How Do I Get A Mortgage?

The mortgage loan process is straightforward if you have a regular job, adequate income and a good credit score.

There are several steps you’ll need to take to become a homeowner, so here’s a rundown of what you need to do.

1. Get Preapproved Or Be Ready To Show Proof Of Funds

You’ll need a preapproval to be taken seriously – by real estate agents and sellers – in today’s real estate market.


It’s a good idea to get an initial approval from your mortgage lender before you start looking for homes. Getting preapproved upfront can tell you exactly how much you’ll qualify for, so you don’t waste time shopping for homes outside your budget. In some very hot seller’s markets around the U.S., you may not be able to get a real estate agent to meet with you before you have a preapproval letter in hand.

There’s a difference between prequalification and preapproval. Prequalification involves sharing verbal or written estimates of your income and assets with your lender, who may or may not check your credit.

You can use our home affordability calculator to get a sense of what you can afford as you begin thinking about buying a home, but the numbers you use aren’t verified, so it won’t carry much weight with sellers or real estate agents.

Mortgage preapproval, on the other hand, means that the lender has verified your financial information and issued a preapproval letter to show sellers and agents that you have essentially been approved, pending only a determination of the house’s value and condition.

Rocket Mortgage® offers Verified Approval, which confirms your income, assets and credit upfront, giving you the strength and confidence that you’ll qualify for the home you want to buy.

When you’re ready to make an offer, you’ll attach your preapproval letter to your offer so that the seller can be sure you’ll be able to get a mortgage.

All-Cash Purchases

In many real estate markets, sellers have the luxury of choosing a buyer from among several all-cash offers. That means that sellers avoid the uncertainty of waiting for the buyer’s mortgage to be approved.

In those situations, buyers should attach a proof of funds letter with their offer so that the seller is certain that the buyer has the money they need at the ready to complete the transaction.

2. Shop For Your Home And Make An Offer

Connect with a real estate agent to start seeing homes in your area. Your real estate agent will be able to schedule viewings and find open houses for you to attend during the house hunting process. You can also view homes online using a multiple listing service (MLS).

Your (buyer’s) agent will likely be your eyes and ears to get the best property. Real estate professionals can help you find the right home, negotiate the price and handle all the paperwork and details.

3. Get Final Approval

Once your offer has been accepted, there’s a bit more work to be done to finalize the sale and financing.

At this point, your lender will verify all the details of the mortgage – including your income, employment and assets – if those details weren’t verified upfront. They’ll also need to verify the property details. This typically involves getting an appraisal to confirm the home’s value and you getting an inspection to evaluate the condition of the home. Your lender will also hire a title company to check the title of the home and make sure there are no issues that would prevent the sale or cause problems later.

4. Close On Your Loan

Once your loan is fully approved, you’ll meet with your lender and real estate professional to close your loan and take ownership of the home. At closing, you’ll pay your down payment and closing costs and sign your mortgage papers.

Who Are The Parties Involved In A Mortgage?

There are up to three parties involved in every mortgage transaction – a lender, a borrower and possibly a co-signer.


A lender is a financial institution that loans you money to buy a home. Your lender might be a bank or credit union, or it might be an online mortgage company like Rocket Mortgage.

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will review your information to make sure you meet their standards. Every lender has their own standards for who they’ll loan money to. Lenders must be careful to only choose qualified clients who are likely to repay their loans. To do this, lenders look at your full financial profile – including your credit score, income, assets and debt – to determine whether you’ll be able to make your loan payments.


The borrower is the individual seeking the loan to buy a home. You may be able to apply as the only borrower on a loan, or you may apply with a co-borrower. Adding more borrowers with income to your loan may allow you to qualify for a more expensive home.


Sometimes, because of a negative credit history or no credit history, a lender may ask a prospective borrower to find a co-signer for the mortgage. This is also synonymous with a co-borrower. A co-signer isn’t merely vouching for your character. They are entering into a legally binding contract that will hold them responsible for paying for the mortgage with or without any rights of ownership, should the borrower default on the loan.

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