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The pre-qualification process is basically a practice run of the loan application process. A mortgage lender will use information you provide to enable them to estimate a mortgage amount you can afford. This information typically will include your credit, income, assets and debts you may have. This is a free service and is usually completed in a matter of minutes or just a few hours at most.

A pre-qualification or “pre-qual” as it is sometimes referred to is non-binding to the lender because it has not been verified; however, it does serve as an indicator to potential sellers of your overall credit worthiness.

It is common practice in most real estate markets for sellers to request a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter be included with offers being submitted on their property.