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Get ready.

If you’re thinking about buying a house, you probably have lots of questions. Is it better to buy than rent? Do you have enough saved? Can you afford a house payment? How do mortgages work, anyway? You’re definitely not alone, so we’ve put together some guides to help you figure it out. Download one of our guides to learn more about what it takes to reach your goal.

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Get set.

When you apply for a home loan, lenders will look at your credit score, which is the rating you’ve earned through spending and borrowing habits. The higher your score, the more likely it is that you’ll qualify for a loan. Better credit scores can also earn you lower interest rates, which means you could pay thousands less for your mortgage over time.

 

Guides and resources

Get Mortgage Ready

Learn what it takes to move from renting to owning.

A Concise Guide for the First-Time Homebuyer

Know what to expect from the loan and purchase process.

The Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home

Understand preapproval, down payments, and credit scores.

Why buy instead of rent?

Monthly savings

With a long-term mortgage, monthly house payments can be less than you pay for rent. The difference can be sizeable!

Tax savings

You can deduct property taxes and the interest on your mortgage payments from what you owe the IRS.*

*Not intended to be tax advice. Consult your tax professional.

Investment

As you pay down your loan and property values go up, you can build home equity that adds to your net worth.*

*Not intended as financial advice. Consult your financial adviser.

Community

Being part of a neighborhood can help build a strong social network.

Control

Without a landlord, you make the choices about everything, from paint colors to pets, visitors and children.

Credit score ranges

Excellent: 750+
Good: 700-749
Fair: 650-699
Poor: 600-649
Bad: Below 600

 

If your credit is below the “Good” range, don’t worry. We’ve helped many buyers with information about the credit requirements for mortgage lending, and to help prepare them to become a homeowner. The process may take time, but the results are well worth it. Once your credit is aligned with program guidelines, we can speed ahead down the path to buying a new home.

Here are four tips to help you prepare for homeownership. 


1. Pay your bills on time.

2. Open a secured credit card to establish or strengthen your credit history. (See Wallethub for recommendations.)

3. Pay off as much debt as you can, and keep balances low on existing credit cards.

4. Check your credit report for free on AnnualCreditReport.com.

 

We can also help you come up with a personal plan to become mortgage ready and qualify for a loan—just get in touch with a loan officer near you.

Go!

When you’re ready to apply, you’ll need to provide some information about your finances. Use this checklist to gather materials before you start your application or meet with a loan officer. If you have any questions about a certain item, please give us a call.

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Mortgage application checklist

  • W-2s for the last 2 years (or 2 years of tax returns if you’re self-employed)
  • Pay stubs for 1 month
  • Bank statements for 2 months
  • Driver’s license or government-issued photo ID
  • Child support or alimony payment agreement (if applicable)
  • Other income information
  • Purchase agreement if you have one

    You’re closer than you think to buying a home, and we’re here to help. Just find a nearby branch or apply online, and someone from our team will walk through the process with you.

    Understand your loan options

Get in touch.

If you’re still confused or want to talk to a real person, please give us a call. Our friendly loan officers will be happy to chat and tell you everything you want to know.

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