Canadians who are ready to begin house hunting and who have found a REALTOR® with whom they click may have been given the sage advice to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

Some purchasers, however, might confuse pre-approval with actually being approved. Pre-approval usually entails receiving some acknowledgement from a lending institution regarding what a buyer may be approved for when it comes to a mortgage.

If you find you have been denied a loan by a lender that pre-approved you, here are five reasons why that might be the case:

The appraisal didnt meet expectations. A formal appraisal will need to be done on the property you’ve chosen. A common reason a mortgage isn’t approved is because the appraisal on the property came in low. If the appraisal came in lower than your purchase price, a lender will be hesitant to grant a mortgage on that property.

Job security. If you changed jobs shortly after your pre-approval, a lender may not be overly positive about giving you final approval for a mortgage since something may go wrong with your new position. Before giving a pre-approval, a lender will want to know everything about your work history: What you do, how long you’ve been at the job, how much you earn, etc. It might be wise to stay put career-wise until you’re in your new home.

New, outstanding loans. A word of advice: When you’re trying to secure a mortgage and you have a pre-approval letter in your hand, don’t go out and buy a new car or get a new line of credit or run up credit cards. It’s not in your best interests and lenders have been known to deny mortgages if buyers have increased their debt loads after being pre-approved.

Substantial credit score drops. Lenders take credit scores very seriously and it is one of the most important benchmarks when approving or denying someone’s mortgage. Your credit score can take a hit for various reasons such as missing bill payments, or maxing out your credit card. It’s important to keep your credit history clean while trying to secure a mortgage.

Loan benchmarks may have changed. There are times when things are just out of a purchaser’s hands completely. A lending institution may have changed its criteria to meet the terms of a loan. Those changes may affect a purchaser’s approval, even if the person was pre-approved. For instance, the lender may have upped the minimum credit score required for qualification and the purchaser didn’t meet those requirements.