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Prequalified vs. Preapproved

What's the Difference?

When you begin the process, it’s important to note that you can request either a prequalification or a preapproval before you get started shopping for your home. The two are similar, but a preapproval is a more substantial start to getting your home loan.

Prequalification vs. Preapproval

Lender uses income and expense figures provided by the borrower to estimate loan qualification amount. Lender presents all income, assets, expenses, and credit documentation provided by the borrower to an underwriter for official review.
Documentation is not required and does not go through the underwriting process.Documentation is required and validated. The underwriting process is initiated.
Credit and income are not validated. Borrower is given a bonafide preapproval for the estimated loan amount
Borrower provides lender with financial information.Borrower submits a mortgage application.
Lender evaluates information and provides an approximate loan amount borrower may qualify for.Lender provides specific loan amount and interest rate. (Borrower may be able to lock into an interest rate.)
Usually no cost.There is usually an application fee.
Doesn’t include review of borrower’s credit report.Thorough check is performed, including credit report.
Carries less weight.Gives you potential advantage with sellers.

Home Loan Preapproval Benefits

Getting a home a loan preapproval for can give you an advantage as a home buyer. Here are some of the benefits of a mortgage preapproval:

  • Sellers prefer to work with preapproved buyers because they have already demonstrated their ability to obtain financing


  • Sellers are typically more inclined to negotiate with a potential buyer who has shown they can qualify for a home loan


  • Save time shopping for a home within your price range


  • Have an advantage over other buyers who are not preapproved


  • Have a higher chance of closing


  • Expedite the loan underwriting process after a seller accepts your offer
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