Going in to make an offer on a home with the confidence that you WILL get an approval means you don’t have to worry about whether or not you qualify for the mortgage. Many homebuyers think that because their lender has told them they are pre-approved for a mortgage of up to a certain amount, they think they have been approved. That is not correct. A pre-approval simply means that given your income, you can support a mortgage of up to a certain amount. There is no guarantee that an approval will be forth-coming. A pre-qualification goes several steps further. It is a pre-approval that tells you what amount you will qualify for, but it has the added bonus of already being reviewed by the lender, who has verified your documentation and issued a commitment.
When thinking about buying a home be sure to have your pre-qualification completed first! Please note: some may use these two terms interchangeably. Please ensure that you clarify the intended meanings in your specific situation for your own purposes.