Im a first time buyer wanting to see what i amount i can get approved for should i pay my credit card off before i fill out an app?

Asked by Bgmike54, Bakersfield, CA Thu Apr 18, 2013

Is there any deductions or rebates for first time buyers?

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Josh Barnett, Agent, Chandler, OK
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Click on the "Mortgage" tab at the top, type in your zip code and call some of the lenders that are on the first page.
1 vote
Curly Sue, , Texas
Fri Apr 19, 2013
Any lender can help you. You haven't given us any information to give you an idea of amount.
I wouldn't worry about paying your credit card off - unless the lender tell you that you need to...
FHA with 3.5% down would probably be the best way for you to go - unless you have a good amount saved for down payment.
0 votes
Claudia Mull…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Fremont, CA
Fri Apr 19, 2013
Before you do anything with your credit, make an appointment with a mortgage professional.
Have your credit run and then go over the report with the mortgage pro.
She will let you now what you should do with your debt based upon how much home you wish to purchase,
You may or may not need to pay off your credit cards. You may just need to pay them down to increase your credit score.
There may be first time home buyer programs available in your area.
In California, there is a program called CHDAP which provides down payment assistance to you. This is available based upon income limitations in your area.
Bottom line: work with a mortgage professional in your area and they will guide you on what to do with your current outstanding debt. cg
0 votes
George Raymo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Fort Worth, TX
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Hello Big Mike,

The first step is to contact a reputable Loan Officer with experience in all phases on mortgage lending to include credit counseling. Someone with a track record of satisfied clients and years of experience. Once you choose someone, the next step is for the LO to run some numbers and see what price range you fall into based on your income and current debt. Once that is accomplished, then they can run your credit and discuss your options with regards to paying down debt, paying off collections or to not disturb them as is it possible that you can actually damage your credit score. These decisions are best left up to an experienced LO. As far as FTHBs (first time home-buyer's programs) there are several but there are some standouts. I have a program that offers home buyers a 3% Grant (does not need to be paid back) that can be used towards your down payment or closing costs. Please feel to free to contact me if you have any questions.

Best of Luck!…
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0 votes
Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Hi Bgmike54,

"should i pay my credit card off before i fill out an app"

Many Buyers believe no debt is the nirvana in the mysterious world of credit - not true!

The FICO scoring model rewards debt if managed responsively and I have run across information indicating keeping balances at or below 25% of each credit line is a good idea to maximize your scores. That's a great tip because this provides you backup funds to help secure a property, cover any Appraisal deficit or possibly buy-down your interest rate for long term interest savings.

You can learn a wealth of "credit score" information at

A nice tool you may be interested in is the FREE FICO Score range estimate at the same site located here:

I have found the actual mid-score is within the estimated range about 80-90% of the time, so it’s quite a useful tool without having to actually pull your tri-merge credit report.

Moving on ...

Whether you start by contacting a Realtor® or a Mortgage Broker/Banker be sure to obtain a "True Pre-Approval" See:

You might also be interested in "Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"

0 votes
Cameron Mill…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Hello Mike,
Meeting with a lender will give you a clear picture of what it will take to buy a home. During that meeting they will assess your credit situation, and advise you of paying off credit cards and loans. That said, after you meet with a lender, as you can see you have many real estate agents to choose from. Make sure you explore all your options, and choose the best one.
0 votes
Steve Kittre…, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Contact a good loan officer, Tiare Ferguson at Platinum Home Mortgage..246-6565 cell..she can answer those questions after looking at your situation..Once she get's you approved, I would hope you would call me to team up with you to find your first home!! It's a teram effort, with you, I and Tiare...
0 votes
jennifer chou, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Its best to get in contact with a lender before paying off any credi cards or Bills. Your lender can advise you on what to do and if you dont qualify right away they May work with you and guide you on what to do so Maybe several months down the road you May qualify, Also there are a lot of programs that you may qualify for that can help you with your down payment and or closing costs which is great. If your thinking of buying a home now is the time interest rate are at a low. If you would like more info Pleade call, text or email me today I would Love to help you.

Jennifer chou/Realtor
Tholco Group
0 votes
Cindy Davis, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
The higher your credit score, the better your chances of getting a mortgage. In addition, you will get a better interest rate if your scores are higher.

I don't know of any 'deductions' or rebates in your area...most first time buyers use the FHA loan which is only 3.5% down.

Still, a knowledgeable lender in your area might know of programs that I don't.

Good luck.
0 votes
Valerie Ulrey, Agent, Bakersfield, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
Your best bet is to call a good, local lender and discuss your credit with them. Normally, you don't have to have your credit card completely paid off in order to have good credit. The key is to have a balance that is lower than 1/3 of your available credit. As long as you don't have late payments, you should be in good shape.
A lender that I do a lot of work with is Cherie Bowen at Academy Mortgage. If you call her, she can take some information from you over the phone, pull your credit and then let you know where you stand. She will guide you, if needed, or she will let you know what you qualify for and what programs are available.
At this time, there are programs that will grant you 3% of the purchase price of a home for your down payment as a first time homebuyer. Cherie can give you more details of the program --- I'm a Realtor, so the loan and financial side is not my specialty!!
Once you talk with Cherie - or any lender you want - if you haven't already started working with a Realtor to find you homes to see, give me a call! I will be happy to email you homes that are available and have you choose which ones you'd like to view in person.

Good luck!!
0 votes
Cherie's number is 661-343-1068, in case you'd like to contact her!
Flag Thu Apr 18, 2013
Robert Chome…, , San Diego, CA
Thu Apr 18, 2013
I would talk to a loan officer first and they can go though you income & credit with you in detail and counsel you on what to do. There aren't any "deductions or rebates" necessarily for first time home buyers, but many times a lender can pay some or all of your closing costs. Contact me and I would be happy to help.
0 votes
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