58 Klingner Rd, Redcliffe QLD 4020
(07) 3883 8999

How Long Does Home Loan Approval Take During COVID-19?

How Long Does Home Loan Approval Take During COVID-19?

The usual time of about 4-6 weeks it took for your home loan application to complete settlement is no longer valid !!  Turnaround times for getting your home loan application assessed are longer than usual, and lenders are constantly moving the goal post.

How long will it take for my home loan to get approved?

Some lenders are super slow but some are still fast with times varying significantly based on their remote working capabilities. A lot of major lenders are taking as much as 25-30 days just to look at your application (pre-approval), whereas, some have a quicker turnaround time of 2-4 business days.  In fact, this has seen a lot of lenders no longer offering full assessment on pre-approvals; however exceptions can be negotiated by your mortgage broker with the lenders.

Why is it taking so long?

The reasons for delays:

  • Lenders are processing many applications for repayment holidays. By May 2020, banks had approved as many as 429,000 mortgages.
  • Their offices are closed and they were not set up to work from home.
  • Many with processing in Manila have been unable to process loans at all due to strict lockdowns.

Many lenders have offshore call centres/processing in Manila (Philippines) or India.  There has been significant disruption there, and many lenders were not set up to work from home. So their processing time has blown out. Others are completely unaffected.

Many lenders were simply not well-positioned for doing business online and are having to adjust to working from home or remotely. This is quickly changing as lender processes are being updated to adapt to this post-COVID-19 environment. As is usual with big banks, the process will take time!

Tips for a fast home loan approval amidst COVID-19

#1  Get your documents in order

Around 80% of home loan approval delays are the result of missing documents!

  • For PAYG borrowers – the latest payslip no older than 14 days (this is to confirm your employment and that your income hasn’t been impacted by Covid-19)
  • For self-employed – your most recent BAS statements and business account statements (this is to confirm your business remains trading and no reduction in income)

The income verification document requirements vary by employment type and lender, so get in touch with your broker before submitting your application.

#2  COVID-19 tips for home loan approval

  • Due to coronavirus, lenders are taking longer than usual and there are frequent changes by the lender. Providing all the required documents on time will be effective.
  • Since lenders are prioritising purchases over refinances, if you have a property in mind get a blank copy of the contract of sale from the real estate to show the property address.
  • Contact your HR. Call them up and let them know that the bank will call to verify your employment. Lenders will also most likely ask for an employment letter – this is a new requirement of lenders arising due to COVID-19.
  • Stay in contact with your mortgage broker throughout the process. Lenders are constantly adjusting their lending policies and processes – flying by the seat of their pants as many brokers put it – so even minor issues can delay your application significantly. Having regular contact with your mortgage broker about the status of your application is recommended so that they can be dealt with as they arise.

What changes are lenders making?

Due to the lockdown and social distancing measures in place, face to face meetings for verifying customer identification or a physical valuation is not always feasible.  Interestingly, we’re seeing that almost every lender has introduced non face-to-face ID process lenders. Some have also tweaked their property valuation process relying more on desktop valuations and kerbside valuations.

Timeline of the home loan process amidst COVID-19

We estimate that a standard home loan application will take around 4-7 weeks from initial discussion, assessment through to completion of settlement. By being organised with your mortgage application documents and choosing the right lender, a quicker home loan approval is possible!

Step in the home loan process

Expected timeframe


1 day (Some lenders are taking as long as 6 days)

Time to prepare your application

1-3 days


2-4 days

Property Valuation

2 days (or 5- 7 days for a physical inspection as per the granting of access to the property)

Employment check/Verification

2 days

Formal Approval

5-7 days

Sign your loan documents electronically

1 -3 days


5-15 days

How long does it take to refinance a home?Typically, it would take you anywhere between 4- 6 weeks to refinance your home loan. But for a lot of people, it could take up to 6-8 weeks.

Do you have a refinance or home purchase in mind, contact Mick Doyle at Accountplan on 07 3883 8999 who can help guide you through your best options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *