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Getting Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Getting Pre-approved for a Mortgage


A lender can pre-qualify you to buy a house after a quick conversation about your income, assets, and down payment. Unfortunately, a prequalification has no value to sellers and little value to you. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is completely different, a lender will need to verify your financial information and submit your loan for preliminary underwriting. That extra effort will pay off when you begin your home search. A pre-approval letter saves you time, stress, and heartache. It shows sellers you are serious. It is the gold seal of excellence on your offer.



  • Driver’s license or U.S. passport
  • Social Security card or number
  • A copy of the front and back of your permanent resident card (if you aren’t a U.S. citizen)
  • Credit history
  • Employment verification (employment letter and yearly salary)


  • Pay stubs covering the last 30 days
  • W-2 forms from the last two years
  • Proof of any additional income
  • Federal income tax returns (personal and business) with all pages and schedules from the last two years


  • Bank statements proving you have enough money to cover the down payment and closing costs
  • A gift letter saying your down payment is a gift, if you are receiving one
  • An approval certificate if you are receiving a bond or grant
  • Latest quarterly statements for asset accounts including your 401(k), IRA, stock accounts, and mutual funds


Important to note: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage sets you up for success, but it does not commit you to a lender.  There are many types of lenders to choose from.  You have the right to shop around, and should.

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