Should I Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Become a more attractive buyer with a pre-approval

Applying for a mortgage can cause a mix of excitement and stress, so if you are ready to purchase a home, consider getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Coulee Bank’s mortgage loan officers take the guesswork out of the home-buying process. They can calculate the right loan amount and monthly payments and make you an attractive buyer.

Your Golden Ticket to Buying a Home

Ethan Jerue, Mortgage Loan Officer at Coulee Bank, says, “Connecting with a mortgage loan officer to receive a pre-approval letter helps you create a blueprint for what you can afford based on your income, liabilities, and overall debt-to-income ratio.” The pre-approval letter from your mortgage loan officer is non-binding, but it shows buyers you are serious.

Jerue says, “When it’s time to buy, you better apply! Applying for a pre-approval is important to everyone working on a deal – buyers know what they can afford, realtors know what to present to the buyer and how to negotiate their budget, and sellers use pre-approvals as verification of funds.” Often realtors won’t work with someone who hasn’t been pre-approved.

What Documents Are Needed for Pre-approval?

Brett Olivo, Mortgage Loan Officer at Coulee Bank, says, “After the mortgage application process, mortgage loan officers review your credit score and credit history.” Olivo goes on to say while a credit check is a necessary step in the pre-approval process, it typically doesn’t affect your credit.

After this step is complete, it’s crucial to be prepared with the necessary documents to verify your information. At Coulee Bank, we want this process to be simple, fast, and hassle-free. Here’s a list of documents Olivo says to gather to help make a seamless approval process:

Copies of last 2 years personal federal tax returns (all pages)
Copies of last 2 years W2s or 1099s
Copies of last 30 days’ worth of paystubs
Copies of last 2 months' asset statements (all pages) including: checking, saving, investment, and 401k
Copy of driver’s license

Needed if they pertain to you:
Copies of the last 2 years' federal business tax returns
Copies of last 2 years K1s
Copy of Divorce Decree (all pages)
Copy of bankruptcy paperwork (petition, schedule of debts, and discharge)
Copies of foreclosure or short sale paperwork
Copy of certificate of eligibility or DD214 if VA loan

Does the Mortgage Pre-approval Letter Expire?

Your golden ticket is valid for approximately 60-90 days. If your house hunting exceeds 90 days, you may need to get pre-approved again especially if your financial situation changes. If you get multiple pre-approval letters and have your credit history checked multiple times, Olivo says your credit score may be affected.

To make the most of your first pre-approval letter, make a list of needs and wants for the type of home you are searching for. Remember, you can compromise. Be open to properties that might not tick every box but offer significant potential. Sometimes the best homes are those that grow with your needs. If you find yourself house hunting on different websites, seek the help of a Coulee Bank mortgage loan officer. They are happy to help you get the pre-approval process started.