Yes you can apply for your loan on line with many lenders. Some Lenders will give a pre-qualification letter and some a pre-approval letter. Most Sellers or REO bank owned properties require a pre-approval letter and do want to know that credit has been check. I know that Wells Fargo and it's affiliates have an online process. A full pre-approval requires you supplying W2's and paystubs and the lender sending it to underwriting. Different loans-different requirements.
Applying online is great way to get started on your home search. I do encourage you to speak with a mortgage broker directly. Choose someone in the area you wish to purchase. If you need help finding one and you have a professional Realtor they should be able to suggest someone. Local lenders have an insight into the area, just as Realtors do.
When applying online, make sure the on-line lender has a local branch. If a problem or question arises, you want to be able to speak to a real person. Some lenders attend their buyer's closing, an additional safety measure to handle any last minute questions or issues that might come up.
Good luck! If you are looking to interview professional Realtors, give me a call or email me directly.
Broker Associate GRI, CDM
Prudential Tropical Realty
Thomas, that's great info you shared, but she could be a 800 fico borrower with 20% down. Maybe she doesn't want FHA or need cancelled checks. Either way, most borrowers do not know how to calculate DTI, so it could be slighlty confusing. That said, it sounds like you have some great FHA options. I haven't seen a no-score FHA lender for purchases in a while...only streamline refinances.
Julie, why do you ask?
What I call a Pre-approval is different than what others may call a pre-approval.
You can do an application online, just as Luke mentioned. The loan officer can do the electronic underwriting.
I usually call this a Pre-qualification. Again, everybody's different.
I usually don't issue a Pre-approval letter unless I've seen the documentation that supports the figures on the application.
It just depends how much information is shared. The more information given, the more confident you'll be on making an offer.
Please call me with any questions at 727-502-9400 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope this helps,
Good luck with your purchase
However, some lenders may have to send the loan file to an underwriter to get an approval - everyone is different.
If you need help with an approval and want to get one right away, you are more than welcome to contact me.
Bank of America Home Loans