Why Credit is Your Secret Weapon in Getting a Mortgage

Do you know how important your credit is in obtaining a mortgage? It is the secret weapon that will put you at the top of the lender’s list to approve your mortgage. But you have to do some work to ensure that your credit is ready to take on a mortgage. Before you start the house-hunting process you need to have your “Credit House” in order.    

 

There are three critical aspects of obtaining a mortgage; your credit report, the money you have allotted for the down payment as well as closing costs, and your income. Lenders want to paint a picture that encompasses all these aspects to make sure they minimize their risk and ensuring they are setting you up for success.

 

According to the American Bankers Association, less than half of all U.S. consumers know their credit score is or have reviewed their report in the last 30 days. Your credit score is the first thing a lender reviews and it determines if you get to go to the next step of the application process. TIP: Your credit score will determine your interest rate on your mortgage and what type of loan you will be offered.  

 

The next item is your down payment and monies you have saved for closing costs on your mortgage.  The more money you have saved towards both these will make the lenders’ decision much easier to approve you. Yes, there are loans, such as FHA loans that only require 3.5% as a down payment. Closing costs typically run between 2% and 4% of the loan amount. For example, on a loan of $100,000, there could be between $2,000 and $4,000 in closing costs. On that $100,000 loan, you would have to have $3,500 saved for your down payment. TIP: There are down payment assistance programs available for first-time homebuyers.

 

The last but not least important item in obtaining a mortgage is your J-O-B. The lender is looking for the following: how long have you worked at your current employer, do you earn enough to pay the mortgage and your bills on a monthly basis, lastly are you able to save money after all your bills are paid. These are basic items lenders look at, but the lender could ask for additional financial documents. TIP: The more you can save the better your application looks to the lender and the better your loan terms could be. 

 

Once you have all these items to your lender they will then produce a pre-approval letter that you can use to find a home. The pre-approval letter will explain all the terms of your loan and the all-important dollar amount you are approved for your home purchase.  At this point, you are ready to go out and start looking for a home. TIP: Your pre-approval has a 90 to 120-day expiration, meaning if you do not purchase a home during that time the lender will have to pull your credit again.  

 

If you are ready to be a homeowner the first thing you need to arm yourself with is your credit score. Get your free annual credit report and know where you stand with your credit. If you need assistance or have questions feel free to reach out to us by email or call us at (812) 777-5850.