What is the difference between being pre-qualified & pre-approved for a home loan?
The difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved is simple: pre-approval means that you have undergone an extensive financial, employment and credit verification process, whereas pre-qualification is when you give the lender verbal information without verification. Pre-approval will give you an accurate loan amount for which you qualify. The lender’s pre-approval letter is normally valid for about 60 days.
The best time to look for a mortgage is before you search for a home. This enables you to determine the amount of money you can borrow and how much house you can afford.
Another reason you will need to choose a lender and get pre-approved is that most Sellers will require seeing such a document of qualification prior to accepting your offer.