The Dos and Don’ts of Mortgage Pre-Approval

Getting a mortgage pre-approval is a crucial step in the homebuying process. It can make the difference between your dream home becoming a reality or slipping through your fingers. To help you navigate this important stage successfully, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on the dos and don’ts of mortgage pre-approval.

The Dos:

  1. Check Your Credit Score: Before you even think about applying for a mortgage pre-approval, take a look at your credit score. A higher score will help you secure a better interest rate. If your score needs improvement, work on it before you apply.
  2. Gather Financial Documents: Lenders will need to see your financial history, so start gathering essential documents like tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. Having these ready will expedite the process.
  3. Get Pre-Approved Early: Don’t wait until you’ve found your dream home to get pre-approved. It’s better to do this step early in the process, as it will give you a clear budget to work with and make you a more attractive buyer.
  4. Stay in Your Financial Lane: It’s essential to get pre-approved for an amount that aligns with your budget. Just because you’re approved for a high amount doesn’t mean you should borrow the maximum. Stick to what you can comfortably afford.
  5. Shop Around for Lenders: Don’t settle for the first lender you come across. Shop around for different lenders and compare their pre-approval offers. This will help you find the best terms and interest rates.

The Don’ts:

  1. Don’t Make Major Financial Changes: Avoid making significant financial changes during the pre-approval process. This includes changing jobs, making large purchases, or opening new lines of credit. Lenders want to see stability.
  2. Don’t Overlook the Fine Print: When you receive your pre-approval, be sure to read the fine print carefully. Understand the terms, interest rates, and any conditions attached to the pre-approval.
  3. Don’t Neglect Your Credit: Even after getting pre-approved, your credit is still important. Don’t make late payments, max out credit cards, or do anything that might negatively impact your credit score.
  4. Don’t Forget About Additional Costs: Remember that owning a home comes with additional costs beyond the mortgage payment, such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Make sure your budget accounts for these expenses.
  5. Don’t Assume It’s a Guarantee: Pre-approval is not a guarantee that you will get the mortgage. It’s a conditional offer based on your financial situation at the time. Any changes in your financial situation could affect the final approval.


Mortgage pre-approval is a pivotal step in the homebuying journey. By following the dos and avoiding the don’ts, you can increase your chances of securing the right mortgage and the home you’ve always wanted. Remember, this process requires careful planning, financial responsibility, and a clear understanding of your financial situation. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to make your homeownership dreams a reality.

Learn More About: Mortgage Broker vs. Bank: Which Lender Should You Choose?

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