Determining how much you can afford before you begin your home search will save you valuable time.
I can help you locate a lender who will assist you in finding a financing package that will best meet your needs. But there are a few steps you should consider beforehand to make the process as smooth as possible:
You are entitled to one free request each year from each of the three credit bureaus. The best way to do this is to go online to AnnualCreditReport.com. It’s important to check your credit report before you see your lender because:
- Lenders check this to determine the amount of loan you qualify for
- It allows you to correct any mistakes in the report before lenders see it
- If there are any blemishes in your report that are not errors, you should be prepared to explain them to your lender
You may want to check your credit score at the same time you check your credit report (usually for a fee). This score influences how much lenders are willing to loan to you and at what interest rate.
Most lenders will give better financing terms to borrowers that can put a 20 percent down payment on the purchase. If you are unable to do so, you will likely be required to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and perhaps pay a higher interest rate.
A letter of preapproval from a lender shows that they have checked all your documentation and are prepared to make you a loan. Getting preapproved prior to starting your home search saves you time by:
- Keeping you focused on viewing only the homes that are within your budget
- Helping you obtain your financing more quickly once you find a house you want to buy