Clearwater Mortgage Blog

What is a Pre-Qualification Letter and How Long Is It Good For?

October 17th, 2019 2:20 PM by Carol Youmans

Pre-Qual Letter Clearwater Mortgage

If you’re getting ready to shop for a home, you’ve probably heard that you need to get “pre-qualified” by your mortgage broker. And, you might be wondering – Why and How? Well, read on, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

The 2 Top Reasons to Get Pre-Qualified

Reason #1: Just picture yourself, it’s a beautiful weekend, and you’re out looking at homes. Ah! You find one you absolutely love, and you want to put in an offer. But – you can’t because you’re not pre-qualified yet. Darn.

Reason #2: You need to know how much you can really afford to buy. Nothing is worse than falling in love with a $400,000 home only to find out you really can only qualify for $350,000.

How Does Mortgage Prequalification Work?

To get pre-qualified, you need to fill out a loan application. You can do it online, on the phone, or face-to-face. It’s up to you. The advantage of doing it over the phone or in-person is that you can check out the loan officer and see if you like them.

It’s vital that you know, like, and trust who you’re working with. Also, if you’re a new homebuyer, it’s super helpful if your loan officer explains the home loan process in easy to understand English instead of “mortgage speak.”

With Clearwater Mortgage, you can fill out an application online, call us, or come into our office and meet us. No matter how you do it, you’ll be asked questions about your income, assets, and debts. You’ll also have your credit pulled.

If possible, it’s good to set aside a little time (30 to 45 minutes), so you can answer all the questions thoroughly.

What is Needed for a Pre-Qual Letter?

Once your application is complete, it’s time for you to provide some paperwork.

Here are the basics of what you’ll need if you have a job.

  • Drivers License or Government ID
  • Most recent 30 days of paystubs
  • 2018 W2’s
  • Most recent 2 months bank

If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to provide a bit more.

The faster you get this data together, the quicker you’ll get your letter.

How Long is a Pre-Qual Letter Good For?

Generally, a pre-qual letter is good for about 3 months. During that time, it’s essential to stay in close touch with your loan officer and let them know if any changes might affect your situation.

For example, if you change jobs, take out a new credit card, buy a new car – all of these things can mess up your pre-qualification.

A good rule is when you’re shopping for a house, don’t make any job changes or take out any credit before you ask your loan officer.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Pre-Qualification Letter?

The faster you get your documentation back to your loan officer, the quicker you’ll get your pre-qual letter. Once you have your letter in hand, it’s time to go shopping with your realtor and find a house!

At Clearwater Mortgage, we push to get our clients pre-qualified fast! Once we have the items above, we can usually get the letter out the same day or the next day at the latest. Also, we know that often borrowers are shopping on the weekends so, we’re ready to help during off hours to get new shoppers pre-qualified quickly. Call us today at 727-259-2900.

Posted by Carol Youmans on October 17th, 2019 2:20 PM