Suppose you started house shopping before the COVID-19 pandemic resurfaced. You shelved your home-buying plans for a while, but now you’ve got your eye on the perfect property. Is that Michigan mortgage preapproval you got still valid?
Not. Although it varies by lender, most Michigan mortgage companies only offer mortgage preapprovals that last 45-90 days. So, if it’s been a few months, you should redo the preapproval process or at least talk with your lender before you resume house shopping.
What Is Mortgage Preapproval?
A mortgage preapproval is a document indicating the amount you’ve been approved to borrow. It’s extremely important to the home-buying process because – unless you’re paying cash – it defines how much house you can afford.
As a rule, lenders use your monthly income to determine the type of payment you can afford. They do this using percentages; your monthly home payment should be around 28% (or less) of your total monthly income. Your total debt payments (including your house payment) shouldn’t be more than 36 percent.
You may also see the term ‘mortgage prequalification.’ That’s very similar to a mortgage preapproval in Michigan; the main difference is the amount of documentation you need to provide and the type of credit report inquiry generated. For more details, see our earlier post on Michigan mortgage prequalification.
In today’s real estate market, it’s good to recognize that mortgage preapproval – which is one step closer to the actual mortgage – lets buyers know you’re ready to make a serious offer. You’re not just shopping with a budget in mind; you know how much you can spend and your lender is ready to give you that amount.
What’s Michigan’s Mortgage Preapproval Process Like?
When you want to get pre-approved for a mortgage, you’ll need to fill out an application from your mortgage lender. You’ll also have to supply information confirming:
· Your identity (e.g., driver’s license, social security number, etc.).
· Your finances (e.g., pay stubs, W2 forms, tax returns). Usually, you’ll need to provide the last two years’ worth of information. If you’ll be using additional income to help pay for your loan – like money you make from a side hustle – you’ll need to include proof of that income as well.
· Your financial assets (e.g., bank accounts, investments, etc.)
· If a friend or relative is giving you money to help secure a loan, you’ll need verification (like a gift letter) that this is an outright gift.
Your mortgage lender will use this information to verify your creditworthiness (by making a hard inquiry on your credit report) as well as your job history and your income. If everything checks out, you can expect to hear back from your lender with a mortgage preapproval in about 10-14 days.
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