Mortgage Basics

What's the Difference Between Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification?

What's the Difference Between Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification?
Written by
  • Gregory Saget-Rudd
| Apr 1, 2019
Reviewed, Jun 5, 2023

Table of contents

    If you are one of the 75% of Canadians who search online for a mortgage, you may have heard of pre-approvals and pre-qualifications. But what do these mean? Here is our best attempt at demystifying them for you. 🤯

    The Mindset 


    I am ready to move forward with the purchase of my house

    You are seriously thinking about buying and you want to look credible to the seller.


    I’m beginning the buying process

    You’re starting to get interested in buying a property and you want to get a rough idea of how much you can afford (in a short time frame).

    Are you a first-time buyer?

    Evaluate how much I can borrow


    Specific Amount

    It relies on the same proof and documents required for the final application.


    Approximate Amount

    It relies on the (unverified) information you have provided to us.

    Effort required



    You will need to answer several questions. You will also have a list of documents to provide us. The good news? These are the exact documents that will be required during the final application, why not start now?



    You can complete the entire process online in less than 5 minutes (start here).  

    Impacts on Credit Score



    We conduct a credit check by searching for your full credit file with Equifax. 



    Most brokers will not consider credit. nesto does a soft pull with TransUnion that does not affect your credit score 🙂.

    Get approval on your low rate today

    No big bank bias, just commission-free experts ready to help you.

    Risk of Error


    Very low

    Since your information is validated by your documents, the risk of error is low. Curious? Here’s 8 things to avoid when buying a house



    Since the pre-qualification does not rely on client-provided documents, there is always a risk that the loan amount may be inaccurate or the client may not qualify under the lender’s rules. (For example, we discover later on that you are under-probation at your new job).

    Does it mean I have to work with nesto?

    No. We believe that all of our clients deserve the best rates, and should have the opportunity to compare offers from different brokers / lenders.

    That’s why we do not sign an exclusive contract with our customers. We’re 100% free, no commitment, cost or obligation. 🌈

    Ready to get started?

    In just a few clicks, you can see our current rates. Then apply for your mortgage online in minutes!

    Text for an express quote