Credit cards were first introduced to the public just over 40 years ago, in 1959. With the introduction of credit cards, consumers were given new choices in how to pay for costly purchases that they had previously had to save for and pay in cash. Using credit cards allowed people to purchase goods without having sufficient funds immediately on hand, and without reaching new terms every time they wanted to purchase on credit.
Whether you're looking for a first mortgage on a new home or a refinance on an existing loan, the interest rate you are offered will be based on the same factors; your income compared to your mortgage payment, the value of your property compared to the liabilities placed on it, and your credit report. The “Processing” of your loan is the preparation of all relative documents to verify, prove and package all information pertinent to these factors.
Many home buyers search for a home they want, then apply for a mortgage and hope for the best. A better approach is to find out how much mortgage you can qualify for, then look at homes that you know are within your price range.
You will probably save time, aggravation and money by having your lender tell you the size of mortgage you qualify for and the likelihood that you will be approved. Pre-qualification may also give you added bargaining power with the seller if he knows there will be no delays in closing the deal.