Last Updated: 22nd March, 2024

Standard Home Loan Approval Period

Buying a property can be a life-changing experience, but applying for a home loan to secure that property can be daunting if you’re new to the process.

Getting a home loan takes about 4-6 weeks, from application submission to settlement. This, of course, could vary depending on the complexity of your loan or the type of lender you are applying with.

To ensure your home loan gets approved without delays, you must first make yourself aware of the various phases in the home loan application process. Then, you can look into what you can do to speed up the process.

How Long Does It Take To Get Home Loan Approval?

Application ProcessHow Many Days Does It Take
Pre-approval1-3 business days
Application4-7 business days
Property Valuation5-7 business days
LMI (if applicable)1-2 business days
Unconditional approval and settlement4-6 weeks

Please note that this is a general guideline. Lenders can take more or less time, based on the complexity of the application and the information required.

12 Steps To Home Loan Approval And Beyond

Your Step-By-Step Roadmap From Applying For A Home Loan To Finally Moving In

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Steps In Home Loan Application Process

1. Filing An Application

The first step is to file an application for your home loan with a lender of your choice. Whether you’re a single applicant or applying with someone else, it typically takes about 1-2 hours to fill out an application form. If you apply with a lender through a mortgage broker, the process can be quicker and easier.
Depending on the complexity of your loan, the turnover time for your application will be either 1-3 days or 4-7 days.

3-Day Turnaround

A 3-day turnaround time is applicable for employed individuals who can provide at least two payslips and a group certificate to prove their income.

The lender has to be convinced that your debt-to-income ratio is not too high and that you can afford the loan amount. After the credit department processes your application, the lender may either come back with approval or decline your application, in 3 days.

7-Day Turnaround

The more complex your situation or the higher the risk associated with your mortgage application, the longer the lenders will take to process your application. A 7-day turnaround period is reserved for complex situations, and this turnover period can extend depending on your case.

Generally speaking, this applies to the following situations:

2. Getting A Pre-approval

As someone looking to get a home loan as soon as possible, you should go for a pre-approval. A pre-approval gives you the confidence to go looking for a property mid-application. Knowing how much loan you have been approved for helps you set a budget.

But you must be aware of time constraints. You must find a property within 90 days of the issuance of pre-approval or it will expire. If you want to settle your home loan within a month, then you have about 10 to 12 days from applying for the home loan to find a property.

3. Applying For Valuation

Once you find a property, you must apply for a valuation with the lender.

If you’re borrowing at 80%, some lenders will just go off the contract of sale and give you a formal approval.
Some will conduct a kerbside valuation, just to confirm that there is a property located at the address provided.

In this case, you could potentially hear back from the bank with your formal approval the next day.

If a full valuation is required, it could take as long as 5-7 business days, depending on how quickly the vendor or real-estate agent allows access to the property.

4. Getting A Formal Approval To Settlement

Once a valuation has been undertaken and you’ve been formally approved, you can sign the contract of sale, with help from your conveyancer.

At this stage, you should negotiate the settlement date.

The time between getting formal approval and signing the contract of sale will come down to how organised you and the vendor are. Typically, the vendor’s conveyancer will send the contract of sale to your conveyancer and you’ll then organise a date to have a meeting to discuss the terms. Expect this to take 1-2 days so you’re not rushing into the sale.

Meanwhile, the bank will prepare the loan offer documents for you to sign.

This can take anywhere from 2-7 days! During this time, the lender may ask for additional or updated documents, so be prepared.

It’s important to sign and return the loan contract as soon as possible.

You can find more useful information about buying a property on the Home Buying Process page.

What Is Conditional Vs Unconditional Approval?

Pre-approval and conditional approval are similar but not exactly the same.

A pre-approval means a lender is willing to let you borrow the money but you need to find a suitable property. If the property is not accepted by the lender, you will not be approved for the mortgage.

A conditional approval means there are some conditions the borrower needs you to meet before the lender is confident to move your application forward. For example, the borrower might need to close out a credit card or work more hours to get approved.

An unconditional approval is a formal approval. As the name implies, there are no conditions you need to meet. The lender is ready to move your application forward to settlement.

You can visit our page on conditional vs unconditional home loan approval for more information.

How Can I Speed Up The Home Loan Approval Process?

Below are steps you can take to speed up your home loan process, so you get a fast home loan approval.

Apply With The Right Lender

Some lenders over-promise and under-deliver when it comes to turnaround times.

A bank trying to win over a customer has a strong incentive to guarantee approval before a certain date, even if it is unrealistic. This is particularly true for low-cost lenders or banks that are advertising an interest rate that is way below the rest of the market.

We can find the right lender for you from our extensive panel, so you don’t get stuck with a bad one.

Avoid Getting Missing Information Requests

Around 80% of home loan approval delays result from missing documents.

By providing up-to-date mortgage documents with your application, all in one go, you can drastically reduce the time taken to reach home loan approval.

The most important documents to be sent include: