has been more thoroughly investigated. (To read more, see 4 Steps to Attaining A Mortgage .)

The Skinny on Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved is the next step, and it tends to be much more involved. You’ll complete an official mortgage application (and usually pay an application fee), then supply the lender with the necessary documentation to perform an extensive check on your financial background and current credit rating. (Typically at this stage, you will not have found a house yet, so any reference to “property” on the application will be left blank). From this, the lender can tell you the specific mortgage amount for which you are approved. You’ll also have a better idea of the interest rate you will be charged on the loan and, in some cases, you might be able to lock in a specific rate.

With pre-approval, you will receive a conditional commitment in writing for an exact loan amount, allowing you to look for a home at or below that price level. Obviously, this puts you at an advantage when dealing with a potential seller. as he or she will know you’re one step closer to obtaining an actual mortgage.

The other advantage of completing both of these steps – pre-qualification and pre-approval – before you start to look for a home is that you’ll know in advance how much you can afford. This way, you don’t waste time with guessing or looking at properties that are beyond your means. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage also enables you to move quickly when you find the perfect place. When you make an offer, it won’t be contingent on obtaining financing, which can save you valuable time. In a competitive market, this lets the seller know that your offer is serious – and could prevent you from losing the home to another potential buyer who already has financing arranged.

Once you have found the right house for you, you’ll fill in the appropriate details and your pre-approval will become a complete application.

Getting Committed

The final step in the process is what’s called a “loan commitment ,” which is only issued by a bank when it has approved you, the borrower, and the house in question. This means the home should be appraised at or above the sales price. The bank may also require more information if the appraiser brings up anything he or she feels should be investigated (i.e. structural problems, accessibility issues, outstanding liens or litigation in progress). Your income and credit profile will be checked once again to ensure nothing has changed since the initial approval. (For more, see Understanding Your Mortgage .)

A loan commitment letter is issued only when the bank is certain it will lend, so the commitment date on your purchase contract should be closer to closing than to the date of your offer. (The seller can ask to see that letter as soon as the date has passed, so beware of anyone who tries to put an early commitment date into your contract).

The Bottom Line

Be warned. Pre-approved and pre-qualified are not the same thing. Don’t assume that the bank will provide your loan until you have the former. The mistake could cost you your new home, so before you meet with the banks, do your homework by getting pre-approved. Another important way to prep for getting a mortgage is researching interest rates using a tool like a mortgage calculator.

Doing this could help you save thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your mortgage and gives you some background knowledge when you meet with the banks. Remember, the future belongs to those who prepare for it.


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6 Tips to Get Approved for a Home Mortgage Loan, how do you get

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6 Tips to Get Approved for a Home Mortgage Loan

Some people don t know the first thing about getting a mortgage loan. They hear reports of dropping interest rates and lower home prices and hastily decide to jump into home ownership. But the process of getting a home loan differs from getting a car loan or renting an apartment, and applicants who don t recognize these key differences are often disappointed when a lender denies their mortgage loan application.

Educating yourself is key, and there are a number of ways to avoid this heartache and disappointment when applying for a mortgage loan.

Getting Your Mortgage Loan Approved

Buying a house is already stressful, and being ill-prepared heightens the anxiety. Why put yourself through this? Learn how to think like a lender and educate yourself on the best ways to get your mortgage loan approved:

1. Know Your Credit Score

It literally takes a few minutes to pull your credit report and order your credit score. But surprisingly, some future home buyers never review their scores and credit history before submitting a home loan application, assuming that their scores are high enough to qualify. And many never consider the possibility of identity theft. However, a low credit score and credit fraud can stop a mortgage application dead in its tracks.

Credit scores and credit activity have a major impact on mortgage approvals. According to the Home Loan Learning Center, a large percentage of lenders require a minimum credit score of 680 (620 for FHA mortgage loans) and if your score falls below 680, lenders can deny your request for a conventional mortgage loan.

In addition to higher credit score requirements, several missed payments, frequent lateness, and other derogatory credit information can stop mortgage approvals. Pay your bills on time, lower your debts, and stay on top of your credit report. Cleaning up your credit history beforehand and fixing errors on your credit report are key to keeping up a good credit score.

2. Save Your Cash

Requirements for getting a mortgage loan often change, and if you are considering applying for a home loan in the near future, be ready to cough up the cash. Walking into a lender s office with zero cash is a quick way to get your home loan application rejected. Mortgage lenders are cautious: Whereas they once approved zero-down mortgage loans, they now require a down payment.

Down payment minimums vary and depend on various factors, such as the type of loan and the lender. Each lender establishes its own criteria for down payments, but on average, you ll need at least a 3.5% down payment. Aim for a higher down payment if you have the means. A 20% down payment not only knocks down your mortgage balance, it also alleviates private mortgage insurance or PMI. Lenders attach this extra insurance to properties without 20% equity, and paying PMI increases the monthly mortgage payment. Get rid of PMI payments and you can enjoy lower, more affordable mortgage payments.

However, down payments aren t the only expense you must worry about. Getting a mortgage also involves closing costs, home inspections, home appraisals, title searches, credit report fees, application fees, and other expenses. Closing costs are roughly 3% to 5% of the mortgage balance paid to your lender before you can seal the deal.

3. Stay at Your Job

I know someone who quit working seven days before she and her husband were to close on their mortgage loan. I have no idea why, and unfortunately, it didn t turn out well for them. They weren t able to close on their new home and they lost out on a great deal.

Sticking with your employer while going through the home buying process is crucial. Any changes to your employment or income status can stop or greatly delay the mortgage process.

Lenders approve your home loan based on the information provided in your application. Taking a lower-paying job or quitting your job to become self-employed throws a wrench in the plans, and lenders must reevaluate your finances to see if you still qualify for the loan.

4. Pay Down Debt and Avoid New Debt

You don t need a zero balance on your credit cards to qualify for a mortgage loan. However, the less you owe your creditors, the better. Your debts determine if you can get a mortgage, as well as how much you can acquire from a lender. Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio before approving the mortgage. If you have a high debt ratio because you re carrying a lot of credit card debt , the lender can turn down your request or offer a lower mortgage. This is because your entire monthly debt payments including the mortgage shouldn t exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. However, paying down your consumer debt before completing an application lowers your debt-to-income ratio and can help you acquire a better mortgage rate.

But even if you re approved for a mortgage with consumer debt, it s important to avoid new debt while going through the mortgage process. Lenders re-check your credit before closing, and if your credit report reveals additional or new debts, this can stop the mortgage closing.

As a rule, avoid any major purchases until after you ve closed on the mortgage loan. This can include financing a new car, purchasing home appliances with your credit card, or cosigning someone s loan.

5. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before looking at houses is emotionally and financially responsible. On one hand, you know what you can spend before bidding on properties. And on the other hand, you avoid falling in love with a house that you can t afford.

The pre-approval process is fairly simple: Contact a mortgage lender, submit your financial and personal information, and wait for a response. Pre-approvals include everything from how much you can afford, to the interest rate you ll pay on the loan. The lender prints a pre-approval letter for your records, and funds are available as soon as a seller accepts your bid. Though it s not always that simple, it can be.

6. Know What You Can Afford

I know from personal experience that lenders do pre-approve applicants for more than they can afford. After receiving a pre-approval letter from our lender, my husband and I wondered whether they had read the right tax returns. We appreciated the lender s generosity, but ultimately decided on a home that fit comfortably within our budget.

Don t let lenders dictate how much you should spend on a mortgage loan. Lenders determine pre-approval amounts based on your income and credit report, and they don t factor in how much you spend on daycare, insurance, groceries, or fuel. Rather than purchase a more expensive house because the lender says you can, be smart and keep your housing expense within your means.

Final Word

If you don t meet the qualifications for a mortgage loan, don t get discouraged. Instead, let it be motivation to improve your credit and finances. Many people have risen above credit problems, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and repossession specifically in order to purchase their first house. Just be sure to implement a realistic plan and stick to it.

How long did it take you to realize your dream of home ownership? If you re currently working toward this goal, what steps have you taken?


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