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Pre-Approved Loan

A pre-approved loan is issued by a lender before the borrower purchases a vehicle, and may give the borrower extra leverage with the dealer.


A pre-approved loan is a loan that has been underwritten and approved. This means the applicant has completed a loan application, authorized a credit check and supplied documents verifying income, assets and other information.

Mortgage Loan Pre-approval

Mortgage pre-approval may also be called credit approval. Once a home buyer has been granted credit approval or pre-approval, the lender just needs to evaluate the property being financed. Once the property has been approved, the lender issues a “full approval” or “final approval.”

A home buyer with a pre-approved loan should be able to close on a home purchase as long as the property chosen meets the lender’s guidelines.

Mortgage pre-approval is highly recommended to make the home buying process easier and less costly. Buyers with pre-approved mortgages are preferred by home sellers and their offers may be given more consideration.

Pre-approved Auto Loans

A pre-approved loan can also be a loan that a lender issues to a borrower before an auto is purchased. These loans are usually valid for a limited time only, such as 30 days from the loan approval date.

To give yourself a negotiating advantage, always get a pre-approved loan when you’re ready to go car shopping. Have a pre-approved loan check draft  with you when you walk into a dealer, or when you go to test drive a used car that’s for sale by an individual owner.

Having a pre-approved loan gives you negotiating power when you’re shopping for a car, whether you’re buying from a dealer or a private owner. Having a locked-in rate also protects you if interest rates rise before you close the car deal. The loan must be used within a set time, such as 30 days from the day the loan was approved.

If you already have a locked-in rate from another lender, having a pre-approved loan may help you get the dealer to knock down his rate to match. Dealers make approximately half of their money through financing for the autos they sell. Their interest rates are often higher than what you could get shopping for and getting a pre-approved loan on your own, depending on your credit rating. They can sell the loan back to a lending institution and receive a commission based on what you’re paying in interest and what the bank normally charges.

Using Home Equity for Pre-Approval

One way to get a pre-approved loan is to tap into your home equity to finance your auto purchase. The interest rate may be lower than that of other pre-approved loans, and the interest may be tax deductible.

If you’re considering accessing your home equity, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of doing so. The best loan option is always the one that best meets your individual needs.