Home Loan Process [Step-by-step guide]

There’s more to it than you think
  • 60%

    Market average loan approval rate

    Approximately 40% of home loan applications were rejected in December 2018 based on a survey of 52,000 households completed by 'DigitalFinance Analytics DFA'. In 2017 to 2018 Hunter Galloway submitted 342 home loan applications and had 8 applications rejected, giving a 2.33% rejection rate.
  • 97%
    our loan Approval rate
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Today I’m going to show you the EXACT home loan process and how long it takes to get your mortgage approved.


In fact, we’ve used this exact process to help over 113 people in the past 12 months get their home loan unconditionally approved.

best home loan brisbane

Let’s dive right in

home loan approval process flowchart


Step #1: Chat with a Mortgage Broker 

🕐 1 hour

Home Loan Process - Step 1

Let’s face it:

If you work full time, you’re spending most of your waking hours at work.

And if you aren’t at work, you might try to squeeze in a few minutes for exercise and catch ups with friends.

…Oh, and remember to eat, pay your bills on time and plan your next holiday!

A Mortgage Broker can help you save hours in searching for the right home loan option, at Hunter Galloway we have access to over 30 lenders. We can find the lender that matches your deposit and borrowing requirements.

Best of all our services are free as we are paid by the bank.

First contact

In your initial conversation with your Mortgage Broker, you will have a chat about your situation, what you are wanting to achieve and reasons for getting a home loan.

During this discussion, we’ll work out your eligibility for a home loan, let you know how much deposit you will need to buy and how much you will be able to borrow across our 30+ banks.

Mortgage Home Loan Application

We’ll catch up with you to understand your needs and find the home loan that best suits you.

Eligibility Assessment

The first step in the home loan application process is doing an eligibility assessment.

Our Mortgage Brokers at Hunter Galloway will set up a meeting and assess your current financial situation to find out if you meet the eligibility criteria.

We will also discuss your objectives and requirements to find out the best solution for you.

If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to continue, you’ll then fill out an application form and submit it along with the bank statement, pay slips, and ID. Providing a complete set of documents will speed up the application process.

You are required to provide a following list of documents during the application process:

  • ✅ ID documents (passport, driver’s license)
  • ✅ Payslips (salary statements)
  • ✅ Bank account statements (day to day account)
  • ✅ Expenses and liabilities accounts (credit card, or loan statements)
  • ✅ Contract of sale (if you’ve found something to buy)

Read More: 16 [easy] tips to Find the Best Mortgage Broker in Brisbane  


Would you like to learn about your situation?
Check if you qualify for a loan


Step #2: Time to prepare your application

🕐 1-3 days

Home Loan Process - Step 2

OK, so you’ve met with your Mortgage Broker.

Now we’ll put into action the items you discussed when you caught up with your Mortgage Broker including putting together your home loan application and getting it ready to submit to the bank.

To do this, we’ll complete a preliminary assessment where we will take time to go through your payslips, bank statements and other information provided in detail to make sure everything will be acceptable to the bank

Preliminary Assessment

The next step is the preliminary assessment. Under this step, a detailed evaluation is done to identify any issues with your application from the bank, or lender’s perspective.

We take time to calculate your borrowing capacity for that particular bank. After your Mortgage Broker figures out everything, we will try to find a lender who can offer the best loan packages at the lowest interest rate.

This gives you an option to choose the right package for you.

mortgage broker brisbane

Your Mortgage Broker will run through their panel of lenders, at Hunter Galloway we have access to over 30 banks and lenders to give you more choice and options.

Choosing the Product

After selecting your desired product, the next step in the home loan application process is to provide you with the final set of documents (like the bank application form) and sign a privacy form.

Once the broker collects all the documents, they are emailed to the lender.

What can cause delays at this stage:

  • ⛔️ Additional supporting documents required
  • ⛔️ Missing paperwork, or delays in returning forms

At Hunter Galloway, we believe ‘slow is fast’ so we take more up front to double check your paperwork to ensure your loan is approved first time by the bank.

If you want our team of Award Winning Mortgage Brokers to see how we can help, get in touch or give us a call on 1300 088 065.

Read More: 10 [simple] Tips for Choosing the Best Home Loan in Brisbane


Step #3: Conditional approval “loan approved in principle”

🕐 3-5 days

Home Loan Process - Step 3

Now it’s time to sit back and wait for the bank to assess your home loan application.

It usually takes between 3 to 5 days for your home loan application to progress through the queue, be picked up by a credit officer and then receive conditional approval.

It will take longer if the information is missing, so this is why we take a little bit more time in Step #2 to make sure we have all the information up front.

Pre-approval and Conditional Approval

Pre-approval is not the same as an unconditional approval (which we cover in Step #5).

Once the lender receives your application and supporting documents, they’ll evaluate it to confirm if it is in line with their policy.

The approval of an application depends on certain conditions; for example, the bank can approve your loan subject to you finding a suitable property, or even subject to a satisfactory property valuation (Step #4).


A pre-approval is usually approved subject to lots of conditions which can be sorted out later once you find a property.

Our Mortgage Brokers can also help you get a pre-approval on your loan if you haven’t found the right property yet.

How long does pre-approval take?

Once your Mortgage Broker has received your application, signed application forms and submitted everything to the lender it can take between three to five days to complete your pre-approval. If there is missing information, it can take longer.

What can cause delays at this stage:

  • ⛔️ Banks with slow turnaround times
  • ⛔️ Lenders who have special offers and higher than normal home loan volume
  • ⛔️ Missing Supporting Documents
  • ⛔️ Incorrectly completed forms

At Hunter Galloway we have ‘Priority Status’ with a large number of banks on our panel, this provides our customers with faster approval times and access to specials that aren’t available to the public.

See how we can help you by contacting our team or calling 1300 088 065.

Read More: How Reliable is your Pre-Approval?



Step #4: We will arrange a Property Valuation 

🕐 1-2 days

Home Loan Process - Step 4

After you find the right property and sign a contract of sale your Mortgage Broker will arrange a property valuation by one of the bank’s panel valuers.

While the valuers work on behalf of the bank, they are not employed directly by the bank meaning they can complete a valuation independent from the bank.

The valuer will need to physically visit the property, so one thing that can cause delays at this stage is if your property has tenants living there.

bank valuation as if complete construction

This is an example of a bank valuation, completed by an independent valuer.

In Queensland, you need to give your tenants 24 hours’ notice before getting entry to a rental property, so just keep this in mind to keep your home loan application progressing quickly!

We can arrange valuations up front before your loan is submitted to help speed up your loan application so we can skip this step completely and go straight to unconditional approval.

How long does a property valuation take?

A property valuation can be arranged upfront to speed up the process and provided the independent valuer can get access to the property it takes between one to two days to complete.

Electronic Valuations

A positive change that has come about in the past 12 months is that if you have more than a 20% deposit a lot of the banks do not require you to get a physical property valuation.

Banks like CBA NAB and ANZ will use electronic valuation services like RP Data to confirm your property’s value!

This can speed your home loan approval up by 1-2 days! Winning.

What can cause delays at this stage:

  • ⛔️ Slow property managers, and tenants delaying valuers access to the property.
  • ⛔️ Contracts of sale that are incomplete, or missing information.
  • ⛔️ Property valuation coming in at a reduced value
  • ⛔️ Not ordering a valuation upfront

At Hunter Galloway we have access to upfront valuations through the majority of our lenders, so we know if there are going to be problems with the banks valuation before submitting your loan application.

If you have had issues with your bank valuation, call our team to discuss your options on 1300 088 065 or get in touch now.

Read More: How to Challenge a Bank Valuation


Step #5: Unconditional approval… Also called formal approval

🕐 3-5 days

Home Loan Process - Step 5

When it comes to a final home loan approval, it’s usually called one of two things:

Option #1: Unconditional Approval.

Option #2: Formal Approval.

The good news is that they both mean the same thing…

Unconditional Approval

Lenders give an unconditional approval once you have met all of the conditions and are satisfied that you qualify for it.

In other words, your loan is approved without any further conditions!

If you have a loan of over 80 per cent LVR, you will have to pay lender’s mortgage insurance and also need to get your loan approved by them.

You want to make sure you have your unconditional approval before satisfying the finance clause on your contract.


A formally approved loan (unconditional approval) is not subject to any further approval conditions.

How long does loan approval take?

Formal unconditional approval can only be done once the bank has verified all of your outstanding information, including the property valuation and can take between one day up to one week to complete.

What can cause delays at this stage:

  • ⛔️ Home Loan being declined by the lender and needing to be sent to a new bank.
  • ⛔️ Lenders Mortgage Insurers not accepting the property as suitable security

At Hunter Galloway we have access to 30+ lenders and banks across Australia, our Mortgage Brokers have a dedicated team of Credit Analysts to make sure we can find the right deal for you.

If you have had your home loan declined, give us a call on 1300 088 065 to discuss your options or book a free assessment now.

Read More: Loan declined after Pre-approval | 26 Techniques to get Unconditional Approval


Step #6: Sign your loan documents

🕐 1-3 days

Home Loan Process - Step 6

Here’s the deal:

If you want to get to settlement, you need to sign a few more documents.

Question is:


After your loan has been unconditionally approved the bank will send your loan documents to you to sign.

These documents can be a little complicated and include Loan Contracts, Mortgage Documents, Direct Debit forms, and a bunch of other stuff.

The good news is that your Mortgage Broker will arrange a time to catch up and help you sign them.

(This also makes sure no signatures are missed, and your settlement isn’t delayed)

If you are buying a home, you also want to get in touch with your solicitor or conveyancer at this point to double check there aren’t any transfer or legal documents you need to sign before settlement.

What can cause delays at this stage:

  • ⛔️ Loan documents incomplete
  • ⛔️ Mortgage contracts incorrectly signed

At Hunter Galloway, we catch up with all of our clients to sign the loan documents. The majority of banks we work with allow us to print the loan documents in our office, so we check there is nothing missing before sending them back to the bank. Call us on 1300 088 065 or enquire online to see how we can help you to settlement.

Read More: 5 Simple Steps to Settlement



Step #7: Settlement!

🕐 5-15 days

Home Loan Process - Step 7

This step is the most exciting part of all.

…And if you are buying a home this is possibly the busiest part the entire home loan process.

Loan documents are received by the bank

After your loan documents have been received by the bank, they will complete their certification to confirm everything has been signed correctly and go ahead with booking settlement.

In other words:

The bank dots the I’s and crosses the T’s.

When you are buying a home, the bank will then get in touch with your solicitor, or conveyancer to let them know everything is good to go.

Your solicitor or conveyancer will then arrange the settlement date.

On the other hand, if you are refinancing a home your new bank will get in touch with the old bank to arrange a date for settlement.

When you are buying a new home

If you are buying a home, it is worth checking out our pre-settlement checklist.

During this busy time its easy to forget to set up your mail redirection, get your internet changed or power connected before your actual settlement date!

(Yes, we’ve seen it happen)

Once all that is done…

You can sit back and wait for settlement.

The bank or your solicitor will take over from here so you can chill and wait to hear from your Mortgage Broker who will confirm the exact date of settlement.

The settlement will go through when your loan has been drawn down, and your Mortgage Broker will let you know as soon as the lender tells us.

Congratulations you’ve made it through the entire home loan process!

time to celebrate

Read More: After Settlement, 7 Ways of Creating Home Equity [Faster]


Step #8: Two weeks after settlement

Home Loan Process - Step 8

Once your loan has settled, and all set up we’ll keep in touch to make sure your automatic loan repayments (also known as direct debits) are correct.

At this stage, we’ll also find out if you have any dramas with internet banking, or offset accounts and make sure they are working how they should.


Step #9: Annual review

Home Loan Process - Step 9

At Hunter Galloway we keep in touch with our clients each year on the anniversary of your settlement, to check you haven’t run into any dramas, review your loan and make sure everything is fine.

Ongoing Support

At Hunter Galloway, we provide ongoing support to our customers long after the settlement of a loan.

We will monitor the value of your property, discuss any issues you might have had with the lender, provide guidance to fix the loan rate (or switch to a different home loan product), review your interest rates, and also help in changing the frequency of repayments.

Read More: Pay Off Your 30 year Home Loan 6 Years Faster 🎉 [10 Easy Tips]


How long does a home loan application take?

After your Mortgage Broker has received your application and submitted it to a lender it can take between one hour to one week for the bank to complete your pre-approval. Your property valuation can take one day to one week, as well as the unconditional approval.


Speak to your Mortgage Broker team today

If you are looking for the best home loan or wanting to buy a home or refinance speak with one of our experienced mortgage brokers to walk through the next steps with you.

Mortgage Broker Brisbane

The Hunter Galloway Mortgage Broker Brisbane team is here to help. We have a team of home loan experts.

At Hunter Galloway we help clients get The best Home Loans in this competitive market, we give you the actual strategies that have helped other home buyers like you secure a property when there have been 5 other offers on the table! Enquire online or give us a call on 1300 088 065.

Ready to take the next step toward buying? We’re happy to help. Schedule a call today with a Home Loan Expert from Hunter Galloway, the home of home buyers.

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Why Choose Hunter Galloway As Your Mortgage Broker?
Mortgage Broker of the Year
in 2017, 2018 and 2019
The highest rated and most reviewed
Mortgage Broker in Brisbane on Google
One of the lowest rejection rates

across Mortgage Brokers in Australia

Approximately 40% of home loan applications were rejected in December 2018 based on a survey of 52,000 households completed by 'DigitalFinance Analytics DFA'. In 2017 to 2018 Hunter Galloway submitted 342 home loan applications and had 8 applications rejected, giving a 2.33% rejection rate.
We have direct access to 30+ banks
and lenders across Australia
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