Do You Need a Mortgage Pre-approval Letter?

Do You Need a Mortgage Pre-approval Letter?

There are a lot of steps involved in successfully buying a home. For many buyers, one of those steps is getting a mortgage pre-approval letter.

But not every buyer knows what, exactly, a mortgage pre-approval letter is, or whether they need one for their home purchase.

So what is a mortgage pre-approval, and do you need one?

A recent article from answered common questions about mortgage pre-approval letters, including:

  • What is a mortgage pre-approval letter? A mortgage pre-approval letter states that your lender is willing to lend you money to buy a home, up to a specific amount. A mortgage pre-approval is a guarantee from a lender that — based on the financial information you shared with them and they verified, like pay stubs and credit reports — they’re willing to move forward with your loan.

  • When do you need one? Ideally, you should get a pre-approval before you even start looking for a house. That way you’ll know how much you can afford and focus your search on homes you can actually buy, rather than falling in love with one only to find out it’s not within your budget. Besides, you will certainly need one when you make an offer on a house, so it’s better to have it in hand before you’re in that position.

  • Under what circumstances do you not need a mortgage pre-approval letter? Unless you’re paying for a home outright with cash, you will need a pre-approval. But keep in mind that you’ll still need “proof of funds” when using your own savings to purchase a house, so make sure to have formal documentation from your bank proving that you have the money you’ll need to make the purchase, and that it’s liquid and accessible to you.

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