892 how long does it take to get a mortgage

How Long Does It Take To Get a Mortgage?

Kevin O’Leary April 15, 2024 0

The home buying process can be an exciting and overwhelming experience, especially for first-time buyers. One of the most critical aspects of purchasing a home is securing a mortgage loan. Many factors can affect how long it takes to get a mortgage, from the type of loan you choose to your financial readiness. On average, the mortgage process can take anywhere from 30 to 90 days or longer, depending on your specific circumstances. In this article, we’ll explore the various stages of the mortgage process and provide tips to help expedite your loan approval.

Understanding the Mortgage Process

The mortgage process involves several steps, each with its own timeline and requirements. To better understand how long it takes to get a mortgage, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the key stages of the process:

Mortgage Preapproval

Before you start house hunting, it’s wise to get preapproved for a mortgage. Preapproval determines how much a lender is willing to lend you based on your income, credit history, and assets. This process typically takes 1-5 days and involves submitting financial documents to your chosen lender for review.

Getting preapproved not only helps you establish a realistic budget for your home search but also demonstrates to sellers that you’re a serious buyer. With a preapproval letter in hand, you can make offers on homes with confidence, knowing that you have the financial backing to follow through.

Mortgage Application

Once you’ve found your dream home and your offer has been accepted, it’s time to complete a formal mortgage application. This process involves providing more detailed information about your finances, employment history, and the property you intend to purchase. Your lender will also provide you with a Loan Estimate, which discloses the terms, rates, and fees associated with your home loan.

The mortgage application process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending on how quickly you can gather and submit the required documentation. It’s crucial to be thorough and accurate in your application to avoid delays or potential denials down the line.


After submitting your mortgage application, your loan enters the underwriting stage. During this process, the lender will verify your income, assets, debt, and property details to ensure that you qualify for the loan. Underwriters may request additional documentation, such as bank statements, pay stubs, or tax returns, to support your application.

The underwriting process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of your financial situation and the lender’s workload. It’s essential to respond promptly to any requests for additional information to keep the process moving forward.

Closing Meeting

If your loan is approved, the final step in the mortgage process is the closing meeting. During this meeting, you’ll sign the necessary documents to finalize your home purchase and officially become a homeowner. You’ll also need to provide proof of homeowners insurance and bring funds for your down payment and closing costs.

The closing meeting typically takes place 7-14 days after your loan approval, giving you time to review the final loan documents and prepare for the transfer of ownership. Once you’ve signed the paperwork and the funds have been disbursed, you’ll receive the keys to your new home and can begin the exciting process of moving in.

Factors Affecting Mortgage Approval Time

While the mortgage process generally follows the same steps, the time it takes to get approved can vary significantly based on several factors:

Financial Requirements

To qualify for a mortgage, you’ll need to meet certain financial requirements, such as having a good credit score, a low debt-to-income ratio, and a sufficient down payment. If you have a complex financial situation or a less-than-ideal credit history, it may take longer for the lender to review and approve your application.

Before beginning the mortgage process, it’s a good idea to check your credit report for errors and take steps to improve your credit score if necessary. You should also work on paying down debt and saving for a down payment to increase your chances of a smooth and timely approval.

Lender Processing

Each lender has its own process for reviewing and approving mortgage applications, which can impact the overall timeline. Some lenders may have more streamlined processes or advanced technology that allows them to process applications and required documents more quickly.

When choosing a lender, it’s essential to consider not only the interest rates and fees they offer but also their reputation for customer service and efficiency. Reading reviews from past borrowers and asking for recommendations from friends or family can help you find a lender that prioritizes timely processing and communication.

Property Issues

Sometimes, issues with the property itself can cause delays in the mortgage approval process. For example, if the home inspection reveals significant problems or the appraisal comes in lower than expected, it may take additional time to resolve these issues and move forward with the loan.

To minimize the risk of property-related delays, it’s crucial to work with a reputable real estate agent who can guide you through the process and help you identify potential red flags early on. Being proactive about scheduling inspections and appraisals can also help keep the process on track.

Contingency Failures

In some cases, your mortgage approval may be contingent on certain conditions, such as selling your current home or obtaining homeowners insurance. If these contingencies fail or take longer than expected to resolve, it can delay or even jeopardize your financing.

To avoid contingency-related delays, it’s important to have a solid plan in place for meeting any necessary conditions. This may involve working with a real estate agent to price and market your current home effectively or shopping around for homeowners insurance well in advance of your closing date.

Tips to Expedite the Mortgage Process

While some factors that affect mortgage approval time may be beyond your control, there are several steps you can take to help expedite the process:

Get Pre-Approved

As mentioned earlier, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can help streamline the process once you find a home you want to buy. With a pre-approval letter in hand, you can move quickly to submit an offer and begin the formal loan application process.

To get pre-approved, you’ll need to provide your lender with basic financial information, such as your income, debts, and assets. This process can typically be completed online or over the phone in a matter of days.

Review Credit Reports

Before applying for a mortgage, it’s a good idea to review your credit reports for errors or potential red flags that could delay or derail your approval. You’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every year, so take advantage of this opportunity to ensure your credit is in good shape.

If you find errors on your credit report, dispute them with the credit bureau and the creditor involved. This process can take some time, so it’s best to address any issues well in advance of beginning the mortgage process.

Be Transparent with Financial Information

When completing your mortgage application, it’s crucial to be transparent and accurate about your financial situation. Omitting debts, income sources, or other relevant information can delay the approval process or even result in a denial.

Gather all the necessary documentation, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements, before beginning the application process. Being organized and forthcoming with your financial information can help the lender process your application more efficiently.

Promptly Submit Extra Documents

During the underwriting process, your lender may request additional documents or information to support your application. These requests can come at any time during the mortgage journey, so it’s essential to be responsive and prompt in submitting what’s needed.

Set up a dedicated email folder or physical file for your mortgage documents so you can easily access and submit them as requested. The sooner you provide the necessary information, the sooner your lender can move forward with the approval process.

The Bottom Line

Getting a mortgage can be a complex and time-consuming process, but understanding the steps involved and being proactive in your preparation can help minimize delays and streamline the journey to homeownership. By working with a trusted loan professional, being transparent about your finances, and promptly addressing any requests or issues that arise, you can navigate the mortgage process with confidence and efficiency.

Remember, while the average time to close on a mortgage is around 50 days, your specific timeline may vary based on your individual circumstances and the current market conditions. Stay in close communication with your lender and real estate agent throughout the process to ensure a smooth and successful home buying experience.

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