Mortgage Basics

What is the mortgage pre-approval process in Canada?

What is the mortgage pre-approval process in Canada?
Written by
  • Alivia Massimillo
| 21 February 2023
Reviewed, 28 February 2023

Table of contents

    Are you a first-time homebuyer in Canada? If so, it’s essential to know the ins and outs of getting your mortgage pre-approved. A mortgage pre-approval is one of the most important steps you can take when preparing to purchase a home – not only does it provide peace of mind that financing won’t be an issue when it comes time for settlement, but obtaining a pre-approval also helps ensure you are being offered competitive rates from lenders. 

    In this blog post, we’ll discuss what a mortgage pre-approval is, and outline some of the many benefits of attaining one.

    What is a mortgage pre-approval in Canada?

    A mortgage pre-approval in Canada is an estimate of the amount you would qualify to borrow for a home loan. This estimate is done by a lender who considers your credit score, debt load, income, down payment, and other factors when determining your eligible amount. Once you have received this estimate, it helps you set a reasonable budget and saves time when you start the house-hunting process. 

    What are the benefits of a mortgage pre-approval?

    The pre-approval allows buyers to save time by focusing on properties that fit within their qualifying pre-approved range and potentially negotiate from a stronger position with sellers. Pre-approvals also provide lenders with peace of mind that buyers can afford the loan amounts they qualified for and may grant quicker approvals and lower interest rates than those who have not gone through this process.

    How does the mortgage pre-approval process work in Canada?

    Navigating the mortgage pre-approval process in Canada can be a daunting task, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. The pre-approval process essentially involves gathering all necessary documents (such as income statements, proof of assets, and credit checks) to enable the lender to grant potential borrowers an amount they can take out for a loan. 

    What documentation do you need to provide to your lender for pre-approval?

    Generally, lenders require copies of your most recent pay stubs or other proofs of income, bank and investment account statements, tax return information for the last two years, driver’s license or other government identification documents, and a document indicating your current residence address. 

    To ensure that you provide the correct documentation for pre-approval, it is considered prudent to work with experienced professionals who know the mortgage business in Canada.

    What are some things to remember when going through the mortgage pre-approval process in Canada?

    It’s important to provide your lender with accurate and complete information to ensure you get the best interest rate possible on your mortgage. 

    • It may help to obtain a credit report before you begin the pre-approval process. This will allow you to examine your credit score and address any issues that could potentially hamper your chances of obtaining a favorable rate. 
    • It’s also advisable to check the terms and conditions of your pre-approval agreement before signing it. There may be unexpected fees or other hidden fees that need to be made clear during initial conversations with your lender. 
    • Lastly, have realistic expectations about what type of loan you’re seeking – keep your confidence in what you can afford for monthly payments. Keeping these pointers in mind will help make the mortgage pre-approval process in Canada an easy and stress-free experience. 

    How long does the mortgage pre-approval process take in Canada, and what happens after you’ve been approved for a loan?

    The typical mortgage pre-approval process in Canada can take up to five days, depending on the lender and the complexity of the loan application. 

    In most cases, a mortgage broker will review your credit report and financial documents, determine how much you should borrow, and advise you if you qualify for any government programs or special offers. 

    Once approved, it’s time to start looking at houses! 

    Tips for getting a pre-approval in Canada: 

    Get Your Documents in Order

    The first step in getting pre-approved for a mortgage is to get your documents in order. You will need to provide your lender with proof of income, proof of assets, and any other documentation that may be required. Be sure to have your documents organized and ready to go before you begin the pre-approval process.

    Shop Around for the Best Rate

    With your documents in order, it’s time to shop for the best mortgage rate. Talk to various lenders and compare their rates and terms before deciding. It’s important to find a rate you’re comfortable with and can afford. 

    Pro Tip: Use to get your best rates in one spot in less than 60 seconds. 

    Know What You Can Afford

    Before looking at houses, knowing how much you can afford to spend is important. Your lender will give you a pre-approval amount based on your income and debts, but it’s important to remember that this is not the same as your maximum budget. Stick to a budget you’re comfortable with, and leave some wiggle room for unexpected expenses.

    Get Pre-Approved Early

    Getting pre-approved for a mortgage well before you plan on buying a house is a good idea. This way, you can avoid any last-minute surprises or delays. Additionally, being pre-approved will give you an edge over other buyers who are not pre-approved when bidding on a house.

    Follow Up With Your Lender

    Once pre-approved, it’s important to follow up with your lender regularly. This way, you can stay up-to-date on any changes to your interest rate or loan terms.

    Wrapping it up

    Now that you know the steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage in Canada, what information you need to provide, and how long the process takes, you’re ready to begin your journey to homeownership. 

    Getting pre-approved is an important first step that will give you peace of mind and strengthen your negotiating position with sellers. It’s also a good idea to compare rates from different lenders to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

     Start comparing mortgages now to find your best rate!