Let’s see if I can answer your questions about getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan:
You do not pay a fee to a mortgage lender (OK, lets just say reputable mortgage lenders do not charge a fee) to become pre-qualified for a mortgage loan
You can get pre-qualified without making the formal loan application. There are expiration dates on the pre-qualification and loan application- one reason to hold off making your formal loan application if going to take a year or so. You can ask your mortgage lender about expiration times. However the pre-qual letters are easy to update. Mostly just the credit scores are run at pre-qual. However you do not want to be running your credit score all the time as it dings your credit score a bit.
The mortgage loan will probably be in both of your names (spouses or partners) and based on both of your credit scores, incomes and debts. Ask your lender what documents need to be rounded up for the pre-qualification process.
Ask your mortgage lender about any big purchases on the horizon. You might need to delay these purchases until after you have purchased a home. We are talking cars, furniture etc.
There are several types of loan available such as FHA with as little as 3.5% down and conventional where most buyers put 10-20% down. Ask your lender about down payment options. Also, we can discuss these options after the pre-qualification process.
Ask your mortgage lender to give you a good faith estimates (which will show all the numbers for closing a house) once they have gone through the pre-qualification process. Show the good faith estimate to your Realtor so she can sit down with both of you and go over them with you and talk about your housing expectations. If the lender refuses to give you a good faith estimate, in writing (or just delays giving you a good faith estimate), it is time to find another mortgage lender.
Do you need a reputable and dependable mortgage lender in Atlanta Georgia? I recommend Fairfield Associates
Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan is a great FIRST STEP in the home buying process.