Your home loan toolkit: a step by step guide

John starts putting away $130 from every paycheck with the hopes of paying cash for Marie’s engagement ring, and if plans change, he knows he can use the money instead on another financial endeavor. He sacrifices a new wardrobe and a few weekend restaurant meals to cover the $130 per paycheck. John gets paid twice a month and after 12 months, has $3,120 saved for a ring. Jen Hubley Luckwaldt is an editor and writer with a focus on personal finance and careers. A small business owner for over a decade, Jen helps publications and brands make financial content accessible to readers. Through her clients, Jen’s writing has been syndicated to CNBC, Insider, Yahoo Finance, and many local newspapers.

Read more about What is Uncollateralized Loan here.

Getting preapproved for a loan and knowing the amount of money you will receive will help you narrow your property search and make you more appealing to both sellers and real estate agents. Get all your paperwork in order so you can speed up the process before you apply for a loan. Let’s go over the documentation borrowers usually need to apply for a mortgage. Is a strong indicator used by lenders to determine if you have the requisite cash flow to qualify for a mortgage.


The opinions expressed are the author’s alone and have not been provided, approved, or otherwise endorsed by our partners. Every housing agency can set its own rules and requirements, so you’ll need to check with your HFA to see if you’re eligible. You can apply for an HFA loan as a first-time home buyer or a repeat buyer who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years. Chris Jennings is a writer and editor with more than seven years of experience in the personal finance and mortgage space. He enjoys simplifying complex mortgage topics for first-time homebuyers and homeowners alike.

Sample Loan Estimate

So many factors could contribute to your paying more than you need to for your mortgage. Have you finally reached that time in life where you’re ready to buy a home? Luckily for you, we have put together all the information you will need to get the right mortgage and the right lender, for the right price. Along with the Loan Estimate, the lender should provide you with a list of approved providers for each of these services.

Mortgage requirements are typically more stringent if you’re purchasing a second home or an investment property. Family of Companiesat the telephone number you provided, even if that telephone number is on a do-not-call list. Agreement to receive such calls or texts is not a condition of purchasing goods or services from us or our Family of Companies.

For example, a buyer can use one to purchase a new home while waiting for their current home to sell. The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters. With a home equity line of credit, you’re granted a specified amount of money you can borrow from during a certain period of time. You don’t need to borrow the entire sum at once; you can borrow some money one year, and borrow more money the next year as the need arises. Your initial mortgage is a home loan that makes the purchase of your property possible. A second mortgage, on the other hand, lets you borrow against the value of your home once you’re living in it. Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us.

Is it Better to Build or Buy a House?

Home equity loans usually come with lower interest rates than other loans. Your home will be used as collateral and could be seized to satisfy the delinquent payments if you default on the loan. A HELOC is a line of credit that allows you to borrow what you need, when you need it — similar to a credit card.

Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts, but offer some checking features as well. Determine your engagement ring instead based on your personal budget and repayment ability. Before you start shopping for an engagement ring, carefully assess personal financial factors, as well as all of your financing options.