How long does it take to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

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Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances. Although we receive compensation from our partner creditors, whom we will always indicate, all opinions are ours. Credible Operations, Inc. NMLS No. 1681276 is referred to herein as “Reliable”.

One of the most common tips offered to potential home buyers is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. However, many buyers do not know how long the pre-approval process takes and how they can shorten their time to find a home.

Here’s what you can expect when you get your mortgage pre-approval, including the amount of time it takes to get this pre-approval letter:

How mortgage pre-approval works

Pre-approval of the mortgage confirms your creditworthiness at home loan… When you get pre-approved, you will receive a letter from your mortgage lender that says how much money you can borrow to buy a home.

While pre-approval does not guarantee full approval, it is a fairly detailed process that can provide some peace of mind and make you a more attractive buyer.

Mortgage pre-approval is different from prequalification of a mortgage loan:

  • Pre-qualification: The lender will analyze your financial situation based on the information you provide and give you a rough estimate of how much mortgage you are entitled to.
  • Pre-approval: This process is more complicated. This requires a full application and a rigorous credit check, and you will need to provide additional documentation.
Tip: It is best to get pre-approval at the beginning home buying process… Knowing the amount that the lender is willing to lend you can benefit you as a buyer by narrowing the home within your price range. It also shows sellers and agents that you are a serious buyer.

Some of the benefits obtaining pre-approval for a mortgage include:

  • Gives you a better idea of ​​what you can borrow and afford
  • Make your offer stronger
  • Speed ​​up the closing process
  • This gives you more time to compare lenders and rates and resolve any issues

how to get a block diagram of a mortgage-square

How long does it take to get pre-approval

How long it takes to get pre-approval depends on the situation and the lender. Typically, lenders require certain documents to verify your finances, such as W-2 papers and bank statements, as well as ID and proof of employment.

They will also assess your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), run a tough credit check to get your credit score, and look for any red flags on your credit report.

Some of the factors that can affect how long it takes for pre-approval include:

Tip: Before applying for a pre-approved mortgage, double check your loan, review your credit report, and correct any mistakes.

Having all the necessary paperwork before starting work can also help speed up the process.

Ready to get pre-approval?

  • Instant simplified pre-approval: It only takes 3 minutes to see if you are eligible for an Instant Pre-Approved Simplified Letter, without compromising your credit.

Get pre-approval
Please be aware that not all loan products are available through Credible.

Pre-approved by traditional lenders

Regular lenders often take up to 10 business days for pre-approval.

To get an idea of ​​your financial situation and determine if you meet all the requirements, the loan officer will analyze several preliminary approval documents, including:

  • W-2s (for two years)
  • Personal tax returns (for two years)
  • Business tax returns (for two years, if applicable)
  • Latest payroll receipts
  • Asset information (for example, statements from bank, retirement and brokerage accounts)
  • Identity documents (such as a driver’s license, passport, or other government issued ID)
  • Gains and losses report (if you are self-employed)

Learn more: How to buy a home: a step-by-step guide

Pre-approved by Credible

Credible offers a streamlined pre-approval process that allows you to receive pre-approval letters from multiple lenders at once. Instead of waiting a few days, you can find out how much you are entitled to in a matter of minutes.

Our process is fully interactive and user-friendly, and you can quickly create emails for sellers and your real estate agent right from your account.

Traditional lenders Credible
How long does it take? 1 to 3 days 3 minutes
Credit check Hard credit attraction
(negative impact on your credit)
Soft credit
(does not affect your credit)
Online process Usually minimal; instead handled by visiting a branch in person or by phone with a licensed loan officer 100% online
Compare multiple lenders? No, visit multiple lenders to get multiple pre-approval letters. Yes, pre-approval by several lenders at once
Multiple pre-approval emails for additional property offers? No, you need to make another request to the lender for a new pre-approval. Yes, instantly create additional letters with an individual loan amount

Ready to get pre-approved through Credible?
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How long does pre-approval take?

Mortgage pre-approval usually takes 60 to 90 days. Because your financial situation and the market may change, letters of approval don’t last forever. If your proposal is not accepted, you may need to re-pre-approve.

The expiration date for your pre-approval should be listed somewhere in your pre-approval letter. You can find this date on the first page of your Reliable pre-approval letter

If you need to make changes to a simplified pre-approval letter (such as adjusting the down payment or purchase price), you can go to your dashboard and update the information and we will generate a new email for you.

If you are serious about buying a home, you need to get pre-approval. Not only will pre-approval inform you about the mortgage you are eligible to receive, it will also give you an edge over other buyers and make the entire home buying process much less stressful.

about the author

Miranda Marquit

Miranda Markuit is a mortgage, investment and business specialist and a member of Credible. Her work has been featured on NPR, Marketwatch, FOX Business, The Hill, US News & World Report, Forbes and others.

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