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Mortgage guidelines for first-time homebuyers have changed over recent years. In order to ensure loan approval, you need to have everything in order before your application.
Credit is very important for the first-time homebuyer. An FHA loan allows a lower credit score, sometimes as low as 580. Other conventional loans will require a mid 600 score or higher. You will get a better rate the higher your score.
“DTI” refers to “debt-to-income” ratio. This is the amount of debt, including your proposed new mortgage payment, in relation to your income. This is usually going to need to be under 40 percent, with some exceptions. If you have a lot of debt, you will probably need to pay some things down before applying for your mortgage. Always consult your Loan Officer before paying any debts.
The days of zero down are over. If you are a veteran, you can get a VA loan with no money down. Everyone else will need some cash. An FHA loan requires 3 percent down, and a conventional mortgage is going to need at least a 5 percent down payment.
Source: Mortgage 101
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