When do you start the mortgage preapproval process?

Seeking preapproval from a lender a year before you begin house hunting will give you an advantage. Starting early can be beneficial as you can clear any issues and lock in the best rate possible.

Although preapprovals are generally are only valid for 60 to 90 days, lenders will extend the preapproval as long as you refresh your information with the lender.

Once you receive the mortgage preapproval, you can shop for your next home with confidence.

What to Expect with a mortgage preapproval

Preapprovals require more than just a conversation with your lender of choice. Getting preapproved means submitting lots of paperwork, including financial records and employment verification.  The lender will also pull your credit report and take stock of your overall financial health.

The elements of a mortgage preapproval by lenders are:

  • A 620 (generally) or higher credit score.
  • A stable two-year employment history
  • Proof of savings.
  • Records of financial assets.
  • Proof of funds for a down payment.
  • A debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent or less.


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