Whether you’re buying your first home or your number 10 home, the process can be stressful. Taking these steps can alleviate some of the stress.
- Order a free copy of your credit reports. You are entitled to a free copy from each of the “Big Three” credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion and Experian – once a year. Order all three online through annualcreditreport.com. As soon as you receive them, go through each report carefully, looking for errors. If you find an error, dispute it with the credit reporting agency in question. Even a small mistake can lower your credit score.
- If your credit score is low, take steps to improve it before applying for a mortgage. Taking the time to boost your credit score may seem like a waste, but can save you thousands of dollars over the life of a loan.
- Gather all necessary documents in a place. If you’re organized, it’s that much easier to quickly provide a lender with the documents they need. After collecting your documents, make a list of your outstanding debts. Part of the approval process is comparing your debts to your income to make sure you can pay the mortgage.
- Shop around for mortgage lenders. You don’t have to worry about finding a mortgage impacting your credit score. Although your credit score may be shaken up a bit by a credit inquiry, applying to several different mortgage companies over a two-week period counts as one credit check. Once you’ve made a few payments on time, your credit score should return to its previous level, or even higher.
- Provide lenders with all requested documents in a timely manner. Simply put, the faster you are able to provide a mortgage company with the documents they request, the faster your loan can be processed.
- Once you’ve been approved, compare offers. Look at everything from the APR offered to the lender’s fees. The best interest rate doesn’t tell the whole story. Only by comparing lenders’ interest rates and fees can you determine the best mortgage lender for you.
What credit score do I need for a mortgage in South Carolina?
Depending on the type of loan and the specific lender, it is possible to be approved for a mortgage in South Carolina with a credit score as low as 560 to 580. However, it is important to note that interest rates lower are reserved for those with the highest credit scores. So while you can get a loan with a low credit score, you can expect to pay a higher rate. One possible solution is to take the time to build your credit score before applying.
How much is a down payment for a home in South Carolina?
The amount of down payment required depends entirely on the type of loan you choose. For example, a VA or USDA loan requires 0% down payment, while an FHA loan requires a minimum of 3.5% down payment.