How to Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage

8/24/2023 12:00:00 PM

Key with house keychain placed on top of a mortgage application with APPROVED stamp

One of the first step towards homeownership is getting pre-approved for your mortgage. Here's a guideline for an easy road towards pre-approval.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget

The first step is deciding on the type of home you want and where you want to live. When you have a general idea, find a loan officer and talk about your budget so you have a good idea of what works best for you. Our online calculator takes into account what you can afford, additional mortgage costs, loan information and your state and federal tax rate to help determine your maximum budget.

(If you’re not comfortable determining a budget on your own, your mortgage lender will be happy to help!)

Step 2: Gather Your Documents

In order to apply, you’ll typically need the following information:

  • Residence history for the past 2 years
  • Employer name(s), job title and dates of employment for the past 2 years
  • Current pay stubs covering a full, 30-day period
  • W-2s for the past 2 years (and 1099s and K1s, if applicable)
  • Federal tax returns are needed for the past two years. This includes all pages, schedules, and business tax returns. If you are self-employed, you must submit returns for businesses that you own 25% or more of.

Step 3: Apply Online or In-Person

Once you’ve gathered the necessary documents, it’s time to choose a trusted mortgage expert near you. After choosing a lender, you can apply online or schedule an in-person appointment to get pre-approved.

After submitting your pre-approval application, your lender will follow-up with you as soon as possible! Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions throughout the process.


Tips for Success

During the pre-approval process, it's important to know that your full credit report will be pulled. Understand the 5 factors that affect your credit and follow these tips to ensure your credit score and history are in their prime. 

  • Make bill and credit card payments on time.
  • Avoid applying for additional credit or making any significant purchases on credit.
  • Keep your credit card balance below 30 to 50 percent of the card limit.

Get started today!