How long does it take to get approved for a mortgage loan?

How Long Will it Take to be Approved for a Home Loan?

african american son on father's shoulders in front of sold house

It takes between 30 days and a few months to get approved for a mortgage loan. There are three steps to this process, but only the final two are required: prequalification, preapproval, and final mortgage approval.

The Steps to Getting Approved for a Mortgage

Here’s a breakdown of the three main steps to getting approved for a mortgage, and roughly how long each step takes.


Typical time it takes: Minutes to 3 days

What it is: Prequalification is an informal process designed to help you see if you’re eligible for a mortgage, and if so, how much you can borrow. You can get pre-qualified by most lenders, online or in person, regardless of which lender you ultimately want to use for your mortgage product.

What you need: You don’t need formal documentation for this stage, but you should provide the most accurate information about your income, credit, and employment history in order to gauge how much house you can truly afford.


Typical time it takes: 3 days to 3 months

What it is: Pre-approval is a formal process in which a lender assesses your financial standing and assures that you will be approved for a mortgage when you’re ready to apply. This process can dramatically speed up the time it takes to get approved for a mortgage, and most home sellers will require you to have a pre-approval letter before making an offer on a house.

What you need: Driver’s license, social security card, 2-months of bank statements, two years of employment history (W-2s or tax returns), and 1 month of paystubs.

Final Mortgage Approval

Typical time it takes: 3 days to 3 weeks

What it is: After you’ve been pre-approved and made an offer on a home, your lender must schedule an appraisal of the home to ensure its market value is comparable to that of your loan amount. This scheduling process can vary, which is why the time period for this stage is such a broad range.

After requesting mortgage approval, you’ll receive one of four decisions from your lender: approved, approved with conditions, suspended, or denied.

What you need: If you haven’t been pre-approved, you’ll need the same documentation that you would have provided in that stage. If you receive a decision of “suspended” or “approved with conditions,” you’ll need to meet those conditions (and provide the necessary documentation to prove you’ve met them) before being approved.

If you would like to learn more about the mortgage approval process, fill out the form below, and a mortgage specialist will reach out to you