What Is The Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval?

This BLOG On What Is The Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval Was Written By Gustan Cho

Most borrowers often get confused on the Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval. Sellers real estate agents will normally not accept an offer from a home buyer without a solid pre-approval letter. There is a big Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval. A pre-qualification of a borrower is the first stage of the overall mortgage process and the first step in proceeding in the mortgage process. The pre-qualification process starts with the initial phone call to the loan officer and it is normally a phone interview. Every loan officer has different ways of pre-qualifying a borrower. Some loan officers are more thorough with the way they pre-qualify a borrower while other loan officers do not issue pre-qualification letters but just skip this step and will pre-approve a borrower. The pre-qualification process normally takes about 30 minutes and it is a series of questions that the loan officer asks the borrower. Once a loan officer feels confident that the borrower pre-qualifies for a mortgage loan and fits a certain mortgage loan program, the loan officer can then issue a pre-qualification letter or move to the next step, which is getting the borrower pre-approved. Questions asked during the pre-qualification mortgage process are the following and on this BLOG we will cover the big Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval mortgage process. Here are the basic questions being asked during the pre-qualification mortgage process:

  • What city, county, state are you looking to purchase a home?
  • Get a formal mortgage loan application, the 1003, and complete the 1003 and while completing the 1003, make sure you ask the questions below
  • Are you self employed or W-2 wage earner? Are you hourly or salaried?
  •  Your loan officer will ask you for any other source of income such as whether you get social security income, receive pension income, have part time income, get overtime income, get alimony income, receive child support income, or if you receive any other income such as royalty income. Any other income such as part time income, bonus income, over time income, there is a two year seasoning requirement in order to be able to use those types of income as qualified and verified income and the likelihood of three years needs to be likely through a Verification of Employment.
  • Your mortgage loan originator will question you about your minimum monthly debts. Auto loans, minimum credit card payments, minimum installment loans, student loan payments, deferred student loans, child support and/or alimony payments, and any other minimum monthly payments that show on your credit report
  • Are you the only borrower? Who is the co-borrower? (Ask the same questions about the co-borrower if the main borrower knows the information or if the main borrower does not know, take the information of the borrower and contact the co-borrower on a separate call)
  • What is the market value of homes that you are shopping for?
  • Do you have the estimated property taxes in your area? Do you have the estimated homeowners insurance in the area? Are there homeowners associations in the community you are buying and do you know what the HOA dues are? Is the location that you are shopping for homes in a flood zone and do you know what the flood insurance premiums homeowners are paying? If the borrower does not know the above questions, the loan officer normally can get a good estimate of the above information. The above information is important to calculate the borrower’s proposed housing payment which is important in the calculation of the borrower’s debt to income ratio
  • During the pre-qualification mortgage interview process, your loan officer will ask you about if you applied at another mortgage company and what issues you had with the other lender.
  • Questions about your credit will be asked. Some questions are have you been timely on all of your payments in the past 12 months? Have you had bankruptcy, short sale, foreclosure, and deed in lieu of foreclosure and if so what are the dates. Questions about if you had any judgments or tax liens. Do you have any collections or charge off accounts. Do you have any credit disputes.
  • Your loan officer will also check to see if you are purchasing a home in a community property state and if so, your spouse’s debts needs to be included in the calculation of your debt to income ratio even though your spouse is not on the mortgage loan.
  • Your mortgage lender will then pull credit while you are on the phone to see if you meet the minimum credit score requirements and your credit report does not reflect any derogatory items that can potentially affect your chances of getting pre-approved
  • The above is basically the pre-qualification process

The Pre-Approval Process

The Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval is that the Pre-Approval mortgage process is the most important stage of the entire mortgage loan process. Over 70% of the borrowers who contact me are borrowers who either had a last minute mortgage denial or are going through an extremely stressful mortgage process. The number one and ONLY reason for this is because they were were not properly qualified and pre-approved by their loan officer. There is no reason why a borrower who has a solid pre-approval for them to go through a stressful mortgage process and why they should not just close their home loan but close the loan on time. The pre-approval stage should be part two of the pre-qualification process. After the borrower has been pre-qualified, the loan officer should proceed to the next step:

  • Request the Documents Required To Process The Mortgage
  • Thoroughly review the borrower’s credit report. Go over line item per line item and question the borrower if there are any discrepancies
  • Review public records and make sure that foreclosures and deed in foreclosures meet the mandatory waiting periods
  • Review short sale paperwork and make sure that borrowers meet mandatory waiting period after short sale date
  • Review 60 days bank statements and make sure there are no overdrafts in past 60 days
  • Check and double check assets and make sure that the borrower has enough cash to close
  • Make sure there are no late payments in past 12 months. If there are late payments, make sure to check with underwriter and see that it is okay even though you get an approve/eligible per AUS Findings
  • If borrower has late payments after bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale, check with the underwriter and make sure it is alright even though you get an approve/eligible per AUS FINDINGS. Most mortgage lenders will not lend to borrowers with late payments after Bankruptcy and Foreclosure even though they have an automated approval per Automated Underwriting System ( AUS )
  • If borrower has irregular income, overtime income, bonus income, part time income, make sure the loan officer will get a Verification of Employment so that they are solid on the qualified income, especially for borrowers with higher debt to income ratio ( DTI )
  • Go over the borrower’s credit report with the borrower and make sure that there are no public records that the borrower is aware of that is not on the credit report. Many times, judgments, foreclosures, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, judgments, tax liens, delinquent government student loans, child support payments, alimony payments are not reporting on the borrower’s credit report. All public records will get discovered because all lenders will run a third party national public records search through Lexis Nexis or Data Verify and it will get caught which can affect a mortgage loan clear to close

Again, there are major Difference Between Pre-Qualification Versus Pre-Approval. Pre-approvals may take some time depending on how complex the borrower’s credit and financial situation is.

The information contained on Gustan Cho Associates website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by The Gustan Cho Team @ Gustan Cho Associates or its affiliates. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and/or guest writers of Gustan Cho Associates Mortgage & Real Estate Information Resource Center website and do not reflect the policy of Gustan Cho Associates Lenders Network, its officers, subsidiaries, parent, or affiliates.

Comments are closed.