Learn How to Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

If interest rates rise or your income or credit score falls between the pre-approval procedure and the time you apply for a mortgage, you may be charged a higher interest rate or provided a lower total loan amount than the one mentioned in the pre-approval letter.


If you elect to finalize a mortgage with the lender who provided your pre-approval, you may be required to submit updated versions of that information to the lender before the loan can be closed. The lender’s policies and the period of time between pre-approval and acceptance of a loan offer determine if this is required.

What Effects a Mortgage Pre-approval Has on Your Credit

The credit check necessary for a mortgage pre-approval is the same as when you apply for a mortgage. This check is classified as a hard inquiry on your credit report, and it may temporarily reduce your credit score by a few points.

If you fill out many applications while looking for a new loan, credit scoring systems will treat the credit checks associated with those applications as a single event as long as they are completed within a few weeks of each other. It is worth noting that the various FICO® Score models will combine queries made within the same 45-day period and regard them as a single event; the VantageScore® system employs a rolling two-week window that resets each time you make a similar loan application within two weeks of the one that came before it.

This allows you to browse around for the best conditions without having to worry about each credit inquiry affecting your ability to qualify for a new loan.


A Crucial Step in the Homebuying Process

Obtaining a mortgage pre-approval can be a critical step in the home buying process. Including a pre-approval letter with a purchase offer letter shows a house seller that you are ready to move through with a sale and have the means and intent to do so.