If you are thinking about buying a home this year and aren’t sure if you will qualify for a mortgage, there are several actions you can take to improve your chances of being approved for the amount you wish to borrow.
Lenders look at more than just your credit rating. They want to know that you have a steady income and are responsible with your money. Before you start home shopping, take some time to make sure you are fiscally stable.
- Stay at your present job. The bank will want to see, at minimum, your last two tax returns. If you want to buy a home this year, it’s not the time to start over in a new industry. If you are just getting started in the professional world, you may need to work a while longer in order to show a history of steady income.
- Put off buying a new car. Be careful about buying big-ticket items like a new car or boat or on credit until after you have closed on your home.
- Pay down credit debt. If you are carrying a balance on credit cards, work hard to pay those down or off. Try not to use credit cards if you can’t pay the balance off monthly.
- Pay your bills on time. Incurring late payments will reflect poorly on your credit report, so keep track of deadlines or set up automatic payments before they are due.
- Save up cash for a down payment. You have a better chance of being approved for a lower amount, so try to save up for a down payment to reduce the loan amount.
- Say no to cosigning for others. Now is not the time to cosign on any loans with family members or friends.
- Throw those credit card offers away. Each time you apply for credit, the provider will pull your credit history, which affects your score.