Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification

Information for First Time Home Buyers in Hermosa Beach

Is pre-approval a general endorsement by a bank?

No, when you are pre-approved, it is for a specific loan program from a specific lender. Not all lenders offer all loan programs. You may need to get approved with a different lender or for a different loan program with the same lender, depending on your financing options at the time you buy a house. Check with the agent or broker who helped you gain loan pre-approval before you write an offer. If you think you will need to get re-approved for a loan, make sure to allow enough time for this in the purchase contract.

Is the pre-qualification a guarantee that I will get the loan?

No. The lender or mortgage broker is under no obligation to grant you a loan. Most pre-qualification letters state that a buyer appears to be qualified for a certain loan amount. There is usually a disclaimer to protect the lender or broker in case you fail to qualify. Before a lender will actually loan money, you must complete a loan
application.

Is there anything official about a pre-qualification?

No, loan pre-qualification is an informal process. After a review of your financial status, a loan agent or broker will issue a letter stating that if the information provided is accurate you should be able to qualify for a loan of a certain amount. Often, these letters are form letters. Even if a pre-qualification letter is personalized, it
usually contains disclaimers to protect the loan agent. Consequently, some real estate agents feel that pre-qualification letters are worth little more than the paper they’re written on.