by William Pirraglia
Your preapproval letter can be re-issued if it expires.
The validity of mortgage preapproval letters varies among lenders. Generally speaking, a preapproval letter is valid up to 90 days. Such letters can be valuable in a real estate transaction, as they indicate that the lender would probably approve your loan application, assuming your financial situation doesn't change for the worse during the three-month period.
Pre-Qualification vs. Preapproval
Pre-qualification represents the lender's unverified opinion of your eligibility for home loan approval based on income, assets and debt figures you report without documentation.
A pre-qualification letter only may be marginally helpful, because the issuing lender is under no obligation to approve your loan application.
Valid Preapproval Advantages
Negative changes to your income, assets, employment or debt situation render a mortgage preapproval letter invalid, regardless of its issuing date. Credit reports and employment verifications only have a 90-day shelf life for mortgage applications. For this reason, real estate agents and home sellers may ask you to provide a new letter if the letter you furnish with your sales contract is more than 90 days old.