We’ve seen many reports over the last few years that all-too-often show that Americans disqualify themselves from buying a home by assuming that they don’t qualify for a mortgage. They don’t even try. We may never know how many of those potential homebuyers would have actually been able to buy a home. However, you don’t have to wonder if you could qualify for a mortgage. All you have to do is talk to a loan officer at your favorite lender. The process is called pre-approval.
What’s involved with becoming pre-approved for a mortgage? A few minutes in person or on the phone with your lender and answers to some basic questions are all you need.
- Proof of Income – You will be asked to show proof of income (W-2 statements and recent pay stubs will do the trick)
- Credit – The loan officer will pull your credit report. The better your credit score, the better the interest rates you can receive, but common mortgage products have minimum credit score requirements as low as 640. Specialized loan products may go even lower.
- Stable Employment – Your lender will want to see that you are employed and don’t hop from one job to another on a frequent basis. Your lender may use those pay stubs or could even call your employer.
- Proof you are who you say you are – Your lender will want a copy of your ID and will need your social security number.
What’s so important about being pre-approved for a mortgage?
- You no longer need to wonder if you are qualified for a mortgage. You will know.
- You will learn how much money a bank will be willing to lend you for a home.
- You will learn what kind of loan (think conventional, FHA, VA, etc.) you can receive.
- If you are not pre-approved, your lender will tell you why and suggest ways that you can improve your situation.
- Your real estate agent won’t be willing to spend much time working to find you a home if you are not pre-approved.