Getting mortgage approval is inevitable for most homebuyers unless you pay cash. A mortgage pre-approval letter is a powerful way to get an edge in a bidding war. Plus, mortgage pre-qualification lets buyers know how much house they can afford. Discover how to get through a successful mortgage approval, one of the most crucial steps in the homebuying process.

Consult with a Mortgage Lender First

Eager homebuyers may feel tempted to attend open houses before obtaining a mortgage. However, most sellers expect qualified buyers to receive a lender pre-approval letter. Therefore, the first step to housing success is meeting with a mortgage lender. Your real estate agent can often refer you to reliable resources based on your unique circumstances. Always be honest, so you have the groundwork for turning your situation into approval.

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

Often buyers use online loan calculators to see how much money can borrow. While these are helpful tools, they are meant to provide information rather than approval. Usually, a soft credit check is required for pre-qualification, while a hard credit check is necessary for pre-approval. Many factors, such as your current credit score and time at employment, play a role in the approval process. Only a formal letter from your lender stating the mortgage approval amount proves you’re a qualified buyer.