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Pre-approval

Getting home loan pre-approval makes the property buying process easier. Here's how it works.

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When a well-organised home buyer is getting serious about purchasing a property, they approach a lender and get pre-approval. It's not a compulsory step, but it gives you a better idea of how much (if anything) a lender is willing to lend you.

What is home loan pre-approval?

woman signing a contractPre-approval is an indication of how much money a lender is willing to lend you for a home loan. It's sometimes called conditional approval, or approval-in-principle.

Pre-approval requires a brief application, typically online (although some lenders require an in-person consultation) involving some identification and financial information.

Keep in mind that a home loan pre-approval is not the same as an actual mortgage. You may even get pre-approved by a lender only to be rejected at the actual application.

Pre-approval brings the following benefits:

  • You can get a more realistic idea of your borrowing power. This keeps you focused on properties you can afford.
  • It signals your seriousness to sellers. Pre-approval strengthens your negotiating position when it comes time to agree on a price. You will be considered a preferred buyer, similar to a cash buyer. This can really help in a tight auction.
  • A pre-approval can also reduce stress by helping to speed up the documentation process once you've found a home.

How long does it take to get pre-approved?

With many lenders offering online pre-approval, the whole process can take hours rather than days.

Online pre-approval is usually a system-generated process that is very quick but doesn't involve a qualified credit assessor reviewing your pre-approval application.

Some lenders may offer this, while others may require a fuller assessment that involves a lender's credit department. This usually involves a credit report.

Get a free credit score check before you apply for a home loan

How long does pre-approval last for?

Most lenders can issue you a pre-approval lasting around between three months. This gives you time to hunt for properties and get your actual application together.

Lenders who offer pre-approval

Not all lenders offer pre-approval, but here's a list of some who do:

How do I get pre-approved?

Follow these steps to get your mortgage pre-approval:

When should I apply for pre-approval?

You should get pre-approval once you've done your initial research. You should already have an idea of your borrowing power, your price range and the areas you're looking to buy in. Once you start looking seriously at properties with the intent to purchase then it is time for pre-approval.

What comes after pre-approval?

Once you find a property to buy, you need to get full or unconditional approval. This requires a more detailed application. Then you need to provide a contract of sale and the lender must conduct a valuation of the property and be satisfied that you haven't paid too much for the property

Once your application is approved it's time to draw up the loan documents. You’ll need to read your loan contract carefully before signing, and your lender will check that you’ve filled out everything correctly.

Your conveyancer or solicitor can then review the contract of sale, before you and the seller can sign a copy. Once a settlement date has been arranged, your lender will provide confirmation of your loan details. This is also the time at which you can expect to be charged for stamp duty and registration costs.

At settlement the property is yours and it’s time to start paying off your loan.

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Rates last updated March 31st, 2020
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Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
Repayment type
Your filter criteria do not match any product
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000 (*now 2.84%, drops to 2.59% on 3 April)
2.59%
2.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This rate will drop to 2.59% p.a on 3 April 2020 for new and existing customers. Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
2.65%
2.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.78%
2.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000.
ING Mortgage Simplifier Home Loan - $150,000 to $500,000 (LVR <=80% Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.78%
2.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This low, variable rate loan has no ongoing fees and a redraw facility. Requires a 20% deposit.
Virgin Reward Me Fixed Rate Home Loan - 2 Year $300k+ Special offer (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.79%
3.25%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Buy your home and lock in a low rate for the first two years.
UBank UHomeLoan - 1 Year Fixed Rate (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.74%
3.38%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your mortgage for 1 year with a very competitive rate and no ongoing fees.
ANZ Simplicity PLUS Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% Special Offer Discount (Owner Occupier, PI)
2.72%
2.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a low variable rate from a ANZ and save money with $0 application or ongoing fees. Requires a 20% deposit. Refinance to this loan and you could get a cashback from $1,200 up to $3,500 depending on your loan amount (terms and conditions apply).
Gateway Bank Low Rate Essentials Variable Rate Home Loan - Special offer LVR up to 80% and over $500k (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.76%
2.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive, flexible variable rate mortgage for home buyers borrowing above $500,000. Eligible new home buyers with low deposits can apply for the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme with this lender and avoid LMI costs.
Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan - LVR ≤ 80% (Owner Occupier, P&I)
2.94%
2.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application and ongoing fees and take advantage of split and redraw options.
Virgin Reward Me Variable Home Loan - LVR <= 80% ($500k to $750k Owner Occupier, P&I)
3.12%
3.28%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
This flexible, competitive variable rate mortgage comes with a 100% offset account and redraw facility.

Compare up to 4 providers

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Home Loan Offers

Important Information*
Logo for UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000 (*now 2.84%, drops to 2.59% on 3 April)
UBank UHomeLoan Variable Rate - Discount offer for Owner Occupiers, P&I Borrowing over $200,000 (*now 2.84%, drops to 2.59% on 3 April)

Take advantage of a low-fee mortgage with a special interest rate of just 2.59% p.a. and a 2.59% p.a. comparison rate.

Logo for HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)
HSBC Home Value Loan - Promotional Offer (Owner Occupier P&I)

Get a low interest rate loan with no ongoing fees. Plus you can make extra repayments and free redraw online.

Logo for Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)
Suncorp Back to Basics Home Loan - Better Together Special Offer $150k+ LVR<=90% Incl. LMI (Owner Occupier, P&I)

Get one free online redraw per month and pay no ongoing fees. Application fees are waived for loans above $150,000.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    julieAugust 9, 2015

    Can you opt out of getting a loan after you have filled out all the paperwork for the loan and have been given a verbal that the loan is pre-approved subject to the lender (St George) evaluating all the paperwork and doing a valuation of the property in question?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MarcAugust 10, 2015Staff

      Hi Julie,
      thanks for the question.

      Home loan pre-approval is in many cases obligation-free, meaning that you can cancel it if you no longer require it or have found a better deal. The exact nature of a pre-approval agreement differs on a case-by-case basis depending on the lender, so I would recommend contacting St.George directly to find out if you can opt out.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

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