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What’s Needed for a Pre-Approval, and How Long Does a Pre-Approval Last?

What’s Needed for a Pre-Approval, and How Long Does a Pre-Approval Last?

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting journey, but before you start shopping for your dream home, it’s essential to get your financial ducks in a row. One crucial step in this process is obtaining a mortgage pre-approval. In this blog, we’ll explore what’s required for a pre-approval and how long a pre-approval typically lasts.

What Is a Mortgage Pre-Approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is a preliminary evaluation by a lender that determines if you’re eligible for a home loan and how much you can afford to borrow. It’s not the same as a full mortgage approval, but it’s a significant step in the homebuying process. Pre-approval demonstrates to sellers that you are a serious and qualified buyer.

What’s Needed for a Pre-Approval?

  1. Financial Information:

    To get started with a mortgage pre-approval, you’ll need to provide a range of financial information, including:

    • Income Verification: Your lender will want to see proof of income, typically through recent pay stubs, W-2 forms, or tax returns if you’re self-employed.

    • Credit Score: A good credit score is essential for pre-approval. Lenders will check your credit report to assess your creditworthiness.

    • Employment Information: You’ll need to provide details about your current and previous employment, including your job title and the length of time you’ve been with your employer.

  2. Asset Information:

    • Bank Statements: You’ll need to provide recent bank statements to show your assets, including savings and checking accounts.

    • Investment and Retirement Account Statements: If you have investment or retirement accounts, your lender may request statements to assess your overall financial stability.

  3. Debt Information:

    • List of Debts: Make a list of your current debts, including credit cards, student loans, auto loans, and any other outstanding loans or obligations.
  4. Personal Information:

    • Identification: You’ll need to provide personal identification, such as your driver’s license or passport, to verify your identity.

How Long Does a Pre-Approval Last?

A mortgage pre-approval is not indefinite; it has an expiration date. Typically, pre-approvals are valid for 60 to 90 days, but this can vary from lender to lender. The reason pre-approvals have an expiration date is that your financial situation can change over time. Here’s why the expiration date matters:

  1. Interest Rates: Mortgage interest rates can fluctuate. If rates rise significantly during your pre-approval period, it could affect the loan amount you’re approved for or the monthly payment.

  2. Financial Changes: Changes in your financial situation, like a job change, new debt, or a drop in your credit score, can impact your pre-approval status.

  3. Property Availability: The real estate market can change. A property you were pre-approved for might no longer be available, or you might find a different property during the pre-approval period.

To keep your pre-approval valid, you may need to provide updated documentation to your lender if it’s close to expiration. If your financial situation remains stable and interest rates are favorable, this step should be relatively straightforward.

The Benefits of Pre-Approval:

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage offers several advantages:

  • Know Your Budget: You’ll have a clear understanding of how much you can afford to spend on a home.

  • Simplify the Buying Process: Pre-approval streamlines the homebuying process. Sellers are more likely to take your offer seriously.

  • Lock in a Rate: We allow you to lock in an interest rate during the pre-approval process, protecting you from rate fluctuations.

  • Confidence: Pre-approval gives you confidence as a buyer, and it can help you make quicker decisions when you find the right home.

In conclusion, a mortgage pre-approval is a crucial step in the homebuying process. It helps you understand your budget and demonstrates your seriousness to sellers. To obtain a pre-approval, gather your financial information and work with a trusted lender. Keep in mind that pre-approvals have an expiration date, so it’s essential to stay on top of the process and maintain your financial stability.

Ready to begin your homebuying journey? Contact AZ Mortgage for a personalized mortgage pre-approval and expert guidance. We’re here to assist you in making your dream of homeownership a reality.

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