How Long Does It Take to Get a Mortgage Approved: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re considering getting a mortgage, you may be wondering how long the approval process takes. Understanding the timeline is crucial for planning and managing your expectations. In this article, we will provide you with valuable insights into the mortgage approval process, factors that affect the timeline, common delays, and frequently asked questions. So, let’s dive in and explore how long it really takes to get a mortgage approved.

Factors Affecting Mortgage Approval Time

Before we delve into the timeline, let’s understand the factors that can influence how long it takes to get your mortgage approved. These factors include:

1. Credit Score and Financial History

Lenders carefully evaluate your credit score and financial history to assess your borrowing risk. If you have a high credit score and a clean financial record, the approval process may be smoother and faster. However, if your credit score is low or you have negative marks on your financial history, it may take longer to get approved. Lenders may require additional documentation or ask for explanations regarding past issues.

2. Employment and Income Stability

Lenders want to ensure that you have a stable source of income to repay your mortgage. If you have a consistent employment history and reliable income, it can expedite the approval process. However, if you recently changed jobs or have gaps in employment, lenders may require more information to verify your income stability, which can prolong the approval timeline.

3. Loan Amount and Down Payment

The loan amount and down payment can also impact the approval time. If you’re applying for a larger loan or have a smaller down payment, lenders may need to conduct more thorough assessments. They may require additional appraisals, inspections, or underwriting to ensure the property’s value aligns with the loan amount.

4. Property Appraisal and Inspection

Property appraisal and inspection are crucial steps in the mortgage approval process. Lenders want to verify the property’s value and ensure it meets their lending criteria. Delays can occur if there are discrepancies between the appraised value and the loan amount, or if the property requires repairs or further inspections.

Typical Timeline for Mortgage Approval

Now that we understand the factors that influence the approval time, let’s explore the typical timeline for getting a mortgage approved. Keep in mind that these timelines can vary depending on various circumstances, but they provide a general overview of the process.

1. Pre-Approval Stage

Before starting the formal application process, many homebuyers opt to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This step involves submitting your financial information to a lender who will assess your eligibility for a loan. Pre-approval can typically be obtained within a few days to a week, depending on the lender’s workload.

2. Application Submission and Document Gathering

Once you’ve found your dream home and decided on a lender, you’ll need to complete the formal application process. This involves submitting your application, along with the necessary supporting documents, such as pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns. The time taken to gather and submit these documents can vary, but it usually ranges from a few days to a couple of weeks.

3. Underwriting Process

Once your application and documents are submitted, the lender will initiate the underwriting process. During this stage, the lender thoroughly reviews your financial information, assesses the property, and verifies all the necessary details. The underwriting process typically takes two to four weeks, but it can be longer if there are complexities or delays in document verification.

4. Loan Closing and Funding

After the underwriting process, if your mortgage application is approved, you move on to the loan closing and funding stage. This involves signing the necessary paperwork and transferring the funds to complete the purchase of your home. The closing process usually takes around 30 to 45 days, but it can vary based on the complexity of the transaction, the lender’s workload, and other external factors.

Common Delays in Mortgage Approval

While the timeline we discussed earlier provides a general overview, it’s important to be aware of potential delays that can occur during the mortgage approval process. Here are some common factors that may prolong the approval timeline:

1. Incomplete or Inaccurate Documentation

One of the most common causes of delays is incomplete or inaccurate documentation. Make sure to double-check all the required documents and ensure they are accurate and up-to-date. Missing or incorrect information can significantly slow down the approval process as lenders may request additional documentation or clarification.

2. Low Credit Score or Negative Financial History

If you have a low credit score or negative marks on your financial history, lenders may require more time to assess your application. They may need to conduct further investigations or request additional documentation to evaluate your creditworthiness and assess the associated risks.

3. Employment Changes or Gaps in Employment

Lenders prefer borrowers with stable employment and income history. If you recently changed jobs or have gaps in your employment, it may raise concerns for the lender. They may require further verification or explanations, which can add time to the approval process.

4. Property Issues or Appraisal Discrepancies

Property-related issues can also lead to delays in mortgage approval. If the property requires repairs or further inspections, it can prolong the process. Additionally, if there are discrepancies between the appraised value and the loan amount, lenders may need to reassess the loan terms, which can cause delays.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it usually take to get a mortgage approved?

The timeline for mortgage approval can vary depending on various factors, but on average, it takes around 30 to 45 days from application submission to loan closing. However, it’s important to note that individual circumstances can influence this timeline.

What can cause delays in mortgage approval?

Delays in mortgage approval can occur due to incomplete or inaccurate documentation, low credit scores, employment changes, property issues, or appraisal discrepancies. Being proactive and ensuring all required documents are in order can help minimize potential delays.

Can I speed up the mortgage approval process?

While some aspects of the approval process are beyond your control, there are steps you can take to expedite the process. These include promptly providing all requested documents, maintaining open communication with your lender, and addressing any concerns or requests for clarification promptly.

Are there any ways to improve my chances of getting approved quickly?

Yes, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting approved quickly. These include maintaining a good credit score, organizing your financial documents in advance, and choosing a reliable and experienced lender who can guide you through the process efficiently.

What happens if my mortgage approval is denied?

If your mortgage approval is denied, don’t lose hope. Take the time to understand the reasons behind the denial, address any issues, and work on improving your financial situation. You can also seek guidance from a mortgage professional who can provide valuable insights and help you explore alternative options.

Can I get a mortgage approved faster if I have a good credit score?

Having a good credit score can positively impact the approval timeline. Lenders often prioritize borrowers with higher credit scores as they are considered less risky. A good credit score can potentially result in a smoother and faster approval process.


Getting a mortgage approved is an exciting but time-consuming process. By understanding the factors that influence the timeline and being proactive in providing accurate documentation, you can help expedite the approval process. Remember, each mortgage application is unique, and while the average timeline is around 30 to 45 days, it can vary based on individual circumstances. Stay organized, communicate effectively with your lender, and be patient. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to owning your dream home.

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