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Mortgage Learning Center

Tips and education for smarter homebuying

Homeownership is a major step, and a big investment. Whether you’re buying your first home or just getting back into the market, make sure you’re equipped to make smart decisions at every step of the journey.

Getting started in the homebuying process

Buying a house is an exciting milestone in your financial life. As you get started on this journey, take a look at your finances to be confident that you're ready.

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The importance of your credit, debt, and savings in buying a home

Before you decide to buy a home, check your credit score, your debt, and your savings. Those three pieces of financial information may have a big impact on your ability to qualify for a loan, get a competitive interest rate, and buy the home you want.

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How to prepare for buying a house

You're ready to become a homeowner. Now it's time to think about how that impacts your budget.

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Know your borrowing power

The top two numbers that will help guide you in figuring out what home price you may be able to afford are your down payment amount and your monthly payment amount. Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make, and you’ll want to stay within your budget - both for making decisions now and for having confidence in the future.

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Evaluating mortgages and lenders

Learn about different types of mortgages and the professionals who can help you throughout the homebuying process.

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Finding the mortgage and lender to fit your unique needs and preferences

You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a lender and mortgage that is right for you. This quiz may help you identify the factors - emotional or logistical - that may be the most important to you when it’s time to choose your lender.

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How does the mortgage process work?

Plan ahead for the tasks you’ll need to complete, and know what documents you’ll need along the way.

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Four costs tied to making an offer on a home

Budget for a few things that you’ll need to pay for between the time you place your offer on a home and your closing date. These things include the following: an earnest deposit, a home inspection, an appraisal, and homeowners insurance. Cost of these services may vary.

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Closing on a house

With a little preparation, closing day can be the day you celebrate a major life milestone.

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Seven steps to help you prepare for closing

Closing day on your home is typically between four and eight weeks after your purchase contract is accepted. Taking care of important tasks, such as getting a home inspection and finalizing your closing payment, may help the process go more smoothly so you can get your keys and move in.

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Benefits of being a homeowner

Owning a home has benefits. It also comes with a new list of things you need to plan for.

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Ways to potentially pay down your mortgage faster

By rounding up your monthly principal and interest payment or by considering biweekly payments rather than monthly, you may be able to save on the amount of interest you pay over the life of your mortgage. However, you may also want to consider whether making extra payments on your mortgage is the best use of your money, as opposed to paying off a high-interest credit card or boosting your emergency savings.

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Recommended reading

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