What does it mean to have a pre-approved mortgage?

Author: Tammy Wandzura |

Having a pre-approved mortgage means that a lender has given you a preliminary indication of how much they're willing to lend you for a home purchase, along with a guaranteed interest rate for a certain period of time. While it's not a guarantee that you'll receive the funds, it's a valuable tool to know your maximum borrowing power and to show real estate agents that you're a serious buyer. During the pre-approval process, you'll need to provide your financial and credit information, and your down payment will also be taken into account to determine your eligibility for a loan. Most realtors recommend getting pre-approved before starting your home search to ensure you're looking at properties within your price range.