The traditional pre-qualification process involves a buyer providing income, asset, and credit information to a mortgage loan officer (MLO) or lender. The MLO will use an online system to input this data and determine how much a buyer would qualify for, pursuant to prevailing market interest rates. Once complete, an offer made and accepted, the terms of a pre-qualification may change, thus disqualifying the buyer. In today's market, prequalification is rarely acceptable.
A Pre-approval is more secure for both buyer and seller. A pre-approval can be produced in two basic ways. One way is an electronic process by the broker or lender and the second way is when the underwriting department issues a "conditional loan approval." Because a pre-approval carries a higher degree of certainty, buyers and sellers are more confident when depending upon a pre-approval.
The first method to receive a pre-approval is to complete a residential loan application, form 1003. To save time, authorize a credit review so the lender can import the liabilities that appear on your credit report (you need not complete the liabilities section). Once completed the MLO or broker will submit your application and credit data through an electronic process (DU or LP) for the electronic coded results needed to produce your pre-approval.
The second and best method is when your pre-approval has been issued by the underwriting department of a mortgage lender. In order to receive an underwriting conditional loan approval, you will need to provide supporting documentation for the income, assets, employment and other sections that appear on the residential loan application form 1003. While this method may take time, we suggest you first receive a pre-approval from your MLO or broker, followed by a pre-approval once you have an accepted purchase offer and executed a residential purchase agreement.
You may complete your residential loan application here: Residential Loan Application