The pre-approval process can take some time to complete, but starting early and staying organized can help speed up the process. Keep track of all the paperwork and documents you need to provide to get pre-approved. Be aware of the steps involved and keep updated on the progress of your application. With enough preparation and effort, you can get your pre-approval in no time and start looking for your dream home.

Here are four steps to getting pre-approved:

1. Find a Mortgage Lender

Before deciding on a lender to get pre-approval, it is important to compare different lenders to find the most beneficial rates and fees. Doing research could save you money and give you an idea of the customer service and fees associated with the lender. However, this means going through the pre-approval process several times.

2. Gather Your Personal and Financial Documents

To be approved for a mortgage, you must provide evidence of your financial situation, such as your income, assets, and debts. If you are self-employed, you will need to provide additional evidence to the lender to prove that your income is stable. This might involve getting an accountant to review your records, speak with customers, or provide other documents. You should ask the lender for a list of what documents they need before you begin the process. It is best to have all the necessary information organized before you submit your application for pre-approval.

3. Get Your Credit Report Checked

You will need to give permission for the lender to look at your credit report before you can be approved for a mortgage. To get a mortgage, you must have a minimum credit score of 620. However, it is best to have a credit score of 740 to 799 to receive the best loan terms. If your credit score is between 800 and above, this is considered excellent, and you will receive a much lower interest rate than a credit score in the good range. The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate will be on a mortgage.

Suppose your credit score isn’t the highest. You can still secure pre-approval for a loan if you apply for a government-backed or specialized financing program, like an FHA loan, with a lower credit score qualification of 580. As stated in federal regulations, you can get a free copy of your credit report from each credit bureau yearly.

4. Get Pre-Approved

Lenders will usually allow you to apply for pre-approval in person or online. To decide how much you can afford monthly, lenders often use the 28/36 qualifying ratio. Your mortgage payment should be no more than 28 percent of your gross income each month, and all other debt payments, including credit cards, car loans, and other obligations, should not be over 36 percent of your gross income monthly.

After evaluating your credit and financial situation, the lender will decide if you qualify for a mortgage loan and for what amount. If approved, you will receive a pre-approval letter confirming this information.


Pre-approval is an important step in the mortgage process and is the best way to ensure that the loan you are applying for is the right fit for you. Understanding the different steps and options available to you when getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important. By taking the time to research, compare and understand the different lenders and loan programs, you can make an informed decision that will help you obtain the best possible loan for your needs. Pre-approval is not a guarantee of approval, but it can help you confidently move forward in the mortgage process.

Total Lending Concepts is your hometown mortgage lender, offering home loans to fit every situation. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer searching for your first home or ready to buy that dream home you’ve had your eye on, we’ve got you covered! Our wide variety of loan options includes conventional, VA, USDA, FHA, and other options to fit your needs.