Pre-approval is a conditional credit decision made by a lender before a borrower submits a full application that typically checks their credit history, may verify their income, and can provide assurances they would be able to get a loan up to a certain amount. Sometimes, pre-approvals of Private Parent and Student Loans only last for 90 days or less. A pre-approval leads to a full application and an approval or denial. If approved, the borrower will be asked to sign a promissory note.