Buying a home is a big goal many families have. However, a purchase that can easily reach six figures limits the ability of most people to pay cash. That’s why it’s important to figure out how to qualify for a home loan.

Track Income

Gone are the days in which anyone could walk off the street and leave with a “liar loan.” Instead, it’s necessary to provide proof of income before qualifying for a home mortgage. Banks want to know that a borrower is likely to have the means to pay off a loan. Therefore, saving few pay stubs and having access to previous tax returns is a necessity. These documents will help lenders assess the relative ability of prospective borrowers.

Build A Good Credit Record

Banks will pull a borrower’s credit report before giving her a budget for buying a new home. This will have a list of outstanding debts, and it might also show some debts that are paid in full. Banks want to see that prospective borrowers have a relatively low debt-to-income ratio. Those who have high levels of debt before a mortgage will likely be riskier borrowers for the bank. Paying debts by the due date is the most important component of building a good credit record. It’s important to remember that those with higher credit scores will secure loans with lower interest rates.

Save Money

There are some government-backed lending programs that allow borrowers to get into a home for no money down. However, these are not always the best option. They can come with mortgage insurance that’s intended to protect the lender while doing nothing other than raise the cost of borrowing for the borrower. Those who are able to put at least 20% toward the purchase of a new home will avoid mortgage insurance, and this will cut down on their monthly payment. Additionally, those who have a good down payment will have equity from the beginning. A borrower who puts no money down will have no equity to protect them from owing more than the value of their residence if the market drops.

A mortgage is a requirement for many families to purchase a home. Shopping around can be a good idea that can sometimes provide lower interest rates. However, the most important steps to take toward getting a mortgage are building a nice income and down payment while also working to achieve a high credit score. Those who pay attention to these goals will likely qualify for a mortgage with a relatively good rate.