Mortgage 101: What to Know before Signing

Buying a house is a major step for anyone who has begun the journey toward adulthood. When it comes time to consider your options in buying a home, the thought of obtaining a mortgage can be pretty overwhelming.

If you are considering taking out a mortgage sometime soon in order to buy a home, then you probably need a small refresher course in the things to consider before applying for your mortgage. In this article, we will cover the very basic information you need to know about obtaining a mortgage.

Your Credit Score

If you are trying to get a mortgage, then you probably are going to need a fairly good credit score. It is actually a really good idea to keep a close eye on your credit score even when you are not considering purchasing a home because credit scores can often be affected by mistakes reported to your credit.

Most lenders will require a credit score of at least 620 in order to qualify for a traditional mortgage. Sometimes, when individuals are trying to qualify for a loan through the Federal Housing Administration, then you might qualify with a lower credit score. However, you will usually need a much larger down payment for an FHA loan. You will also want to know how to calculate loan interest if you have a lower credit score.

What is Your Budget

While mortgage lenders will try to make sure that you do not borrow too much, they will sometimes offer you a larger price than you are really comfortable paying monthly. Be sure to know what your ideal budget is before you sit down with the bank to crunch the numbers so you are not overwhelmed at a later time.

Mortgage Options

Mortgages come in a variety of different options and packages. This is often based on the terms of the loan such as your interest rate, the time of the loan, and even the amount of down payment that you have saved to put down.

Loan Terms

Understand that you have some power to negotiate the length of your loan when you are going over paperwork with the bank. Generally, loan terms run between 30 and 15 years. However, there are other loan terms that might be an option for you. Your monthly payment and interest rate are closely tied to the terms of the loan that you agree to.


Interest Rates


Usually, your interest rate is tied to your credit score and your loan terms. You could opt for either a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage. Most people feel safer choosing a fixed interest rate because it will never change during the length of your loan.


Final Thoughts


Preparing to take out your first mortgage is scary and can often be an exciting but still somehow overwhelming time. Still, there are plenty of resources to help you understand how to make the best choices for your family when it comes to signing an agreement for your mortgage. No matter what options you choose, be sure that you understand everything that you are agreeing to.



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