Get a home loan in 5 easy steps

While there are all kinds of information available for first time home buyers, sometimes you just need an easily skimmable list of steps  to get started. In an effort to provide future home owners what they need, Guaranteed Rate presents easy-to-understand steps to obtaining your home loan.

Step One: Credit Pulse Check

First things first, pull your credit and make sure the listed accounts and payment history is accurate. The best rates are made available to those with higher credit scores, so be sure your report is accurate.

Not sure what good credit looks like? Take a deeper dive into your credit and the home buying process.

Step Two: Check your Savings Account

Many first time home buyers are under the impression you need 20 percent down when buying a home for the first time. Not true.

The truth is, some mortgage programs allow you to put as little as 3 percent down and allow gift funds from family members. However, keep in mind you’ll need money for other costs and fees associated with a home loan purchase like an appraisal, title fees and attorney fees (depending on your state).

Want to see the down payment requirements? Check out our easy to read down payment chart.

Step Three: Monthly Payment

Knowing how much you can comfortably afford is really important when preparing to purchase a home. Believe it or not, the math behind determining affordability is really simple.

So, how much can you comfortably afford?  Learn how to figure out how much house you can really afford or use our nifty calculators.

Step Four: Find a Loan Officer

Find an experienced, licensed loan officer who is knowledgeable and believes in transparency and constant communication. Your loan officer will set the landscape for your home loan experience so choose someone who makes your best interest a priority.

Need a rock star loan officer? Find a loan expert with our search tool.

Step Five: Digitally Apply for Your Loan

With the mortgage industry moving into the 21st century, the digital application and preliminary approval process shouldn’t take long at all – just 20 minutes!

Don’t believe it? Apply now and check out how simple it really is!

Be sure and ask any questions during the process, don’t be shy – this is your money and your commitment.

Visit Guaranteed Rate often for consumer-friendly mortgage education.


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All information provided in this publication is for informational and educational purposes only, and in no way is any of the content contained herein to be construed as financial, investment, or legal advice or instruction. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. does not guarantee the quality, accuracy, completeness or timelines of the information in this publication. While efforts are made to verify the information provided, the information should not be assumed to be error free. Some information in the publication may have been provided by third parties and has not necessarily been verified by Guaranteed Rate, Inc. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. its affiliates and subsidiaries do not assume any liability for the information contained herein, be it direct, indirect, consequential, special, or exemplary, or other damages whatsoever and howsoever caused, arising out of or in connection with the use of this publication or in reliance on the information, including any personal or pecuniary loss, whether the action is in contract, tort (including negligence) or other tortious action.