Pre-approval and pre-qualification are both important and smart homebuying moves. However, these are two different terms. It is important to know what each means. We will lay out the definition of both terms, the process for each, and what they are used for.


Pre-qualification is one of the earliest steps in the home buying process. It is also an estimate of how much you will be able to borrow. This is not as much confirmation as a pre-approval, which is based on a credit check and financial information. This may be good for first-time home buyers to know how much they can expect to afford while entertaining the home search.


Pre-approval, however, is a necessary step for every home buyer, and is much more influential in the home-buying journey. Your pre-approval letter will provide a letter on the specific amount that will be lent to you. This is good for 90 days and is very beneficial to provide to sellers when you submit home offers. Your pre-approval letter is based on a credit check, job history, finances, and tax information. Overall, pre-approval is more influential.

Length of Time

In general, pre-qualification is quicker than pre-approval. With pre-qualifying, many lenders will allow you to apply online and could provide results the same day. In contrast, pre-approval takes more information and time to do. This is something to keep in mind before buying a home.


Pre-qualification is good for establishing your personal budget for home buying and borrowing. When it is time to get serious about submitting offers on a home, pre-approval is strongly suggested. A seller will be more likely to consider your offer if you have a pre-approval letter. We are here to assist you in both processes, as well as any of your home loan needs.