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  • Megan Munley

Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

What’s the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification?

A mortgage pre-qualification is an indication of what you’ll likely qualify for based on basic information about your credit and finances, but it’s not the same as a pre-approval. With a pre-qualification, your lender might only perform a soft credit inquiry, and often only relies on your own representation of your financial situation (what you tell them) rather than requiring proof and documentation.

While a pre-qualification can be helpful when shopping around and comparing potential loan terms as it will give you a general idea of how much home you can afford, it’s not something a seller will consider if you were to make an offer and could lead to your offer not being accepted.

On the other hand, getting a mortgage pre-approval is a more in-depth process. You’ll be asked provide documentation, such as verification of employment, pay stubs, etc., and the lender will review your credit report in greater detail. Unlike a pre-qualification, a pre-approval is accepted as proof that you can afford the home you’re looking at and that the lender will fund your loan.

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