It can take a while to find the home of your dreams, but once you do, you need to be able to make an offer right away. Getting pre-approved for a home loan speeds the process along. It doesn’t guarantee you a loan, but it does assure buyers that lenders think your application ticks all the boxes. Here are some tips for getting pre-approved.
Know the rules
There are some things that every lender is going to look at when they consider your home loan pre-approval. Here is a breakdown of what those factors entail.
You’ll need to show that you’ve been working steadily for at least six months in one job. If you’re a contract employee, you’ll need to have a year of experience. If you’re self-employed, lenders want to see that you have been making and using your income sensibly for two years.
You’ll need to put down some kind of deposit in order to buy a home, and the larger the deposit, the less risk you present to the lender. Most lender’s aren’t interested in loans for more than 80 percent of the property cost.
Your credit history is a quick way for a lender to assess whether you pay your debts. The better your history and credit score, the more likely you’ll be able to get a loan. If you don’t have a credit card, you can show letters from landlords or universities stating that you’ve always paid on time.
Lenders prefer to give loans to people buying “normal” properties. They want to make sure your property value isn’t going to tank so that you’re not able to pay them or sell. Homes of distinction are fine and shouldn’t give you trouble in getting approved, but homes that are odd or in bad neighborhoods may be harder to get a loan for.
There are exceptions to every rule, including the ones detailed above. Some lenders will loan more than 80 percent of a home’s cost. Some will give you a loan even if you haven’t been working. It never hurts to shop around, talk to people directly, and do everything you can to show you’re a strong candidate despite not fitting one of the criteria.
Keep every bit of documentation you have and be able to show it to lenders. The more paperwork you can show, the more your loan officer will like it. Keeping your documents shows that you’re an organized, responsible person. A few important documents to keep record of include personal tax returns, statements or deeds for any other property you own, and evidence that you have a deposit to put down.
Increase your deposit size
One of the quickest ways to get pre-approved is to put down more in deposit. The more you can save and put down, the more likely a lender is to give you pre-approval. There are a couple good reasons for this.
It’s less risky for them
The more money they risk, the more they stand to lose if you default. At this point, it’s all just basic math. They would like to risk less.
You look responsible
People who have plenty of savings to put down on a deposit look good to lenders. The lender sees them as responsible, good with money, and able to earn. These are safe people to loan your money to.
No matter what your situation, if you’re interested in buying a home, it pays to talk to lenders directly and get advice. They can help you understand your options and direct you to possible mortgages that will fit your needs.