Checking | Auto Loans | Mortgage | HELOC | Personal Loans | Credit Cards | Membership

How long does a mortgage pre-approval last?

A mortgage pre-approval is typically good for 90 days; however, some may last for 30 or 60 days. Each lender determines how long a mortgage pre-approval is good for.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is an important first step in the homebuying process. A mortgage lender lets the borrower know how much of a mortgage loan they would likely qualify for and the interest rate.
A pre-approval is not a mortgage commitment, and you will still need to supply other financial information to the lender and be approved for the mortgage loan.
At Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), we make getting a mortgage easy!
Call 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and learn about our mortgages, home equity lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, checking and savings accounts, and other banking products. As a full-service financial institution, we look forward to helping you with all your banking needs.
Read on to learn more about how long a mortgage pre-approval letter lasts.

Get Started on Your Mortage Today!

What is a mortgage pre-approval?

A mortgage pre-approval is an estimate of how much of a mortgage a lender would be willing to lend a homebuyer (the borrower). A pre-approval provides a fairly accurate picture of a homebuyer’s purchasing power. To get a pre-approval, the borrower must provide the lender with various documents, including proof of income, proof of employment, assets, debts, and other information that the lender will use to determine if the borrower is creditworthy. The lender will also look at the borrower’s credit score.
You may apply for pre-approval from more than one lender. Doing so will give you a good idea of the interest rates and terms you would likely qualify for.
Learn how to get pre-approved for a home loan.

What is a mortgage pre-approval letter?

After you provide the lender with information about your employment, income, assets and debts, the lender will review this information and your credit score. If you are pre-approved, the lender will send you a pre-approval letter.
The pre-approval letter includes: the name of the loan program you qualify for, the maximum property purchase price, the interest rate, loan amount, your down payment amount, and sometimes the property address.
When the pre-approval expires, the interest rate and other terms of the approval will expire, and you will need to reapply. This is because interest rates fluctuate and could affect the amount of the loan you qualify for. If you reapply with the same lender the process will be quick and easy because they already have your information.

Why you need a mortgage pre-approval letter

Anyone can shop for a house with or without a pre-approval letter from a lender. It is not a requirement for making an offer on a house, nor is it a requirement for getting a mortgage.
The main advantages of getting pre-approved and receiving a pre-approval letter are:
1) It gives you a fairly accurate idea of how large of a mortgage loan you can qualify for and at what interest rate.
2) Homebuyers who have a mortgage pre-approval may have an easier time getting their offer accepted because home sellers tend to take offers from pre-approved buyers more seriously.

How long does it take to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

After you’ve completed an application and provided the mortgage lender with details about your finances it will take anywhere from a few days to a week for the lender to verify the information and issue you a pre-approval letter.

Learn more about how long it takes to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

How to get a mortgage pre-approval and pre-approval letter

Each lender has its own requirements for issuing pre-approval letter. Most lenders will ask you to complete an application and you may have to provide some of the following documentation.
  1. Driver's license. A government-issued photo ID will be required for a pre-approval and when you complete a formal loan application.
  2. Social Security number. This is also required by the lender so that your identity, credit score, and other information can be verified.
  3. Proof of income. This includes paystubs, W-2s, (1099s, if you are self-employed), and tax returns.
  4. Proof of debt. This includes credit card debt and other loans you pay (such as auto or student loans), alimony, or child support.
  5. Proof of assets. You will be asked to provide recent bank statements for checking and savings accounts, and some lenders will want to see your investment and retirement account statements.
  6. Employment verification. If you have an employer, your paystubs will show that you receive income. If you are self-employed, you will need to provide profit-and-loss statements and both personal and business tax returns.
You can speed up the pre-approval process by gathering these documents beforehand and having them ready to provide as hardcopies or as PDFs to email to the lender.

Mortgage pre-approval vs. pre-qualification: What's the difference?

Here are some basic differences to be aware of:
Pre-Qualification Pre-Approval
Borrower’s financial information is stated; no documents required. Limited financial information must be provided.
Credit score may be a “soft pull” or not verified by the lender. Lender will do a “hard pull” of the borrower’s credit score.
Provides a rough estimate of qualifying loan amount. Provides a specific loan amount and interest rate.
Good for planning ahead and budgeting for a home purchase. Good for homebuyers who are ready to start house-hunting and making offers.
Learn more about the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualification.

When should you apply for a mortgage pre-approval?

The best time to apply for a mortgage pre-approval is roughly 90 days before you plan to seriously shop for a home.
Be sure to check your credit score and report months prior to starting your home search, and ensure there aren’t any errors in your credit report. In doing so you may find that you need to improve your credit score.
You may choose to pay down or pay off credit card debt, but don’t close these accounts (closing accounts could drop your credit score). Try these tips for reducing and paying off credit card debt.

Is it a good idea to get multiple pre-approval letters?

Generally, it is a good idea to get more than one pre-approval letter. Two or even three pre-approvals will give you a solid idea of how much of a loan you can get and the interest rate you qualify for.
During the pre-approval process, the lender will do a “hard inquiry” of your credit score. Several credit inquiries of this type in a short period of time won’t impact your credit score, as they are considered applications for new credit.
According to FICO, the most commonly used credit scoring company, most credit scores are not impacted by multiple inquiries from mortgage lenders. For most people, one additional credit inquiry will take less than five points off their FICO Scores. Much more important factors for your scores are how timely you pay your bills and your overall debt burden as indicated on your credit report.

Can you make an offer on a home without a pre-approval?

Yes, it’s possible to make an offer on a home without a pre-approval. A mortgage pre-approval is helpful to have because it provides an estimate of how much of a mortgage a lender is willing to give you.

What to do if your mortgage pre-approval expires

If your mortgage pre-approval expires, don’t worry. You may continue to shop for a home. Simply request another pre-approval from your lender. They may ask you to provide recent bank statements and/or paystubs to ensure that you still have income and the ability to repay a loan.

Why savvy consumers choose CU SoCal

For over 60 years CU SoCal has been providing financial services, including mortgages, Home Equity Loans, HELOCs, car loans, personal loans, credit cards, and other banking products, to those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County.
Please give us a call today at 866.287.6225 today to schedule a no-obligation loan consultation with a CU SoCal Member Services specialist.

Get Started on Your Mortage Today!

Help + Support


Co-Browsing Code

Building Better Lives

Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal) is a leading financial institution empowering those who live, work, worship, or attend school in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, and San Bernardino County to reach their goals and build strong financial futures. CU SoCal provides access to convenient money management services and offers competitive rates and flexible terms on auto loans, mortgages, and VISA credit cards—turning wishing and waiting into achieving and doing.


562.698.8326 | 866 CU SoCal Se Habla Español