You’ve decided to look for a new home. Or maybe it’s your first home.

Either way, you want to be ready to put in an offer as soon as you find the right home for you and your family. In many parts of the country, competition is fierce. So, when it comes time to put in an offer on a home, you want your offer to be as strong as possible. 

There are many things you can do to make your offer stand out from any others the seller may get. One of them is to get a mortgage pre-approval. 

With a mortgage pre-approval, sellers and realtors will see you as a much more serious buyer. It can even help speed up the closing process. 

This will make your offer more attractive to all involved because it gives them the confidence to know that you’ll be able to close the deal. And close it fairly quickly. Which is what everyone wants to happen!

One thing to know about mortgage pre-approvals is that they don’t last forever. They have a shelf life, if you will. So how long does a mortgage pre-approval last? Let’s find out right now!

How Long Does A Mortgage Pre-Approval Last?

Most of the time, the mortgage pre-approval will last between 60 and 90 days. Or, 2 to 3 months if you prefer smaller numbers 🙂

So why does it only last for 2 to 3 months? Well, quite simply things change. For better or for worse. 

For example, maybe in that time, your credit score goes up. That’s a good thing! Improving your credit score can help in lowering the costs of your mortgage. And, potentially, what size mortgage you can be approved for.  

On the other hand, maybe your financial situation takes a turn for the worse. Hopefully it doesn’t. But, sometimes it happens. Maybe you or your spouse lose your job. Or some other financial hardship occurs. This could affect your approval status. 

See, lenders are very risk averse. When they’re going to lend hundreds of thousands of dollars, they want to be confident they’ll get their money back, plus interest. 

So because of this, lenders only grant pre-approvals for shorter time frames. Again, usually no more than 3 months. 

What Happens If Your Pre-Approval Expires

So what if you don’t find a home in those 2 or 3 months and that pre-approval letter expires? 

Well, once it expires, you have some options. Most straightforward is you can simply go and get another home loan pre-approval.

You can get it from the same mortgage lender. Or you can look for a new mortgage lender. It’s up to you.

If you choose to proceed with the same mortgage lender as the last time, you will need to update your paperwork. But it will be less of a hassle for you as it will not take as much time. That is because they already have most of your info on their file. 

Just keep in mind that every time you get a pre-approval letter means the lender will have to run a credit check again. And that can ding your credit score. So, the less you have to do this, the better.

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