Home loans

How long does the pre-approval process take and what should I expect?

3 min read

Home loans

How long does the pre-approval process take and what should I expect?

3 min read

If you’re shopping around for a house, obtaining pre-approval for a home loan can be an important step. It can help you focus your property search as it gives you a clear idea of what you’re likely able to afford allowing you to negotiate with more certainty and bid with more confidence at auctions.

How long does the process take?

You may be able to complete your pre-approval application online. In this case, you should receive an outcome — whether the application is successful or not — within a couple of business days. In some cases, customers receive their answer on the same day.

To guarantee the fastest possible turnaround time, you should ensure that all information provided is as accurate as possible. You should take note of the required documentation and make sure that it’s all provided. This could include things like:

  • proof of identification,
  • recent payslips,
  • account statements, and
  • credit card statements.

Why seek a home loan pre-approval?

A pre-approval could help you understand how much you could borrow and help with planning your budget. It may also assist you in negotiating a position with the vendor and real estate agents as it can show you are serious about making an offer which can then be ‘subject to finance’.

What does pre-approval mean?

Different lenders use different terms, but it is an enquiry to establish your financial position and an indication only (not a guarantee) from the bank as to how much you may be able to borrow.

At Suncorp Bank, we refer to this as the pre-approval stage which is subject to conditional approval and then final approval. 

Does pre-approval mean I have finance approval?

No. Pre-approval is the first stage in the home loan process and does not mean that you have been formally approved for a home loan. For a conditional approval, your application will still go through further assessment by the bank as it is still subject to some conditions. You can find these conditions on your pre-approval letter under Approval and Special Conditions.

How does Suncorp Bank assess a pre-approval?

We assess a pre-approval loan based on the information provided with your original application together with credit information about you from a Credit Reporting Body. We use the information we collect to determine your ability to repay a new loan based on your current circumstances. But even after that check, your application is still subjected to meeting other conditions.

What happens after pre-approval?

Once you have found a property and your offer has been accepted, you are ready for your home loan to be assessed for conditional approval. Usually, the following things need to happen:

  • Contract of sale (fully executed in all states outside of NSW & ACT) - We need a copy of the purchase contract for your new property.
  • We'll need to make sure there are no changes from your original application including no changes to 
  • your financial situation. 
  • Valuation of the property - we may need to inspect the property you’d like to purchase. Access to the property is usually arranged with the Real Estate Agent. 
  • Insurance for the property - we need to make sure your new property is insured before we can settle.

There are a few other things that you might need to consider or conditions you need to satisfy, and we recommend you contact your Suncorp Bank Lender or Broker on next steps.

Does this pre-approval expire?

Yes, this pre-approval will expire after 90 days from the date of issue. For example, if we don’t locate a property in this period or receive supporting documents on your circumstances change, a new application may be required.

What if our final loan is not approved?

Pre-approval does not guarantee you will get a home loan. There are many things that may result in your home loan application being declined, even if you previously received a pre-approval, for example: 

  • the property value does not meet the bank’s requirements, 
  • the property may not be of an acceptable type to the bank, or
  • the information provided in your loan application may differ to the actual supporting documents or there may be a change in your circumstances that impacts your financial position. 

If this does happen, please contact your Broker or Suncorp Bank Lender for further information.

If you’d like more information about the application and pre-approval process, feel free to send us an enquiry. You can also book an appointment with a Suncorp Bank Mobile Lender, if you’d prefer to discuss the process in person at a time and place that suits you.

What’s next?

If you’ve been successful in obtaining pre-approval for a loan, you should have a clearer idea of whether you can afford that house you’ve been dreaming of.



Talk to a home loan expert


Published 11 March 2024

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The information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.

Home Loans are provided by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No. 229882 Australian Credit Licence 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”) to approved applicants only. Please read the relevant Product Information Document, Lending Fees and Charges and Home Package Plus Terms and Conditions before making a decision regarding any Suncorp Bank products. Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply and are available on request or on our Product Information Documents and Forms page.