You’ve made the decision, it’s time to buy and own a house! You realize you will need a down – payment, and additional funds for closing expenses, etc. You figure your credit is fine, because you’ve checked your credit score, and have often been accepted for credit cards, auto loans, etc. However, quite often, potential home buyers, fail to recognize and/ or realize, it is necessary to examine whether they qualify for a mortgage, because there are other factors, which go into consideration, in this application process. Items such as percentage of debt to income, amount of unused credit lines, etc, may have some impact. Therefore, it might make sense, for you to sit down, in advance, with a qualified, professional mortgage broker or banker, and ask to be pre – approved, and not merely pre – qualified. The difference is that everyone who might be qualified, may not, upon further review, be approved! Here are 6 preliminary steps/ points to look at.
1. Request and review a full copy of your credit report: Look closely for what it says on your credit report, and not merely at your credit score. Are there any mistakes, or questionable items, which may cause you difficulty? You are entitled to a free copy, once per year.
2. Check for accuracy and correct: Review this report clearly, fully and completely. Are there any inaccuracies, etc? Immediately, in writing, question and/ or ask for an explanation of anything you consider possibly negative, especially if it appears inaccurate.
3. Address negative and/ or questionable items: You might have had to contest something in the past, or never received an invoice, and it was turned over to collections, and even though, you thought you corrected it, and/ or cleared it up at the time, it might still be lingering on your credit report. Immediately, in writing, address anything which might, even appear, negative!
4. Reduce/ pay down debt: The less debt of any sort, the better you will qualify for your mortgage! Reduce or pay it down, and avoid taking out any additional debt or lines of credit, no matter how good a deal it seems. Don’t buy a new car and finance it, immediately before you seek a mortgage loan! Even interest – free offers for items, such as appliances, computers or furniture, might have a negative impact!
5. Save for down – payment, closing costs, fees: Know how much you will need for a down – payment, and closing costs, as well as any related fees. Create a reserve equal to at least six months mortgage payments. be prepared!
6. Do it yourself; or hire someone: You can undergo this, by yourself, or you can hire a mortgage banker or broker, to advise you, and help you prepare properly, to optimize your chances for getting the loan, you seek. But, do it!
Know your credit, the process, and how it might affect, you getting your mortgage! Don’t wait for the last moment!