Understanding the home loan approval process

Understanding the finance approval process can help make applying for a home loan less confusing. From conditional approval to unconditional approval, we break down the stages for you – when to apply, what’s involved and what you need to do.

Conditional approval (before you buy)

Before you start your property search, it’s worth getting conditional approval for a home loan. It’s a letter from your lender that indicates how much they’re likely to let you borrow. It’s based on a few things, like review of your financial details, goals and requirements.

Reasons to get conditional approval

It gives you a clear idea of what properties you could realistically afford. It also puts you in a strong position when you make an offer, as it shows the seller and real estate agent that you’re a serious buyer. If you’re thinking about purchasing a property at auction, then it’s wise to get conditional approval before making a bid.

How to apply for conditional approval

A Home Finance Manager or Broker can help you through the process.

Things to have ready:

  • Your ID (if you’re new to Bankwest)
  • An idea of your expenses, assets and liabilities
  • Evidence of your income, like payslips, tax returns or bank statements.

Unconditional approval (after you’ve made an offer)

Unconditional approval (also known as full loan approval) happens after your offer on a property has been accepted. You usually sign a contract ‘subject to finance’ when you make an offer, so after that, you can apply for unconditional approval.

How to apply for unconditional approval

You need to get in touch with a Home Finance Manager or Broker and provide a copy of the signed contract of sale. From there, they’ll organise the rest of your application and let you know if any documents are missing. They’ll also help you select a suitable home loan product that’s right for you.

After you apply

Your application will be assessed, and then the bank will carry out a valuation on the property. This can take a week or two, depending on your situation and the settlement period.

Tracking your application

Your Home Finance Manager or Broker will keep you up to date, but you can also track your application and receive email notifications for key milestones with our Home Loan Application Tracker.

After your loan has been approved

Once your home loan has been unconditionally approved, the bank will send your contract documents to you and you’ll need to read, sign and return them. The bank will then verify the contract documents and settlement will be booked.

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Things you should know

The information contained in this article is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice. Also to the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL / Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accept no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this article.