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how does one go about getting pre-qualified for a loan? Where do you start? what's the 1st step?

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April 13 2011 - Des Moines
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Zillow has guide to getting pre approved here. You can also run some numbers on your own to see what you might qualify for here before you talk to a lender so you know what to expect.

There is a difference between pre qualification and pre approval. Pre qualification involves a lender asking you questions, running some numbers, estimating your credit score (but not necessarily pulling your credit) and giving you an idea about what you can afford based on the information you provide.

Pre approval means all those things, a credit check plus having you provide documentation of income, W2 forms, bank statements etc. Pre approval is a stronger position to be in when you submit your offers since it means that the buyer knows that the bank has reviewed your ability to actually get a mortgage based on a paper review of your financial information. You can get more information on the difference between the two here. Hope it helps.
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April 13 2011
Profile picture for sunnyview
Thank you for the best answer! I really appreciate it.
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April 14 2011
Are you working with a Realtor?  If so, go ahead and use someone she can recommend (usually someone she trusts to get the job done and has worked with on a number of transactions).  Otherwise, start with your banking institution.
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April 13 2011
Contact your local bank or credit union for a no obligation pre-qualification.  Wells Fargo and Bank of America are excellent sources for mortgages in California.  Good luck!
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April 13 2011
In theory, you definitely want to talk with a mortgage professional to make sure you can be qualified for a loan before searching homes with your Realtor.  Big banks are fine to speak with, but they may not be as competitive or always provide the best services. You want to chat with a few professional and assess who you are most comfortable with and trust the most.  Pick at least 2-3 that you would like to speak with, from big banks, direct wholesale lenders or boutique mortgage company to get a broad spectrum in your search phase.
Best of Luck.
Truong Luu
Nationwide Direct Mortgage
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April 13 2011
I would recommend  asking your co workers , colleagues , neighbors  for  some  referrals for  a loan officer ( as the loan officer  should value the  referral  and referral source )

contact the referrals  and ask a few questions  about their pre approval process and  maybe for some hypothetical quotes 

move forward with who you feel comfortable with 
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April 13 2011
You can also look on Zillow for a mortgage company that has good recomendations. Read all the comments from other customers.
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April 13 2011
It is a great place to start by asking the agent you are working with if they would recommend anyone in particular.  But don't feel obligated to use them.  It is best to shop around.  Always research the company, read the reviews, and most of all make sure you are comfortable with this person.  See how responsive the MLO (loan officer) is to your questions.  Do they know what they are talking about?  Secondly be sure you are getting a fair rate.  Competition is fierce these days. Be sure you are getting taken care of from beginning to end. 
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April 13 2011
Or you can ask the realtor or agent you are using for recommendations. Many times we work with loan officers who we feel 'get it done'
You can also ask your credit union to prequalify you or better yet, get you preapproved.
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April 13 2011
It starts with a phone call... but not to just anyone. In this market, sound trusted advice from a reputable company is critical. You can start with the larger lenders like Bank Of America, or Wells Fargo. Both are very capable and have strict gov't oversite. You could also check with your current banking institution. The place you do your everday checking and savings with. Be sure the person you speak with is a loan officer or mortgage broker and that is all they do... Mortgages! Good Luck

Ridge York, CRS
RE/MAX By The Bay
Portland, ME
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April 13 2011
 
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how does one go about getting pre-qualified for a loan? Where do you start? what's the 1st step?
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April 14 2011 | 10 answers
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