As instructed, I go online, surrounded by a pile of tax returns, bank statements and retirement account reports, and fill out the application for pre-approval. It takes over two weeks to get a response, and it is a chirpy email from our loan rep, telling us to sign on the website for our results. Our credit scores are good news (but no surprise since I checked all three credit reporting agencies already), we're both over 800. We're golden.
Not golden, it turns out, but bronze. Maybe nickel. they've only approved us for $350K. On review, I realize that where the application asked for the price of the house we wished to buy, I guessed and said $350K, so that's all the approval we got. Sigh.
I send our loan rep an email, explaining the mix-up, ask her if we can go higher (also pointing out several errors in their credit reporting, read those babies carefully!). She replies the same day, and takes our loan up to $420K. That was easy.