Buying your first home is a major achievement. Soon, you will have a home you can decorate or even remodel however you'd like, and instead of paying rent to a landlord, you will be building equity for your financial health. There's one big hurdle to cross first, though: getting approved for your first home loan. Don't feel too discouraged. Getting approved for a home loan requires some financial savvy, but you've got this. Here are three tips for getting your first home loan.
Be Sure to Plan Ahead
Getting approved for a home loan isn't something to do spontaneously. Instead, begin the process a year or so out from when you hope to actually buy a home. This gives you a chance to check on your credit score and begin working to improve your credit, if needed. It also gives you time to build as much savings as possible, determine a budget, and shop around for the right mortgage lender. In addition, you should use this time to really research the housing market where you live to get a firm grasp on the types of homes you can afford.
Save as Much as Possible
Your mortgage lender will help you determine the minimum amount you should have saved for a down payment for a home in your price range. If possible, it's always a great idea to save more than the minimum, however. A bigger down payment can help you get approved for a home loan even if other aspects of your application (like your credit history) are less than perfect. Plus, the bigger your down payment, the more equity you will have right off the bat and the sooner you will be able to pay off your home.
Get Preapproved from Your Lender
A preapproval isn't an official loan (you apply for that once you have a home you'd like to make an offer on), but it is instead a letter from your lender saying how much you are qualified to borrow and at what interest rate. Having the preapproval in hand demonstrates that you're a serious buyer, making you appealing to sellers. It also means that most of the loan application paperwork will be complete, so when it's time to officially apply for your loan, the process will be quick and easy.
By following these tips and working with a professional home loans provider, you will soon be able to qualify for a home loan to make all your home ownership dreams come true.