How Long is a Mortgage Pre-Approval Good for?


How Long is a Mortgage Pre-Approval Good for?

Understanding the length of validity for a mortgage pre-approval is a crucial step in the home buying process. This knowledge can help you plan your house hunting journey more effectively and avoid potential disappointments or delays. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the duration of a mortgage pre-approval, factors that can affect its validity, and steps you can take to ensure a smooth home buying process.


Understanding Mortgage Pre-Approval

A mortgage pre-approval is a lender's written commitment to a potential borrower, indicating the maximum loan amount they are willing to offer. It is based on a preliminary review of the borrower's creditworthiness, which includes an assessment of their credit history, income, debts, and assets. The pre-approval letter serves as a powerful tool for homebuyers, demonstrating to sellers that they are serious and financially capable of purchasing a property.

However, a pre-approval is not a guarantee of a loan. It is subject to the property's appraisal, title search, and other final underwriting procedures. Therefore, understanding its validity period is essential to ensure that you can utilize it effectively during your home buying journey.


Validity of a Mortgage Pre-Approval

Typically, a mortgage pre-approval is valid for 60 to 90 days. This period starts from the date the lender issues the pre-approval letter. However, this duration can vary depending on the lender's policies and the prevailing market conditions. Some lenders may offer a longer validity period, while others may require a re-verification of your financial situation if the pre-approval is close to its expiration.

It's important to note that the validity period of a pre-approval does not affect the mortgage rate. The rate is usually locked in for a specific period, separate from the pre-approval. If the rate lock expires before you find a home, you may need to renegotiate the rate with your lender.


Factors Affecting the Validity of a Mortgage Pre-Approval

  • Changes in Financial Situation

Any significant changes in your financial situation during the validity period can affect your pre-approval. This includes changes in your income, employment status, credit score, or debt levels. If such changes occur, the lender may need to reassess your financial situation and adjust the pre-approved loan amount accordingly.

  • Changes in Lending Policies

Lenders may change their lending policies due to shifts in the economic environment or regulatory changes. Such changes can affect the terms of your pre-approval. For instance, if the lender tightens their lending criteria, you may need to reapply for a pre-approval.

  • Changes in Property Market Conditions

Fluctuations in the property market can also affect your pre-approval. If property prices rise significantly during the validity period, the pre-approved loan amount may no longer be sufficient to purchase your desired property. Conversely, if prices fall, you may find yourself in a better position to negotiate.


Ensuring a Smooth Home Buying Process

  • Plan Your Timeline

Understanding the validity of your mortgage pre-approval can help you plan your house hunting timeline more effectively. Aim to find a property and have an accepted offer within the validity period to avoid the need for re-approval.

  • Keep Your Finances Stable


Avoid making significant financial changes during the home buying process. This includes taking on new debts, changing jobs, or making large purchases. Such changes can affect your creditworthiness and potentially derail your mortgage application.

  • Communicate with Your Lender

Keep your lender informed about any changes in your financial situation or property search. They can provide guidance and help you navigate any potential challenges. If your pre-approval is nearing its expiration and you have not yet found a property, contact your lender to discuss the possibility of an extension or re-approval.



In conclusion, a mortgage pre-approval is typically valid for 60 to 90 days, but this period can vary depending on various factors. By understanding the validity of your pre-approval and taking steps to maintain your financial stability, you can navigate the home buying process more smoothly and confidently.

Remember, a pre-approval is a powerful tool in your home buying journey, but it's not a guarantee of a loan. Always work closely with your lender and stay informed about the latest market conditions to ensure a successful home purchase.