Check your Credit
The first thing any lender will do is check your credit. If your score isn’t high enough, they won’t move forward with your application. Everyone gets free access to their credit report annually. Pull your credit and see where you can improve.
Look for things like late payments, overextended credit cards (more than 30% of your credit line), or incorrect information. Correct anything you can correct yourself (bring payments current or pay your credit card bills down), and dispute any incorrect information with the reporting credit bureau.
Save for a down payment
Stabilize your employment
Lenders like 2-year stable employment history. You can change jobs, but if you do it too often, they’ll view you as high risk.
Before you look at homes, get pre-approved. It may feel like putting the cart before the horse, but without a pre-approval, you won’t know what lenders will offer you. What if you can’t get as large of a mortgage as you’d hoped?
When you’re pre-approved, not only does it help you understand how much you can borrow, but it tells sellers you are a good buyer. Without the pre-approval, they don’t know if you’ll qualify or not and they may not accept your bid.
Find the right lender
Your last step is to find the lender that offers the program you need at the terms you can afford. Find a lender you trust and feel comfortable asking questions of before settling. We suggest getting at least 3 quotes before settling for a lender so you know what options you have available.
The sooner you prepare to apply for a mortgage, the more likely you are to get the loan you need. Lenders don’t expect you to be ‘perfect,’ but the more good qualifying factors you have, the higher your chances are of mortgage approval.