How to Qualify to Buy a House

Qualifying to buy a house requires you to prepare. Mortgage lenders do not give home loans to just anyone. They review your monthly earnings and consider other factors such as credit ratings. The more you know about the process and research it, the more you help yourself qualify to buy a home.

Get or maintain a credit score above 680. Check your credit rating or score from

Cut credit card debt. Don't purchase items with credit and send higher payments to reduce the principal.

Document your income. Keep copies of W-2 forms and file yearly taxes if you are self-employed. Lenders will verify your income or employment before approving your mortgage loan application.

Save for a down payment. Down payments are required on most mortgage loans. Use savings to put down the traditional 20 percent, or use an FHA mortgage loan and put down less than five percent on the home loan. VA mortgage loans do not require a down payment. Cut back on spending and deposit a certain percentage of each paycheck into a savings account and use this money for a down payment.

Check with different mortgage lenders. Qualifying for a home with one lender doesn't guarantee the best rate or terms. Look around and get free quotes from more than one lender. Check with your bank or credit union, or use local or online brokers to research various programs and options.