Have you ever wondered how long a mortgage pre-approval lasts? If you have, you’re certainly not alone. Like most things in life, a mortgage pre-approval is only good for a finite amount of time. Or to put it another way: It has an expiration date. The key, of course, is knowing when that expiration date is and how to make sure your pre-approval is still valid when it comes time to make an offer on a home. It’s never a wise idea to assume that you’ve because you’ve been pre-approved, you’re still pre-approved. Up next, learn about the lifespan of a mortgage pre-approval and what you can do to ensure you don’t miss your oh-so-important window to make a home purchase.

The 101

Before we delve into how long a mortgage pre-approval lasts, let’s quickly review how a pre-approval works. A pre-approved buyer receives a letter from a mortgage lender stating how large of a loan they can expect to receive. This letter also usually indicates the type of loan you will qualify for and your anticipated mortgage interest rate. While a pre-approval doesn’t 100% guarantee this loan (this happens in the underwriting phase), it’s all but a done deal. This is especially true with Fairway’s certified pre-approval. As a result of this, a pre-approval is the best way to show a seller you’re serious about buying their home. To be pre-approved, simply provide your mortgage adviser with a few bank statements, pay stubs, employment history, credit history, a summary of your monthly payments, and maybe a couple of other items. The lender will run a quick check on your credit, too.

The timing

OK, back to our original question. It was: How long does a mortgage pre-approval last? The short answer is: It can vary from one lender to another. But, worry not. You don’t have to sit around and wonder when it ends. You’ll know exactly how long it lasts, because your pre-approval letter will say so. Most pre-approvals are good for at least 30 days and others extend as far out as 180 days. Most often, though, a lender will issue a 90-day pre-approval. This should give you plenty of time to make an offer if you start shopping for a home immediately after receiving your pre-approval letter. 

If push comes to shove and your pre-approval letter does expire before you can make an offer, you thankfully shouldn’t have to start back at square one by obtaining another pre-approval letter. Keep your expired letter handy. It’s likely that all you’ll need to do is provide your lender some updated financial statements to show there’s been no change to your income, debts and credit score. Click here for more.

Final thoughts

Still have questions about pre-approvals? We have answers! Contact us today at Fairway of the Carolinas, and we’ll be more than happy to not only answer your questions but also begin your pre-approval process. We look forward to hearing from you soon!