Get PreApproved for a Home Loan - 2023 Tips & Tricks | Summary and Q&A

February 10, 2022
Caton Del Rosario - Millennial Mortgage Pro
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Get PreApproved for a Home Loan - 2023 Tips & Tricks


This video provides essential tips and tricks to help first-time homebuyers get pre-approved for a mortgage.

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Key Insights

  • 🏡 Many first-time homebuyers fear they won't qualify for a mortgage, leading them to make the mistake of searching for homes before assessing their finances. It's crucial to start with getting pre-approved.
  • 💼 Lenders look at three key factors during the pre-approval process: income, assets, and credit. Gross income is used for qualification, and co-signers can be beneficial in increasing household income.
  • 💰 The mortgage payment should ideally be between 30-35% of gross income. Keeping a budget in mind helps assess affordability before adding property taxes and insurance costs.
  • 🎓 Different programs require varying credit scores for qualification, with FHA and VA loans generally needing a minimum of 580. Avoid relying solely on Credit Karma for credit monitoring, as it uses a different scoring model than lenders.
  • 💸 Debt-to-income ratio plays a critical role in determining purchasing power. Paying down high-interest debts improves affordability, and even small debts eliminated can result in more purchasing power.
  • 🎓 Student loans are no longer deal-breakers for mortgage approval; lenders offer more flexibility, depending on the amount of debt.
  • 💼 In addition to a down payment, closing costs need to be considered when calculating the required cash for purchasing a home. Closing costs generally range between 2-3% of the purchase price.
  • 💼 Acceptable sources for down payments include checking or savings accounts, 401(k), stocks, bonds, and even gift funds from relatives. Cash needs to be properly sourced for closing purposes and should be deposited as early as possible.
  • 📄 Documents required for pre-approval meetings include two years of W-2s, the last 30 days of pay stubs, two months of bank statements, and a photo ID for W-2 employees. Business owners may need to provide additional documentation.
  • 🔎 Meeting with a mortgage lender early, even if not ready to buy, helps identify areas for improvement and ensures a smoother homebuying process. It also helps avoid last-minute delays.


i think that the biggest fear that most first-time homebuyers have is trying to figure out whether or not they're even qualify for a home in the first place and the entire process really starts with getting pre-approved for a mortgage so on today's video i've partnered up with my friends over at money under 30 to give you guys the absolute best tip... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What factors do lenders consider when determining a borrower's income during the pre-approval process?

Lenders look at an individual's or household's gross income before taxes and deductions, and they also consider co-signers and additional sources of effective income like overtime, bonuses, and investments if properly documented over a two-year period.

Q: How important is credit score in getting pre-approved for a mortgage?

Credit scores are significant, as they determine a borrower's eligibility and the type of loan program they can qualify for. While each program has its own minimum credit score requirement, it generally ranges from 580 to 640. Monitoring credit scores through accurate sources like MyFICO or credit bureaus is recommended over relying on Credit Karma, as the latter may provide less accurate scores for mortgage lending purposes.

Q: What impact does debt have on pre-approval and purchasing power?

Debt-to-income ratio plays a vital role in determining a borrower's purchasing power. The lower the debt, the more a borrower can afford. Lenders typically allow debt-to-income ratios up to 45-50%. Paying off high-interest debts and even smaller debts can significantly increase purchasing power.

Q: What are the financial considerations for first-time homebuyers in terms of cash needed?

Down payment requirements vary based on the loan program, but range from 0% to 5% of the purchase price. Closing costs are an additional expense, usually 2-3% of the purchase price. It's advisable to set aside 5-7% of the purchase price to cover both down payment and closing costs.

Q: Can cash from different sources be used for a down payment?

Down payment funds can come from various sources, including checking or savings accounts, 401(k) or TSP accounts, stocks and bonds, and proceeds from the sale of assets. Gift funds from direct relatives are also acceptable sources for down payment and closing costs. It's important to ensure that these sources can be properly sourced and documented.

Q: What documentation is required for the pre-approval process?

For typical W-2 employees, the required documents include two years of W-2 forms, 30 days of pay stubs, two months of bank statements, and a photo ID. Business owners may require additional documentation such as two years of tax returns and business bank statements. A credit check is also necessary, but mortgage inquiries do not significantly affect credit scores.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step in the homebuying process, and it's important to focus on your finances before starting your home search.

  • Lenders look at three key factors during the pre-approval process: income, assets, and credit.

  • Income is crucial in determining affordability, and it's important to consider all household incomes and potential co-signers. Credit scores and debts also play a significant role in the pre-approval process.

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