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Deciphering the Mystery of the Pre-approval

Updated: Sep 24



Navigating the Pre-Approval Process


There are a plethora of terms out there regarding a mortgage pre-approval. You are probably very aware of the importance of getting a pre-approval before you go house hunting, but do you know how to get yourself a genuine pre-approval; one that is going to make the home buying process as easy as possible. Did you know there is a big difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval? Now that I have you interested, let’s dive right in.


Mortgage prequalification is the term often used when the information has been provided by a borrower but is not yet verified. Your information is entered into the computer and based on that data, your mortgage professional will tell you how much for a home you can afford. It’s possible that your credit has not even been pulled depending on who you meet with. The problem here is, without a full suite of documents to examine and a close look at your credit bureau, your mortgage professional is not able to address any potential issues which may come up. For example, in today’s busy market, you may end up in a bidding war with another buyer which could result in a shorter financing period. You could lose the house of your dreams if an issue with your financing arises after a real application is taken. How can you avoid this unfortunate situation from happening to you? Get a real mortgage pre-approval!

A mortgage pre-approval will involve paperwork, credit bureaus, and questions… oh my!

1. The Application – You will be asked a series of questions. This will include your social insurance number, your employment history, your address history, and a list of assets amongst other things of course.

2. The Credit Bureau – Once you sign a consent form, your mortgage pro can pull your credit from Equifax. They will take a very close look at your entire credit bureau and ask you questions if there are any concerns. Why? If we can see that in 2018 you had a history of late payments, I will guarantee that the lender can too, and they will want to know exactly why. If we know of potential issues ahead of time, we can address them right away which can expedite the whole process later.

3. The Documentation - You are going to have to provide a whole pile of paperwork. Getting all this in ahead of time allows us to address any potential problems. The paperwork you may be required to provide may be:

Letter of employment, pay-stubs, two years notice of assessments, T1, general proof of down payment, divorce or Separation agreement, bankruptcy documents, and whatever the heck else they ask for.

4. The SubmissionOnce this is all put together, your pre-approval can go to the lender. They will look over and discuss the file, which will still be subject to their approval based on the home you choose and the mortgage insurer also coming on board.

The thing is, you are going to have to provide all of this paperwork at some point, so you may as well do so ahead of time and rest easy in the knowledge that your financing is secure.

Keep in mind, even if you already own a home and are just looking to make a move, you should take the time to get yourself a pre-approval. Just imagine selling your current home only to find out that you are no longer qualified to purchase the next. Yikes!!

There you have it in a nutshell, how to successfully navigate the pre-approval process successfully. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact your local well-qualified mortgage professional, we’re here to help!

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