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Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification

Photo of an American flag laying over a chair inside a home

If you are a veteran beginning a new home search, the processes of pre-qualification and pre-approval are in your future. Many people make the mistake of thinking if a lender pre-qualifies them for a mortgage that they are automatically pre-approved for a home loan. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, but how these two terms differ can easily be explained. 


A lot of times realtors ask for a copy of your pre-approval before you begin the home search process, but that is something that’s unattainable. A pre-qualification is actually the first step. It is an application process that includes your overall financial situation as well as factors like:

  • Your income
  • Assets you might have
  • Total debt

It does not include:

  • Credit reports and credit scores
  • An in-depth look into your eligibility for a home loan

A lender looks at all of the information on the application and pre-qualifies you for a loan based on that information. However, throughout the process, you have to be able to prove the information you’ve provided. You can do this through W2‘s, paycheck stubs and other appropriate documentation that states the items listed above. 

Pre-Qualification is an Estimate

It is very important to remember this pre-qualified amount isn’t guaranteed because it is only based on information you’ve provided. The pre-approval process places all your financial history under a microscope and is more thoroughly examined to give you an exact number for your home loan. A pre-qualification simply gives you an estimate of what you can potential spend on your future dream home.


After looking at potential new homes and picking out the perfect fit for you and your family, it is time for the pre-approval process to begin. The first step is sending the contract for the new house to a home loan expert at VA Loan Spot. This contract goes into underwriting while your financial background and credit standing are studied as stated before.

Your official loan commitment, or pre-approval, will then be formed and will contain information of your approved mortgage amount as well as a closer idea as to what your interest rate will be. You would now be qualified to purchase your desired home, and you’d able to close the very next day. 

An infographic of the processes of pre-qualification and pre-approval displayed in an equation format

The world of pre-qualification and pre-approval is a complicated one, and these two terms are too often mixed up. At VA Loan Spot, we strive to make your mortgage experience simple and stress-free. Our experts are ready to help you along your path to owning your dream home. Call us today!

Get the VA home loan you deserve.

Bobby Atkisson

Bobby Atkisson

Bobby Atkisson is a seasoned mortgage professional who provides high quality financial services to military members and veterans. With over 14 years experience in the lending and financial industry, his mission is to provide high quality mortgage programs with the most competitive interest rates. For expert advice and guidance on VA Home Loans and Refinance, contact Bobby today at 800-537-2050.