858 how long does a preapproval for a mortgage last

How Long Does a Preapproval for a Mortgage Last?

Kevin O’Leary April 3, 2024 0

Getting a mortgage preapproval is a crucial step in the home buying process. It not only helps you understand how much you can afford to spend on a house, but also demonstrates to sellers that you’re a serious buyer. One key question many homebuyers have is: how long does a preapproval for a mortgage last? Let’s dive into the details of mortgage preapprovals and their validity periods.

Understanding Mortgage Preapproval

What is Mortgage Preapproval?

Mortgage preapproval is a process where a lender evaluates your financial situation to determine how much they’re willing to lend you for a home purchase. This involves assessing your credit score, income, assets, and liabilities. Based on this information, the lender will provide you with a preapproval letter that specifies the loan amount and mortgage rate you qualify for.

Having a preapproval letter in hand gives you a clear idea of your budget and allows you to shop for homes with confidence. It also strengthens your offer in competitive markets, as sellers know you’ve already taken steps to secure financing.

Preapproval vs Prequalification

It’s important to note the difference between mortgage preapproval and prequalification. While prequalification provides an estimate of your borrowing power, it’s based on self-reported information and doesn’t involve a thorough review of your finances.

On the other hand, preapproval is a more rigorous process that includes a credit report and verification of your financial details. This makes preapproval a more accurate and reliable indicator of your ability to secure a mortgage.

Factors Affecting Mortgage Preapproval Duration

Standard Mortgage Preapproval Validity Periods

So, how long does a preapproval letter typically last? Most lenders offer preapproval letters that are valid for 60 to 90 days. Some lenders may even provide letters with a shorter expiration period, such as 30 days.

Preapproval Validity Period Lender Offerings
90 days Most common
60 days Offered by some lenders
30 days Less common, but available from certain lenders

Financial Changes Impacting Preapproval

It’s crucial to remember that your preapproval is based on your financial situation at the time of application. If you experience significant financial changes, such as a job loss or a dip in your credit score, your preapproval may no longer be valid. In such cases, you may need to obtain a new preapproval that reflects your current circumstances.

On the flip side, if you take steps to improve your financial standing, like paying off debt or increasing your income, you might qualify for better mortgage rates and terms. It can be worth reapplying for preapproval to take advantage of these improvements.

Applying for Mortgage Preapproval

Gathering Required Documentation

When you’re ready to apply for mortgage preapproval, you’ll need to provide your lender with various financial documents. These typically include:

  • Social Security number and government-issued ID
  • Recent bank statements
  • W-2s and tax returns from the past two years
  • Current pay stubs

Having these documents readily available can streamline the preapproval process and help you secure your letter more quickly.

Choosing a Mortgage Lender

When selecting a mortgage lender, it’s essential to shop around and compare offers. Don’t just focus on the interest rate; also consider factors like fees, customer service, and the lender’s reputation.

Some lenders, like Rocket Mortgage, offer a Verified Approval Letter that carries more weight than a standard preapproval letter. This involves a more thorough verification process and can give you a competitive edge when making offers.

Timing Your Mortgage Preapproval

Getting Preapproved Before House Hunting

Ideally, you should get preapproved before you start seriously shopping for homes. This allows you to understand your affordability range and focus your search on properties that fit your budget. In competitive markets, having a preapproval letter in hand can also give you a competitive advantage over other buyers, as you can confidently bid on homes knowing you’ve already secured financing.

Renewing an Expired Preapproval

If your preapproval expires before you find a home, don’t worry. You can typically renew it by updating your preapproval documentation, such as providing your most recent pay stubs and asset statements. Reach out to your mortgage loan officer to discuss the specific steps for renewing your preapproval.

Mortgage Preapproval and Your Credit Score

Hard Inquiries and the 14-Day Grace Period

When you apply for mortgage preapproval, the lender will perform a hard inquiry on your credit report. This credit pull can cause a temporary dip in your credit score. However, if you submit multiple preapproval applications within a 14-day period, they will typically be counted as a single credit inquiry, minimizing the impact on your score.

Preparing Your Credit Before Applying

Saving money on your mortgage starts with preparing your credit before applying for preapproval. Take steps to improve your credit score, such as paying down debt, disputing errors on your credit report, and making all your payments on time.

Tools like Experian Boost can also help you bump up your score by giving you credit for on-time utility, phone, and streaming service payments.

In conclusion, mortgage preapproval is a valuable tool in the home buying process, but it’s important to understand its validity period and the factors that can affect it. By getting preapproved at the right time, maintaining your financial health, and working with a trusted lender, you can navigate the mortgage process with confidence and secure the best possible deal on your home purchase.

See also:


Leave a Comment