Mortgage Pre-Approval

What does it mean to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

When you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you are receiving a maximum loan amount that you qualify for so you can begin looking for a home at or below that price level.

To get pre-approved, you must complete a mortgage application. One of our loan officers will look at your credit rating and financial documents such as pay stubs, W2’s and bank statements to determine your pre-approved amount. This is different than pre-qualification, which does not look at in-depth financials or necessarily your credit.  Pre-qualification only gives you a general idea of what you could potentially qualify for, and you will still have to go through the actual application process to get pre-approved. For this reason, U of I Community Credit Union only offers pre-approvals so you can feel confident while house hunting.

What are the benefits of getting pre-approved?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage has many benefits. Since you have already completed the mortgage application process you know the maximum amount you qualify for. This means that you can move quickly when you find your dream home by instantly making an offer.

Pre-approval gives you an advantage over other buyers because you’ve already met with your lender and discussed your affordability.  Sellers can feel more confident accepting your offer with a pre-approval letter versus someone who has been prequalified.

How can I get started?

Getting started is easy, simply fill out an application online here (no application fee!), set up an appointment with our mortgage team, or stop by our First Street branch to speak with a mortgage officer. We recommend applying for pre-approval 2-4 weeks prior to home shopping, and your pre-approval is good for 90 days.

If you have additional questions about the pre-approval process, contact our mortgage team at 217-278-7700 or We’ll walk you through the pre-approval process and help you select the right rate and term for your individual situation.

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