Five New Year's Resolutions for First-Time Homebuyers
Resolution #1: Work on Your Credit Score
Your credit score can significantly affect how much you'll pay for your home, the amount you must put down up front, and whether you'll qualify for a mortgage. A conventional loan requires a minimum credit score of 620, while a USDA loan might require a score of 640. A score of 580 can get you an FHA loan at 3.5 percent down, but a lower score could force you to make a downpayment of 10 percent or more.
You can raise your credit score by paying down debt, making monthly payments on time, and not opening new credit accounts or closing current ones. You also want to avoid applying for anything that requires a credit check (also known as a “hard…
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