You've been working in your job for a while, earning a good income, and you've managed to put some money together. So it's a natural step for you to want to buy your own home. It would be nice if you could just find your dream home, walk into a bank and have them give you the money to buy it. But we all know it's not quite that simple. Still, if you want to be confident that you can buy your dream home when you find it, there's a simple solution - pre-qualify for the loan.
The idea of pre-qualifying is for the financial institution to determine whether or not you can afford to buy a home, and how much they're willing to lend you. The good thing about this is that you'll be given a guarantee that the lender is willing to lend you a certain amount of money, assuming your circumstances don't change in the meantime. This means you can go shopping for your dream home, knowing what you are able to afford.
One of the main things the lender will be interested in is how much you earn from your job. They take this amount and then work out how much of that income needs to be spent on other expenses, and how much could be put aside for loan repayments. So the more personal debt you have, such as credit cards, car loans and personal loans, the less you'll be able to spend on home loan repayments. Reduce your personal debt as much as you can before applying for a home loan.
The lender will also take into consideration the time frames of the various credit facilities. This means they can work out what all your payments add up to, and also how much money has to flow out of your pocket each month. Most of these figures are based on formulas and percentages, which the bank doesn't usually share with you in advance. They also have to allow you enough money to live each month.
Once they're confident that you can afford a home loan, you'll be given a pre-approved or pre-qualified amount that you're able to borrow. Now you can go and search for the home you want to buy.
If you already know which lender and which loan you plan to use for your purchase, it can give you great peace of mind to pre-qualify before you sign on the dotted line to buy a house. Also, because you've already provided most of the required paperwork, it's often fairly quick and simple to take your pre-qualified loan and turn it into a proper home loan.
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