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How long does pre-approval last?

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If you’re reading this, chances are you’re in the official stages of your home buying journey. Congrats!

Pre-approval does not mean your home loan has been approved, but it’s a strong indication that your loan might be approved by your lender at a later date.

When should I apply for pre-approval?

Applying for pre-approval should be one of the first steps in the process of buying property. That means you should have your entire deposit saved up, evidence of genuine savings, a good credit score, a general idea of your borrowing power and ready to find your dream home.

Having pre-approval is not mandatory, but it really helps you get a better understanding of how much money a lender is willing to lend you. It’ll give you a clear idea of your budget when house hunting. Having pre-approval also signals to vendors that you’re serious about buying, which might up your chances against someone who might not have pre-approval.

How long do I have pre-approval?

The length of your pre-approval depends on your lender. Most pre-approvals last up to 90 days, but there are some lenders that offer longer terms. When looking at potential lenders, make sure to ask how long the pre-approval period lasts so you aren’t caught by surprise when the time lapses.

Can I extend my pre-approval?

What happens if you don’t find your new home in time? Well, you can ask your lender to extend your pre-approval term. Be sure to keep in mind that, when you ask for an extension your lender will reassess your application to make sure your financial situation hasn’t worsened.

Does applying for pre-approval affect your credit score?

When your lender is assessing your pre-approval application they will do a check on your credit report to confirm you are a responsible borrower. Anytime a lender does this, it’ll trigger a hard enquiry.

A single hard enquiry won’t hurt your score, but if you get several of them over a short period of time, it might give the impression that you’re desperate for a loan and no one is willing to give you one. It’ll also appear on your credit history and you’ll run the risk of hurting your chance of approval.

Related: Does home loan pre-approval impact my credit score?

Can I be denied pre-approval?

Yes. There is always a chance that your pre-approval application might be denied. You may get denied if you don’t properly document your income, if your credit rating is low or if you’ve applied for too many loans in the past. 

So before you apply make sure to double-check your finances and paperwork. Also look for ways to boost your chances of approval, like holding off from a major purchase (i.e. a new car) or getting a new job.

If you’re still considering your home loan options, visit our home loan comparison page, or start browsing a few of the offers below.

Maria Gil
Maria Gil
Money writer

Maria Gil writes across all of our personal finance areas here at Mozo. Her goal is to help you think smarter about money and have more in your pocket. Maria earned a journalism degree in Florida in the United States, where she has contributed to major news outlets such as The Miami Herald. She also completed a masters of digital communications at the University of Sydney. When Maria isn’t busy with all things finance, you can find her tucked away reading fantasy books. She is also ASIC RG146 (Tier 2) certified for general advice.

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