Mortgage 101: For How Long is My Pre-Approval Valid?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage puts you at a significant advantage when shopping for a home. A pre-approval letter can sometimes be the key factor that makes a seller choose your offer over another. Since pre-approval is so advantageous, you want to make sure that it's still valid when you make an offer. After all, falling in love with a home can sometimes take a few weeks.

So the question is: For how long is a mortgage pre-approval valid?

Although there isn't a universal rule, the typical guideline that lenders follow is that a pre-approval letter is valid between 60-90 days. However, you can ask for an extension, and approval for an extension is typically faster than going through the initial loan approval process.

To request an extension, you'll need to provide updated documentation. That's it! Here's more information that you need to know about getting a pre-approval letter.

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval

Pre-qualification is a "best guess" or ballpark idea of the amount you may qualify for. It's based off a quick review of your finances and soft credit check --an inquiry that does not impact your score. A pre-approval, however, means that the underwriter has reviewed your finances thoroughly, including employment history, and a credit check. Based on those facts, they determine you loan-worthiness, and issues you a letter of pre-approval.

Starting the pre-approval process

The industry standard is for pre-approval to take 1-3 days. However, with technology and digital mortgage, you may have your approval letter in as little as a few hours.

Getting started is easy! Just contact us and a mortgage professional will guide you as to what you need to provide.

When is it the right time to get pre-approved?

While pre-approval delves deeper into your finances, it requires little more effort than getting pre-qualified. But here's a general guideline: if you're curious to see how much you can afford or are considering buying a home in 6 months, start with pre-qualification. However, if you're a motivated buyer that wants every advantage of getting your offer accepted and locking in a fair rate, then opt for pre-approval.

Getting Pre-Approved: What do I need?

  • Pay stubs
  • W2s
  • Recent bank statements
  • Verification of employment
  • Photo ID

Still not quite sure which route is for you? Let's chat it over coffee! Our office is here for clear, obligation-free guidance. That's it! Buying a home is a big step, but our office takes pride in alleviating the uncertainties. We make sure that everything is in order and communicated every step of the way.