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What is the difference between a pre-approval and an approval?
At the pre-approval stage, you will be asked to provide the same information that would be required if you had already made an offer on a property and the customization of your mortgage has already begun; However, a full approval is not issued until there is a property tied to the application.
This is the stage where you will find out if, as an applicant, there are lenders who would be willing to give you a mortgage as well as the maximum mortgage amount you would potentially be approved for. This step in the process does not mean there is not a risk when putting in an offer and going in firm, it is specifically where you will find out what requirements need to be met, in order to be approved for a mortgage; Provided the property you are looking to purchase is also approved by the lender.
While being pre-approved doesn't guarantee you a mortgage approval when making an offer on a property, it is extremely important to find out what your options are for financing prior to making an offer.