Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved for Smoother Sailing with your Mortgage
If you can pre-qualify for a mortgage you will have a better idea of how much debt you can incur and how much house you can buy, as well as present yourself as an attractive buyer to an anxious seller.
You "pre-qualify" for a mortgage by meeting with the lender and presenting your general financial situation. The lender then gives you a letter stating how much they will be willing to lend you. There are no fees involved and no promises, so you may eventually be turned down for the mortgage due to undisclosed information.
If you want "pre-approval" there will be a more in depth look into your financial health including credit reports and your employment and portfolio figures. When you go for pre-approval, you will want to have with you
bank account numbers,
checking and savings account statements for the last couple of months,
tax returns for the past two years or pay stubs (something to confirm you are employed and what you are getting paid)
credit card bills for the last couple of billing cycles
consumer debt you owe, such as car payments
documents showing any money you have received to pay for the loan as a gift
Having this information with you will save time in the process. There may be a charge for the pre-approval letter that is good for up to ninety days, but if you are seriously looking for a home, the pre-approval process can put you in the right neighborhood for your wallet and get some serious attention from a seller.