How to Get PreQualified for Home Loan in 2024 


Are you ready to buy a home in 2024? Interest rates are holding steady and have not increased significantly in recent months, so now is the time to get prequalified for a home loan before rates go up. In this article, learn about how to get preapproved for a mortgage loan. You also will learn some key tips to get prequalified for the home of your dreams. If you are ready to apply for a home loan, BD Nationwide can help get pre-qualified with competitive mortgage lenders.

What Is Home Loan Pre-Qualification?

prequalified home loanDespite what many aspiring home buyers think, shopping for a new home is usually not the first step when acquiring your dream home.

For most people who need a mortgage, getting prequalified for a home loan is the first step.

Mortgage prequalification is the first step in buying a home that helps you understand what your home loan options are.

To get prequalified for a home loan by a lender, you generally need to answer questions about your finances, credit, and receive an estimate of the rate and loan you could qualify for.

Prequalification for a home loan is important because it gives you a price range and budget for your home shopping. It’s easier to shop for a home when you know the price range you can qualify for. BD Nationwide will help you obtain a pre qualification letter from a credible mortgage company.

How Do You Get Prequalified for A Home Loan?

Prequalifying for a home loan is fairly simple and fast. Most people prequalify online through a website. The site asks questions about income, how much down payment, and your current debts.

When issuing a mortgage pre qualification, the lender may do a soft credit check to see certain information about your credit profile. A soft inquiry doesn’t cause a reduction in your credit score.

Based on what is in your credit report and the information you gave, the loan company will determine the rough amount you could qualify for, as well as the rate.

A loan prequalification is fast, so it is common to get a response in a few minutes. Many lenders will give you a prequalification letter that states how much you may qualify for and a potential interest rate.

  • Preapproval Letter
  • Updated Credit Report
  • Mortgage Prequalification 
  • Signed Offer for a Preapproved Mortgage

However, when you get prequalified for a home loan, the amount you can qualify for and the rate are not guaranteed. To get a firm rate and loan amount quote, you have to get preapproved for a mortgage, which involves giving the lender your financial documentation, including tax returns, bank statements, and other information.

Furthermore, a prequalification letter doesn’t have the same weight as a mortgage preapproval letter. Once you decide on the home you want, you need to get a mortgage preapproval before making an offer. Most real estate agents will want to see that you have been preapproved for a mortgage before they will take an offer seriously. Consider getting prequalified for conventional and FHA home loans.

What Is a Mortgage Preapproval?

mortgage preapprovalA mortgage preapproval is different than a prequalification.

The mortgage preapproval process takes a closer look at your financial and credit information by having a loan underwriter review your financial documents.

The prequalification and preapproval are both important.

Getting a pre-approved mortgage enhances your credibility with home sellers and real estate brokers.

Typical documents you need for a mortgage preapproval are:

  • Paystubs for at least 30 days
  • W-2s or 1099s for the last two years
  • Tax returns for the last two years
  • Documents about other sources of income, such as investment properties
  • Bank account statements for the last two or three months
  • Your rental history
  • Social security number and photo ID

The lender also needs to look at your income and determine if it is stable and that you have enough money for the down payment and closing costs. The preapproval also takes a close look at your credit profile. The lender will review not just your credit score but will look at your recent payment history.

They will see if you are keeping up with your payments for the last one or two years. It is possible to get approved for a mortgage with no credit score, but the lender will want assurance that you have been making your debt payments on time in recent months and years. Showing recent financial stability is an important part of the loan approval process.

Tips to Get Prequalified for a Home Loan

Once you feel ready to buy a house, getting a mortgage prequalification or preapproval is your next crucial step. To ensure you get the best deal, speak with multiple lenders and compare their mortgage interest rates and loan options and get a preapproval letter that outlines how much you qualify for and what the interest rate is.

During the mortgage pre-qualification process, the loan officer will ask for details about your income, employment, monthly expenses, available down payment, and possibly other information. They will then provide you with an estimate.

When you begin the mortgage application process it; is very important to get organized and provide the mortgage lenders all of the requested documentation in a timely manner. Now that you know more about getting a mortgage pre qualification and preapproved for a home loan, here are some prequalification steps and tips:

Research Mortgage Companies

Every mortgage company and lending program is different. The first thing you should do when prequalifying for a mortgage is to look at several different mortgage lenders and programs. Whether you want a conventional mortgage or a zero-down home loan, it’s important that you work with companies that specialize in the type of home loan is your looking for. When you settle on three or four lenders to try, you should look for an option on their site to prequalify for a mortgage.

Give Your Financial Information

Prequalifying for a home loan usually means giving the lender your basic financial information. This may be your monthly income, assets, debt payments each month, and range of credit score. The prequalification process doesn’t require you to provide financial documents, such as tax returns and bank statements. After you submit your prequalification information, the lender may want to do a soft credit check. This check will not affect your credit score; it is just to check if you meet the basic criteria for the lender.

Before you have a soft credit check on your file, it is a good idea to make sure that all of your debts are paid on time. If you have a lot of debt, it will help to pay off what you can. Doing so will raise your score significantly and could improve your loan terms.

Lender Assesses Your Finances

Once you provide your financial information, the lender will go over your credit score and other financial information. Then, it will give a rough loan amount you could qualify for. The assessment also could provide potential loan terms, payments, and possible interest rates available.

Get A Prequalification Letter

If the mortgage lender decides that you have a suitable financial profile, it will give you a prequalification letter. The document will state the potential loan you qualify for. However, remember that the letter is not a preapproval and is not guaranteed. It is only based on your preliminary financial data that has not been verified.

It is good to get a prequalification letter from several mortgage providers. This will give you a better idea from several lenders what you can afford. This will help you shop for homes and ensure that you are not looking at homes you cannot afford.

Use Prequalification Letter When Looking at Homes

The prequalification letter is useful for shopping for your new home. It can save you a lot of time and tell the real estate agent that you have been prequalified.

Get Preapproval for a Home Loan

The next step may be to get a preapproval. Mortgage preapproval is a detailed overview of your financial picture based on submitted documents. The preapproval will be based on your bank statements, credit score, tax returns, paystubs or 1099s, etc. Preapproval is also not a guarantee of ultimate loan approval, but most preapproved loans are eventually approved.

Tips For Prequalification Process

If you have just started the home loan process, prequalification can help to set your home shopping budget. If you didn’t prequalify for a large enough loan, here are several tips to try:

  • Boost your credit score by paying off debt, paying bills on time, and correcting errors in your report.
  • Lower your debt-to-income ratio: DTI is your gross monthly debt payments compared to your gross monthly income. Lenders use it to decide how large of a loan you can afford. You can lower the DTI by paying off debt, including credit cards, car loans, and student loans. You also can raise your income to reduce your DTI.
  • Consider an adjustable rate mortgage: An adjustable rate mortgage begins with a lower interest rate in the early years and can adjust to a different rate later. The most common adjustable rate loans have a one, three, five, or seven year fixed period. Getting an adjustable rate loan can save you money early on. But remember, the rate could increase in the future. If you cannot pay your mortgage, you will lose the home.

Summary on PreQual Home Loans

Most Americans dream of owning their own home, and that usually means getting a mortgage. Prequalifying for a home loan is an important and helpful first step in the process. Going through the home loan prequalification process gives you an idea of the amount of loan you can qualify for. This is important as you begin to look at homes to buy. Being prequalified also tells the lender the size and type of loan that may be best for your needs.

Taking the time to understand how to position yourself financially for pre-qualification and approval is an essential first step. Let us help simplify the buying process, so you can enjoy the home buying experience.

Last, being prequalified and having a prequalification letter tells real estate agents that you can close on the home and buy it. Please contact us at BDNationwideMortgage.com if you want to apply for a home loan today.