The first step.
A pre-approval is a preliminary assessment made by a mortgage lender to determine how much money they are willing to lend you for a home purchase.
During a pre-approval, the lender evaluates your financial situation, including your income, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio. This assessment helps determine the maximum mortgage amount you can qualify for.
It's important to note that a pre-approval is not a guarantee of a loan, but rather a conditional commitment based on the information provided. Once you find a property and the purchase agreement is in place, the lender will conduct a more thorough review, and if everything aligns, you can move forward with the mortgage process.
Having a pre-approval in hand gives you a clear idea of your budget when shopping for a home and this gives you an additional opportunity to hold a rate while you shop.
A rate hold is a rate guarantee typically offered for up to 4 months but can extend to 12 months if you are building a home.
By submitting a rate hold, you are locking in a rate with no obligation while you shop for a home or prepare to renew your mortgage. This is especially a great idea when rates are increasing.