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  • Writer's pictureLisa Belanger Mortgages

'Pre-qualified' vs 'Pre-approved' ... don't be fooled - they are NOT the same

You've probably come across those ads on the radio, online, and billboards, boasting the speed and ease of getting 'Pre-Qualified' for a Mortgage by answering a few questions and providing some personal information through a major bank's new promo link. However, did you know that you can obtain the same information independently by using online mortgage calculators? These tools can estimate how much mortgage you might qualify for based on your income and other monthly payments without requiring your name and email address for solicitation purposes.

 

Understanding the disparity between being 'Pre-qualified' and 'Pre-approved' is crucial: 

 

If you offer income and debt payment details without providing proof, and no credit check is conducted, you're receiving a 'based on the information you provided' possible scenario — a Pre-Qualification. This holds no more weight than the online applications promoted by big banks or any other mortgage calculator on the internet. It lacks a rate guarantee period, isn't tailored to your best possible mortgage scenario, and relies solely on the information you input. But what if the data you provided isn't what's actually required? Or your credit isn't as strong as you assume? It doesn't help when you're house hunting with the certainty of mortgage approval once you find the perfect home. 

 

This is why house hunting based on being 'pre-qualified' is not advisable. To ensure you are genuinely ready, you need a 'Pre-Approval.' This involves confirming your income through tax returns, letters of employment, T4s, or other income verification formats. Additionally, you must verify your down payment, as not all forms of down payment are universally accepted. That quick pre-qualification calculator didn't provide that crucial information, did it? 

 

Understanding these differences can significantly impact your home buying experience. Knowledge is power, and a knowledgeable Mortgage Broker can guide you through this process to ensure a smooth journey. 

 

If you have any questions or need further clarification on mortgage-related matters, feel free to reach out. You can email me at lisab@mortgagebrokersottawa.com or call me at 613-219-0414. I'm here to help! 

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