The mortgage loan application and approval process requires a number of steps, which can typically be completed in one to two months, with the exception of those that have some extenuating credit, income or other financial circumstances. The process starts with a pre-approval application, followed by an actual mortgage application, usually after you have identified the property you want to purchase. Precisely how long it takes depends on a particular bank's or mortgage company's processes, what type of loan you are applying for and how promptly you submit required documents.

Overview

The mortgage loan application and approval process requires a number of steps, which can typically be completed in one to two months, with the exception of those that have some extenuating credit, income or other financial circumstances. The process starts with a pre-approval application, followed by an actual mortgage application, usually after you have identified the property you want to purchase. Precisely how long it takes depends on a particular bank's or mortgage company's processes, what type of loan you are applying for and how promptly you submit required documents.

Mortgage Pre-approval

The first step in applying for a mortgage is to go through a pre-approval application. This just simply means that a loan officer at a bank of mortgage company will collect your personal information, such as name, address and social security number to perform a preliminary credit check to see if you meet the basic requirements for the loan you are seeking. Your credit score and debt to income ratio are often used as quick qualifying measures. If you meet these requirements, you may be pre-approved for a loan up to a maximum amount. Your pre-approval will be good for a set period, usually 90 days. You will still be required to produce further documentation before the pre-approval becomes an approval for a loan.

Loan Application and Purchase of Property

Once you have been pre-approved and received a pre-approval letter, then you can start shopping for a home that is not more expensive than the maximum amount for which you were approved. Also, presenting a pre-approval letter to your prospective seller will indicate that you are a serious buyer. Once you have located a property you will like to purchase and have negotiated an acceptable purchase price, you are ready to sign a purchase contract. You will then return this signed contract to the loan officer at your bank along with income documentation and a completed loan application. The bank will order an appraisal to make sure that you are buying a good value and a decision will be made on your application based on your complete financial picture. You should be ready to close on your chosen property between one and six weeks after you hand your loan officer a signed contract and all required documents.