Buyers & Sellers > Getting Pre-Approval

The First Step: Pre-Approval

When applying for a mortgage, your current earnings and expected income during the next few years may influence your borrowing power. Outstanding long-term debt and how long you expect to stay in the home you're buying may also be considered.

Most realty agents recommend getting preliminary approval for a loan, usually by getting "pre-qualified" or "pre-approved" for a certain monthly payment. Getting approved for a loan requires having a lender verify your financial situation, including your current assets (income, savings, investments and other sources of revenue) and your liabilities (existing loans, credit card balances and other obligations). Using this information, the lender will evaluate whether there are sufficient funds for the down payment, whether you have adequate income to make monthly payments, and your overall credit-worthiness, which is based on a review of your borrowing history.

According to many real estate professionals and lenders, the biggest reason people get turned down for a loan is poor credit. Reviewing your credit status and correcting any mistakes before applying for a loan can help you avoid surprises or disappointments. Consumers may request a copy of their credit report from one of three major reporting services:

  • Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
  • Trans Union: 1-800-851-2674
  • Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (1-888-397-3742)

A small fee may apply, although if you've been denied credit recently, federal law mandates that the lender tell you which company supplied the information. You have a right to a free copy of your report from that company so long as you request it within 30 days of the credit denial.

I have had the opportunity to work with some great mortgage brokers and lenders, and would be glad to give you a referral - give me a call at (800) 462-0197.

Find a Realtor® Step 2: How Much Can You Afford?

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