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5 reasons to get a Loan Pre-Approval

Loan Pre-Approval: the first step to buy your next property

The dream of buying your own home or investment property is basic human nature. We all crave the sense of belonging that comes from having our own portfolio to build a future for both ourselves, and our family. What is the first step? A loan pre-approval.

Dreaming is one thing. Being ready to buy a property is so much more than reaching the point where your calculations add up and your decision is made.

You are ready only when you have your pre-approval for financing in hand.

Loan Pre-Approval – What you need to know

Being pre-approved by lenders is different from your own calculations. It is also different than being pre-qualified by lenders.

Pre-qualification Vs. Pre-approval

Pre-qualification is an estimate of what you can afford based on your income and can be done instantly over the internet or phone. It gives you a rough idea, but is not enough to get the process formally started. A pre-qualification process does not take your credit history into account, which is a crucial factor in obtaining a mortgage. It is, however, an essential part of the process, as it gives you an idea of what you are getting yourself into. This is an extension of your own calculation in getting to the decision of whether you are ready to buy or not.

Pre-approval is a concrete go-ahead. It shows sellers that you are not only serious, but also able to obtain a mortgage. It is a complete appraisal of your credit history, credit score, as well as your ratio of debt to income. Typically, a ratio of 36% or less of credit to income is required by lenders for approval. This is an in-depth analysis of whether you are able to repay a mortgage and what you can afford. It is a token of intent and is generally valid for 60 – 90 days.

While not the formal loan application, pre-approval speeds up the process of obtaining the final loan. Most importantly, it is a requisite for any realtor and seller before they will even consider you as a buyer.


What you will need

The first step is to decide on a lender. While you are allowed to approach more than one lender at a time, remember that after running your credit, you have 30 days to shop around with lenders without damaging your credit. Try not to approach too many. 1 – 3 should be enough for a good estimation.

Once you have decided on a lender, you will need to have the following ready for evaluation:

  • Proof of all income for the previous 2 years, including wages, bonuses, commissions, etc.
  • W-2 wage statements for 2 years
  • Proof of all assets, such as bank statements, investment account statements, etc.
  • Your last two income tax returns
  • Proof of ID, as your social security and income numbers are needed for a full credit history check

If self-employed, any and all documents proving income and stability are needed. This is generally a more complex analysis for being a higher risk.

loan-pre-approval | The Roi Group

Some advice for success

Besides the obvious factors, such as credit history and a stable source of income, the following will also boost your chances of success.

Get your down payment together

Although there are programs that allow down payments as low as 3.5%, the ideal will always be 20%. The closer you can get to this, the better you are rated by lenders. If not at 20%, be ready with your minimum, as this will be an important factor to talk about with your lender during a loan pre-approval.

Keep your spending low

Being pre-approved does not guarantee final approval of a loan.

Spending and taking on more debt in the period of loan pre-approval will affect your income to debt ratio. Then, this could cause you to be turned down for the final loan. Pushing your expenditure and debt up shows that you are at high risk and not ready to take on the responsibility of a mortgage.

loan-pre-approval | The Roi Group
5 Reasons to get a loan pre-approval letter
  1. You are a more powerful buyer, so your offers will be competitive.
  2. Save time before and during the transaction.
  3. Better bargaining power.
  4. Reduce the unexpected.
  5. Ensure a speedy closing, which makes your offers more attractive.
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