What’s a preapproval?
Getting preapproved means you’ve been approved in advance by a lender for a specific loan amount. You will receive a letter that states your approved loan amount. Getting preapproved for a mortgage helps you shop for homes within your means and shows agents and sellers that you’re a serious buyer. Getting preapproved also helps you find a mortgage lender that can work with you to select a home loan with an interest rate and other terms suited to your needs.
How is a preapproval different than a prequalification?
Getting prequalified simply means that a lender has provided you with an estimate of the mortgage amount you will likely qualify for. If you choose to purchase a home, you will still have to go through the actual mortgage application process at that time. RCU does not currently prequalify candidates, but instead encourages you to go through the preapproval process.
To get preapproved, you will need to provide a lender with paperwork so they can verify your income, assets and credit worthiness. If the lender decides to preapprove you for a mortgage, this essentially means they are guaranteeing your ability to get a loan up to a specified amount for a specified period of time (assuming no major financial changes occur and selected property meets lenders guidelines).
At RCU, we strongly encourage you to start first with a preapproval. The estimated time to complete your preapproval application is 30-45 minutes. When you are ready to get your preapproval at RCU, here’s what you need to prepare:
What you need to provide:
Income – documentation of income (for example, a recent pay stub and the prior year’s W2)
Assets – the past 2 months’ bank statements for each account that will be used for the cash to close the loan (includes down payment, closing costs and/or reserves)
FICO (credit) score – a credit report will be pulled during the application process which will help us identify your credit score, any current obligations or liabilities (debts), and any collections or judgments.
What information you will be asked for your preapproval application:
First and last name
Social Security number
Purchase type: primary residence, second home or investment
Do you currently own real estate?
Desired property, for example: single-family home, condo, etc.
In what city and county are you looking to purchase?
2-year employment history
Documentation showing proof of income and assets
General understanding of your assets. Specifically, be able to provide estimates of your current account balances and types of accounts (for example, your checking, savings, retirement and/or investment accounts, etc.)
Complete the process as if you are completing a regular mortgage loan application.
Scroll towards the bottom to START YOUR APPLICATION and select PURCHASE for “What type of loan are you applying for?”
Select purchase property in CA (RCU can only lend on California properties)
You’ll be directed to create a login for the loan application and sign consent for electronic disclosures.
From there, complete the application as directed.
What to expect:
Once your preapproval application is submitted, your application will be assigned to one of our Mortgage Specialists within 24 hours (Monday through Friday). Your Mortgage Specialist will review your application, follow up to discuss delivery of supporting documentation, and better understand any other specific goals you might have.
Once we receive your preapproval documents and evaluate your application, your Mortgage Specialist will notify you of your preapproval status.
We’re excited to help you in your homeownership journey. We look forward to partnering with you in this process, and we appreciate your active participation in providing requested documents or information as needed. Once you start this process, please make sure to respond to our requests for information in a timely manner so we can ensure a smooth preapproval process.