Although the concern that you might not qualify is no reason not to apply, as you can learn what steps you can take should you be declined, you may still be curious what requirements there will be. The basics are your down payment, a sufficient credit rating, a history of regular payments towards liabilities, and a list of current assets including investments and other properties. Don't worry if you're not sure how to determine these in advance, as I provide a free credit check before your official application is submitted.
A down payment typically ranges from 5-10% of the total mortgage amount. Of course paying more reduces the requirements of the other areas and keeps the amount you pay in interest down. First time homebuyers can expect to pay 5% usually.
Credit rating is very important when dealing with lenders, a minimum score of 600 is recommended when applying. You can perform a credit check on yourself but be aware that every credit check you receive hurts your overall score slightly. Credit checks, however, are important as the reveal a lot about your lend-ability. They show payment history, assets and liabilities. It is mandatory for any institution to perform a credit check before lending so I highly recommend having a broker do so rather than yourself as that will keep the number of reports to a minimum. To learn more about how to improve your credit score, have a look at this article covering the subject.
When I say assets I am primarily referring to investments, savings accounts and properties you own without mortgages against them. These are not a necessity but they definitely help when reviewing your credit history. We can use them to offset liabilities like car loans or student loans. Again, these will usually show up on your credit report.
Having steady employment is another thing lenders look for. Typically we want to see minimum 2 years of employment to consider it a reliable income source. It does not need to be full-time, or even year-round for that matter. What the lenders will be looking at is your salary.
To sum it up, your down payment of 5% and your credit rating are the most important. There are many ways that I can work your application to emphasize your strong points before applying. Remember, the only way to know where to stand for certain is to complete the pre-qualifying application. Until then you can't really know what steps need to be taken.
I personally make the effort to ensure the best possible product to fit your individual needs, all with a single credit check.
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My passion lies in helping people become home owners and as well as helping clients refinance and consolidate debt or take out equity for a myriad of good investment ideas.
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