Begin as soon as you can so you will gather a plan and timeline that will get you to your goal as soon as possible. Gathering information is the first step because the second step is the most critical of all. Choosing your Loan Officer and lender. Its unfortunate that this step is so early in the process so gather all of the useful Objective information you can find. The more information you gather the more apparent the useful information will become. You will be looking for an ethical experienced loan officer who works for a lender that offers all of the loan types for first time home buyers and is practiced with your States Agency of assistance for first time home buyers.
An experienced loan officer is the best credit counselor. They work with credit every day and have an incentive to help you reach the necessary credit score. I have watched many times as a loan officer recommends simple processes to improve peoples credit scores and lay out step by step plans of the fastest way to improve the score.
Remember loan officers are hired by the lender to sell the loans the lender offers and all lenders do not offer all of the loan types.
Be very careful about hiring companies to help improve your credit. Best to choose the loan officer.
An article that will serve you well is, Consultation Interviewing Loan Officers, at Your-Road-Home.com. You will also find there a number of articles outlining the various first time buyer loan types and also a link that will take you to your State's assistance for first time home buyers. Be sure to read article #9 about the MCC Tax Credit for first time home buyers. Best tax credit ever.
You will find that the articles are numbered. If you begin with #1 and read them in order you will become a very savvy home buyer, learn how to avoid the common pitfalls by reading Snags Snares and Pitfalls and learn how to find the best buys in your area.
You will soon have all of the information so you can Interview loan officers, ask all of the right questions and know what the answers should be.
Its important you research the MCC Tax Credit and if you have any problem with filing you can email me and I will help. First Time Home Buyers must register for the MCC before they close on their loan. The benefits of the Tax Credit will be applied to your income ratios for your loan and allow you to buy a larger home!
Best of Luck, Stephen Webber, 34 Years of Real Estate for First Time Home Buyers
The first thing you have to do is repair your credit score. Talk to a mortgage broker who can tell you more and refer you to a credit repair person. You can also research and find your own person, but make sure you find out what the fees are upfront and ask for a specific list of what they actually do. There are some very good credit repair companies out there and it seems there are many who promise you the world and deliver nothing.
Here's also a good place to start, Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation http://www.idfpr.com/banks/consumer/tips/facts.asp
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