or a lot of first-time homebuyers, getting a mortgage can turn into a baptism by fire. Often, you don’t know how complicated the process is until you’re in the thick of it. The truth is, financing your home doesn’t have to be a maddening experience. The better you understan how the industry works, the better the position you’ll be in to get a good deal and win bidding wars. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Preparation is Key
A strong credit score is one of the surest ways to make sure you get the best rate from a lender. That’s why homebuyers should ideally take a look at their credit report from the three major reporting bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – well before they start house-hunting.
“Most people will find small mistakes on there,” says Eric Tyson, co-author of the book Mortgage Management for Dummies. If you do see an error, you’ll want to file a dispute with the relevant credit bureau. It can take a month or more for them to complete the investigation, so get started early.