Pre-approval is a firm loan commitment issued by a lender, subject to a satisfactory appraisal of a property to be purchased. When you have been pre-approved, your income, assets, and credit have been reviewed to the satisfaction of the lender
Once you have decided to go with a certain lender and signed a purchase contract, it is time for an actual credit approval verifying income, liabilities and your ability to repay the loan. Most loan applicants go to their loan interview with a signed copy of purchase contract. A purchase contract for the house will specify the amount of your down payment, the price you will pay for your house, and your proposed closing date. When you go to apply for a mortgage, the lender will use all these data to calculate whether the house you want to buy can serve as collateral for the amount of money you wish to borrow.
The processing of your loan involves the collection of all the outstanding documents that are needed to satisfy the conditions that were set forth by the underwriter in your commitment letter. These conditions could include verifying your income and assets, reviewing the Purchase and Sale Agreement and appraisal, or obtaining information or documentation to substantiate past credit issues, child support/alimony payments, receipt of gift funds, employment information, etc.
Underwriting is the process of evaluating your credit history, debts, assets,
income, and information about the property you are looking to purchase, in order to make a
mortgage loan decision.
The loan has been approved and the package completed. Title insurance is ordered and a closing date and time are scheduled.
The closing, or settlement, is where you take ownership of your
home. Your closing agent or attorney coordinates the entire
document signing, as well as the collection and disbursement
of funds. At that time you will review and sign the mortgage
loan documents and pay the closing costs. The seller(s)
and real estate agent(s) may also be present at this meeting.