Making an offer on a property without home loan pre-approval? It’s like walking around a supermarket packing your trolley with a month’s shopping for 2 hours, without checking you’ve got your wallet on you.

Basically, it’s not smart. And when you settle on your dream property and start to move your purchase through the sales pipeline, you don’t want to be stopped in your tracks by having to request approval.

Additionally, you don’t want to be beaten to the punch by another budding buyer who’s already got it. Fortunately for you, however, getting home loan pre-approval from a mortgage provider isn’t a difficult process. If you’re looking to get started, here’s what you need to know.

What Exactly IS Home Loan Pre-Approval?

Home loan pre-approval is a standard process offered by mortgage providers that acts as an indication that you’ll be approved for finance on a property – as long as nothing changes in the process.

Pre-approvals are usually free and remain valid for up to 6 months, and it’ll make getting a loan in the future a much simpler process. This is beneficial from the perspective of a seller, as it means there’s much less chance the sale will fall through if they decide to accept your offer.

You Need to Sort Out Your Finances

The first thing you need to get laid out, before home loan pre-approval, is a credit report. You’ll need to collect details of all loan applications you’ve made, past debts, late payments, any bankruptcies you’ve experienced, and your repayment history.

If your lender doesn’t like what they see in this report, there’s a good chance they’re going to decline your request. If this is going to happen, it’s better for it to happen now as opposed to after you’ve had a conditional offer accepted on the property.

Get All Your Documentation in Order

In order to get home loan pre-approval, there’s a good chance you’ll have to meet with your lender face-to-face. And for this, you’ll want to have all the information that’s going to work in your favour to hand. Here’s what you’re likely to need:

  • Full application and supplementary forms
  • A form of ID, such as a passport or driver’s license
  • Proof of income, such as tax returns or a pay slip
  • Record of savings from bank statements
  • Evidence of any current debts

If you’re unsure of the specifics, be sure to speak with a mortgage broker before heading for your appointment.

Be Wary of any Common Pitfalls

Although home loan pre-approval can be really handy, it’s not completely fool proof, and there’s always a chance that you’ll be accepted for pre-approval but denied formal approval on your official loan application.

For example, it’s common for individuals to be denied a home loan if they can’t provide full details of their income, if they’ve got too many loans, or if their credit score is too low. As a result, being fully prepared for each potential outcome beforehand will be hugely beneficial.