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Strategies For Obtaining A Home Mortgage

from: Mortage & Debt Facts

It's true. It can be tough getting a home mortgage today.

There are strategies, however, that can help you get that home mortgage eventually, even if it may take some time and a few extra steps. The time to start planning is NOW.

The formula for getting approval is fairly easy to understand. When deciding whether or not it is time to apply for a mortgage, you just have to follow the same guidelines that the mortgage brokers will use to determine your creditworthiness.

As the saying goes, there are no failures -- only opportunities. So even if you are turned down, taking what you learn from the experience will eventually help you qualify later.

During downturns and times when the credit market eases in panic, by being prepared ahead of time, you may even be in a great position to buy a low-priced, quality, home with just the right qualifications the lenders are looking for in a borrower.

Most of us don't bother checking our credit reports until we need credit. By all means, if you haven’t checked your credit reports in years, it is to your advantage to examine your credit report before you apply for a home mortgage.

There are three major credit bureaus that you will need to ask for a copy of your credit report: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Here is one site that can help you access the free reports:

Annual Credit Report

You might think that you only need one, but you need to ask for a copy from each of these credit bureaus. The information and the way it is presented is not identical between all of them. Some may have entries that others don’t.

The key to clear sailing through an application for any kind of debt is to clear up all your credit reports. Make sure your credit is sparkling clean by the time you apply for a home mortgage.

Once you receive your credit reports, check out any inconsistencies. If there is anything negative that might be disputed, you should dispute them.

When getting your free credit reports from these three bureaus, you won’t get your actual FICO score. You'll have to pay extra for that.

The FICO score report is actually well worth paying for as the new FICO score that lenders are looking for is anything above 720. The higher your score above this number, the more leverage you have for scoring a low interest rate and favorable home mortgage terms.

Home Ownership & Credit Programs

Certain agencies exist to help low-income people qualify for a home by educating them on the entire process. If you cannot qualify for a mortgage loan right now, you will probably want to find out whether you are eligible to participate in any home mortgage and ownership classes.

If you do this before applying, they can help you resolve issues way ahead of time and things will go a lot smoother when you find the house you want to buy.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and your state’s Housing Finance Agency (or equivalent) are good places to find these home ownership and mortgage education programs.

The local yellow pages in your city's phone directory may have listings for local agencies or companies. Be very careful to check the credential of any local programs with the state agencies so that you don’t end up being defrauded. Sadly, fraud does tend to show up wherever money and people in need of assistance meet.

Be prepared to discuss other issues during these programs. Issues that influence your eligibility for a mortgage are your income level and your level of debt. Additionally, educational programs will help you examine your reasons for buying a home, to help you learn how to make appropriate choices that will enhance your life, rather than bog you down in a pit of debt.