Chapter 3: Loan Prequalification & Preapproval

Lenders will generally preapprove you up to a certain amount and issue a preapproval letter. This isn’t a binding step (neither is prequalification), and getting preapproved for a loan does not guarantee you will ultimately get it. But that letter indicates to sellers and real estate agents that you’re a serious buyer who can handle the financial commitment of a mortgage.

During the prequalification process, a VA loan specialist will take a look at your credit scores and ask for a rough estimate of your income.

Typically in minutes you'll know:

  • Where you stand credit-wise
  • A basic range or your purchasing power
  • How to move on to preapproval

Loan preapproval is more involved. You’ll fill out paperwork and sign document as lenders get a clearer picture of your:

  • Total income
  • Major fixes and revolving debts
  • Ratio of debt-to-income
  • Amount of residual income left over each month
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Yahoo! Finance
  • US News & World Report
  • CNN Money
  • The New York Times
  • INC 500