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Getting preapproved for a mortgage: When, why & how


Getting preapproved for a mortgage is an essential part of the home-buying process. While it’s possible to wait before securing your financing, there are major benefits to getting preapproval early.


For more information about preapproval, here are the basics to consider:


When to get preapproval


It’s recommended that would-be homebuyers obtain a preapproval letter from a mortgage lender as soon as possible in their buying process. The earlier you take care of this important step, the earlier you’ll know exactly how much money you can afford to spend on a home. This can help you narrow down your home search.


Why get preapproval


In addition to helping your home search, getting mortgage preapproval also shows sellers you are a qualified buyer. Preapproval requires a careful examination of your financial situation, including factors like debt-to-income ratio and liquid assets.


Going through the process confirms your eligibility for a mortgage and communicates to sellers that you’re less likely to back out of a sale.


How to get preapproval


Compare mortgage lenders to find the best fit for your needs. You can request a loan estimate and mortgage preapproval letter from a lender after providing essential documentation like investment account statements, bank statements, pay stubs and credit report.



If you intend to buy a home, it’s a good idea to get preapproved for a mortgage sooner rather than later. The more prepared you are with your finances, the more effective your home search will be.