Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved? What's the Difference?

A buyer called me the other day and asked me, "Dan, what's the difference between pre-qualified and pre-approved?". They're really similar but here's the real difference: a pre-qualification is when you go to a lender and get into a conversation with them. You share your credit history, your payment history, your bills, how much money you make and what's your debt.

Based on all of that information, the lender then will give you a pre-qualification if you are qualified. That pre-qualification has to be reviewed.

The biggest difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval is that, the lender already sees documents to be able to support that approval.

Pre-approval is much stronger than a pre-qualification since the lenders are going through your pay stubs, your tax documents, etc. Once you are pre-approved, the lender's going to be able to lend you that money.

In both cases, you would need to go through some desktop underwriting. The lenders will ask you for some conditions or additional paperwork, but ultimately a pre-approval is what you want to do.

If you want to know more, I’m happy to help you out. Send me an email at or call me at 703-562-1788 and I’ll be glad to answer specific questions for you.

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Dan Rochon

Dan Rochon is an Associate Broker in VA, Broker in MD; Owner of Rochon Investments, LLC; Owner and Co-founder of and Owner of other Joint Ventures as well as a real estate principles instructor at Moseley Real Estate Schools.

As a real estate sales agent, Dan and his team are consistently top producers in their marketplace and provide solutions for their clients. Through their investing company, Dan and Traci Rochon have been investing in residential and commercial real estate ventures for more than the past decade.

Dan and his wife Traci are frequent speakers and are often quoted in media stories about the current real estate market. The Rochon's have been featured on The Nightly News with Brian Williams, The Today Show, CNBC, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, WTOP News, Voted as The Best of DC Real Estate Agent in the Washington City Paper Readers Poll, and more...