Saturday, October 27, 2012

10 tips to securing a home loan

We've only got about one page to list these 10 tips for securing a home loan, so let's jump right into it!

1) Get your credit score up

This is the key rule. Do not even think about getting a home loan until you've paid off your debts and worked your credit score up.

2) Get your credit score up

Seriously! What you should do is settle all your old debts, and then cut up all of your credit cards, but one or two. Use those for simple things like buying gas or grocery shopping and then pay them off on time.

3) Live within your means

Credit cards gave birth to a generation of people buying more than they could afford, with many of them winding up hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt as a result. Your spending money should be cash only.

4) Make sure the time is right

Sadly, we're not all ready to own a home. If you don't have savings and a reliable career, if you're already in debt, you'll want to improve your financial standing before going after home ownership.

5) Do your research

Basically, get online and do a lot of reading up on the ins and outs of home loans and the real estate market. If you develop a strong knowledge of the market, you're more likely to get what you're after.

6) Know what entices potential lenders

It's more than just having a nice job and a good credit score. Remember, they do background checks. If you've never held a job for more than a year, that's a turn off for lenders. Other things can help, too. If you have multiple sources of income, let the lender know about them.

7) Never borrow more than you think you can pay off

This is how American homebuyers got into so much trouble last year. They were knowingly borrowing more money than they could repay in the hope that home and land prices would forever appreciate.

8) Be willing to shop around

Don't grab the first loan anyone will give you. In getting a low interest rate on a loan or mortgage, you'll want to look around and see who can offer you the best deal. You may get lucky, but don't count on the first bank you walk into to give you the best overall deal.

9) Don't buy a pricier house than you need

This is more a tip for actually buying a house than it is for getting a loan, but it can help on that front, too. If you're a bachelor, what on earth are you going to do with a two story, two and a half bathroom house? Don't go overboard in selecting your home and the lender probably won't feel that you're asking for too much.

10) Don't be afraid to ask for help

If you need a real estate agent or some expert advice on securing a home loan, then go for it. A qualified home loan professional might save you a vast sum of money.

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