Source: www.hud.gov. For more information or an appointment with a HUD-certified counselor, contact the Southeast Community Development Corporation at 410-342-3234 www.southeastcdc.org.
MORE FIRST STEPS
WHAT IS A CREDIT BUREAU SCORE AND HOW DO LENDERS USE THEM?
A credit bureau score is a number, based upon your credit history, that represents the possibility that you will be unable to repay a loan. Lenders use it to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. The better the score, the better your chances are of getting a loan. Ask your lender for details.
HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY SCORE?
There are no easy ways to improve your credit score, but you can work to keep it acceptable by maintaining a good credit history. This means paying your bills on time and not overextending yourself by buying more than you can afford.
FINDING the RIGHT LOAN for YOU
HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST LOAN – PROGRAM FOR ME?
Your personal situation will determine the best kind of loan for you. By asking yourself a few questions, you can help narrow your search among the many options available and discover which loan suits you best.
• Do you expect your finances to changeover the next few years?
• Are you planning to live in this home for a long period of time?
• Are you comfortable with the idea of a changing mortgage payment amount?
• Do you wish to be free of mortgage debt as your children approach college age or as you prepare for retirement?
Your lender can help you use your answers to questions such as these to decide which loan best fits your needs.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COMPARE LOAN TERMS BETWEEN LENDERS?
First, devise a checklist for the information from each lending institution. You should include the company’s name and basic information, the type of mortgage, minimum down payment required, interest rate and points, closing costs, loan processing time, and whether prepayment is allowed.
Speak with companies by phone or in person. Be sure to call every lender on the list the same day, as interest rates can fluctuate daily. In addition to doing your own research, your real estate agent may have access to a database of lender and mortgage options. Though your agent may primarily be affiliated with a particular lending institution, he or she may also be able to suggest a variety of different lender options to you.