Different countries have different rules and regulations when it comes to financial matters, and mortgages are no different. Even if you think you know exactly what it takes to get one, our useful guide is worth a read because in America things could well be done slightly differently to what you are used to. Read on for more information and to find out whether you might be eligible.
The first thing that any lender is going to want to know about is your income, so you’ll need to be prepared to show evidence of how much you earn, and where that money comes from. They’ll also need to see that you pay your taxes and that everything is above board. This is where your pay stubs and copies of your tax returns are going to come in useful. If you don’t have these to hand, make sure you speak to your tax office and employer, otherwise you will have a waste journey to see your mortgage advisor or realtor
How much you need to earn will depend on the type of mortgage you are looking to get, and each case will be looked at individually, which is why it is always a good idea to speak to a human being rather than apply for a mortgage online where individual circumstances are not taken into account. An online calculator can help gauge borrowing amounts.
Even if you are earning enough to technically be awarded a mortgage, your credit could be where things fall apart. You will need to have at least a fair (and ideally a good) credit score, so it is worth checking that out before you make an appointment. We’re not saying that you won’t get a mortgage if your credit isn’t great, but it could mean that you have to pay a higher interest rate, and that can make all the difference to your monthly budget. Plus, having a good credit history means that you can prove what a responsible borrower you are, and it shows that you have been good at paying borrowed money back in the past.
Once you have been approved and everything looks good, you’ll need to have a down payment ready so that, when you find a property to buy, you’re ready to go ahead with your application. The down payment is a deposit made against the property value, and the amount you pay upfront will be taken off your overall mortgage total.
This is a huge expense, and can be anywhere between 10 and 20 percent of the property value. The worse your credit is and the higher risk you pose, the more your lender will require you to pay upfront. It is this down payment that often puts up the biggest barrier to people buying a property, but you may be able to save, or even borrow, even to do it. And of course, the bigger down payment you make, the smaller mortgage you’ll need.