You're Prequalified: Here's Exactly What That Means

The door to homeownership has been opened with a prequalified stamp of approval. Let's walk through what that really means.

What is prequalification?

After reviewing your basic financial information (including income, debts and assets), BB&T creates a prequalification letter outlining the amount of money we could potentially lend to you.

What you can do now that you're prequalified

  • Fully understand your target price range. By seeing exactly what BB&T might be willing to lend you, it's easier to narrow your home search and avoid setting your sights on something out of your price range.
  • Start preparing your budget. There's nothing worse than moving into a home and then realizing that it puts a major strain on your budget. Your prequalified amount is a good starting point to looking holistically at your budget and deciding what you're comfortable spending on a monthly mortgage.
  • Enjoy your edge over other buyers. Making an offer on a home is easy. Coming up with the funds to follow through on that offer might be an entirely different story. As a prequalified buyer, you look like a safer bet to sellers.

Preapproval vs. prequalification

While some lenders seem to use the terms prequalification and preapproval interchangeably, they aren't necessarily the same thing. In some cases, the financial information is limited to what you provide the lender—the lender isn't doing an extensive check into your credit report or any other part of the numbers you offer. Regardless of what process the lender follows, you'll want the lender to thoroughly review your credit report.

During the BB&T prequalification process, we review your credit profile, including a full credit report check. Therefore, the prequalification is often seen as having more lender backing.

Tips for your next steps after prequalifying

  • You don't have to shop for the maximum of your prequalification. While you may prequalify for a home loan of a certain amount, that doesn't always mean you can comfortably afford the top of the range. Remember, a lender isn't looking at your entire financial picture, just the snapshot you've offered.
  • Choose a lender you trust. At BB&T, we prioritize and understand your needs so we can help you accomplish your unique home ownership goal. We're also known for our speed (closings can happen in less than 30 days) and offer a choice of online or face-to-face service, depending on your preference. (For more, see "Bank vs. broker: Who should I get my mortgage from?")

Keep it up. You're getting smarter about home buying.

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