The letter issued by a lender stating that a buyer is "pre-approved" for a particular loan amount and purchase price. To get a pre-approval letter, you need to submit some basic documentation of your financial situation. Contrast this with a "pre-qualified" letter, which only requires your self-reporting. Needless to say, a "pre-qualified" letter isn't given very much weight by a seller. If you are a serious buyer, you should have a pre-approval letter that accompanies your offer.