So, you’ve found the perfect house. Or maybe you’re yet to start looking, but you’ve got that fat deposit sitting in your bank account ready to spend. Now you want to know, how quickly can I get pre-approval for a home loan?
From the time of lodging the application, getting pre-approval for a loan can take up to 10 business days. However, at uno we have some lenders that can give us an answer within 48 hours. We know that when you find the right home you want to act quickly. As an online mortgage broker, we strive to get you pre-approval as quickly as possible so that you can start the home buying process stat.
How long does it take to be approved for a mortgage?
Applying for a home loan can be broken into the following four stages:
This is when you send in all your information documents to uno and select a lender. Uno will be able to assist you with loan types and any questions you may have regarding lenders’ interest rates and repayment amounts.
Some lenders also call this the conditional approval stage. This is when uno works with you to find the right lender – and a deal that suits your needs. Before uno submits an application, we need to get the customer to sign an application form and send through supporting documents such as their licence, pay slips and proof of deposit (bank statements).
Once we’ve got all that, we submit your application to the lender. We have lenders that can give an answer within 48 hours – although it can take up to 10 business days, depending on the lender. The lender will respond and say yes you’ve been pre-approved – and you can start shopping. Or they’ll say no. Bad luck. If you are not pre-approved, you can try a different lender or you can wait until your conditions change.
- Formal approval
Once you’ve found a property, you can apply for formal approval. During this stage, the lender will send out a valuer to make sure the property is okay. Once the bank has said the property is okay (meaning it’s habitable and worth the value of what they’re lending you), you have formal approval. Mortgage documents including a contract will be sent out and you are ready for settlement.
Once you’ve received formal approval from your lender, you can sign your Contract of Sale. You’ll work alongside your conveyancer or legal representative and negotiate a settlement date during this period. Most settlements take place six weeks following the signing of the contract, though some take longer, depending on the transaction – or if you’ve negotiated a long settlement.
How long it takes to get from formal loan approval to signing the contract depends on you and your conveyancer. The seller’s conveyancer usually sends the document, and you’ll arrange a meeting.
Take some time to consider everything about the sale. Also, bear in mind that lenders can take between two and seven days to deliver the loan offer documents to you. You may need to deliver more documents to the lender during this time as well. Getting the loan offer signed as quickly as possible speeds up the Contract of Sale process.
What documents do I need to get pre-approved for a home loan?
Getting pre-approval requires the submission of a mortgage application, which can take as little as 20 minutes to complete. uno can do it over the phone for you or send you a link to complete the form online. You must also provide any supporting documentation your lender asks for, such as:
- Payslips, or if you’re self-employed, tax returns
- Evidence of savings or deposit in the form of bank statements
- Photo ID
- Statements showing any debt you currently possess, such as credit card bills
Can you be denied a loan after pre-approval?
Yes. If you do not meet the lender’s criteria then you will not meet pre-approval. Reasons for being denied a loan include:
- Having bad credit history. Late rental payments, missed credit card bills, phone bills and utility bills can all affect your credit score, which in turn can affect your mortgage application. Mortgage providers have strict criteria when it comes to lending and if you fail to meet their requirements you may be rejected for a loan.
- Changing jobs or income. Because pre-approval is based on your income and employment status at the time of submitting your application, if this changes it can affect the pre-approval process. Most lenders are okay if you change jobs but stay in the same line of work, however switching industries or taking a pay cut may lead to complications.
- You accrue more debt. If you decide to get a car loan or spend up big on your credit card after applying for a home loan, don’t expect to get pre-approval. Credit card debt can impact the amount you’re able to borrow.
How long does pre-approval for a mortgage last?
Pre-approval usually lasts between three and six months, depending on the lender. If you don’t secure a home during that time, you’ll need to apply to extend the pre-approval, which involves sending in some updated documents and going through the process again.
Can you put an offer on a house without pre-approval?
“Don’t do it!” says uno Home Loan Adviser, Scott Wilkinson. If you haven’t got pre-approval, there is no guarantee your loan will be approved. If you make an offer on a property or bid on a house at auction, and you are successful, you will be expected to pay for the property. If you don’t have pre-approval and the bank decides not to loan you as much as you need, then you’ll find yourself in hot water. “I strongly advise against it,” says Scott. “We don’t want people losing their deposit.”
How long does it take to buy a house?
How long is a piece of string? For some, buying a house in Australia is a relatively simple process that all up, may only take a few weeks. For others, it can take years to get from woe to go.
Subtracting the actual property search time, however, if you’re purely wondering how long it takes to get approved for a home loan, then it really varies. If you have the right documents ready to go, can show your lender that you’ve got savings, and are responsible enough to take on the purchase of a property, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting pre-approval.
Chat with a uno expert to find out more about your options.
Can I get pre-approval for a mortgage online?
Yes through uno. Give us a call, create an account and start filling in your details.
What do you do after you get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Once you have pre-approval for a mortgage, you can start shopping around for a home! Because pre-approval lasts between three and six months, depending on the lender, you’ll need to find and value a new home during that time. If you’ve already found a property, you can contact your lender so they can assess it. If you don’t find a property within that time-frame, you’ll need to reapply for pre-approval.
Is pre-approval a guarantee?
Unfortunately, no. Even with pre-approval, there’s always one condition left pertaining to security on the loan. Pre-approval is prior to finding a property, so once you find a property there is a valuation process (see below for details). It all comes down to security. If the bank is not happy with the property, they may withdraw the approval.
You can also be denied the loan if you overpaid for the house in the eyes of the bank. Say you bought the house for $1m with a 5% deposit, and the bank values it at $900,000. They will still only lend you 5% of the amount.
Can a home loan be denied after formal approval?
Generally, no. Unless the lenders finds something false about your documents, once you receive formal approval you’ve officially bought the house. There’s no going back. Congratulations!
The valuation process
How long valuation takes depends on your lender. Many will happily use the price stated in the Contract of Sale, assuming you borrow 80% of the home’s value. Some will carry out a kerbside valuation, but this is usually just to check that the property exists.
In these cases, you could receive full approval on the home loan within 24 hours.
But some lenders prefer to carry out their own valuations. This will often take between five and seven business days, as the lender needs approval from the seller. Furthermore, the lender will need to secure the services of a professional for the valuation process.
uno. The new way to get a better deal.
Some useful tips:
- Read every document related to the home loan carefully, including the loan contract and terms and conditions
- Have your loan documents ready to go when the lender asks for them
- Make sure your payslips and tax documents are up-to-date
- Contact the seller straight away if the lender needs to access the home for a valuation
- Return the mortgage documents straight away.
At uno home loans, we make the process of getting a home loan easier for you, the borrower. For one thing, when you settle a loan with uno, our Advisers don’t receive an individual commission. Customers can be assured our advisers will find the best lender for them, based on their individual circumstances. We’ll also negotiate with the lender on your behalf to get you the best deal.
- Less paper
Nobody likes paperwork and in this day and age, we think getting a home loan should be paper free as well. Our easy application process reduces paperwork so all you have to do is upload your license and credit history and we’ll fill in the forms for you.
- We’re available when you are
We know our customers are busy. Who has time to line up at the bank these days anyway? At uno, our advisers work evenings and weekends so you can call us or go online when you get home from work – and speak to us at a time that suits you.
Generally, the application process will take between four and six weeks, though this varies depending on the state you live in.
Several other factors affect how quickly your home loan application gets processed. How long it takes for you to return paperwork will affect the process, as will your current financial situation.
What to do next
Are you ready to begin the home loan approval process? We at uno can help you get started.
- Find out how much you can borrow
- Get started with your application
- Talk to the uno home loan team
- Book a call with a dedicated uno broker today
Uno is an Australian credit licence holder and can assist with aspects of your home loan application.
This information is general in nature, and you should always seek professional advice when making financial decisions.
With Alexi Neocleous.