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Am I Ready to Buy a House Quiz

Key takeaway

You’ll want to consider how your credit score, debt level, savings, and other factors stack up before you get too far along in the homebuying process. The good news is that there may be ways to improve them so that you’ll feel confident in taking the next step.

A house may be the largest purchase of your lifetime, so it’s no surprise you may feel a range of emotions when beginning the homebuying process. Checking different aspects of your finances, including your credit score and your savings, may help you understand if you’re prepared to buy a home or if you might need to take a few more steps to get ready. The good news is that there are ways to help improve your finances to make sure you’re on solid ground before you start looking for homes.

Do you know where you stand? Take our five-question quiz to find out.

Am I financially ready to buy a home?
These five questions may help you determine if you're ready and what your next steps should be.
Am I financially ready to buy a home?
There is no "magic score" to qualify for a home mortgage, and some programs offer mortgages to borrowers with lower credit scores. A higher score may qualify you for a better interest rate, however. What is your credit score?
Not every homebuyer has perfect credit. There are several programs that may offer mortgages to borrowers with credit scores in the 500s. If you're interested in potentially improving your credit score, take steps like paying bills on time, keeping a low balance, and not applying for new credit.
You’re on the right track to potentially qualify for a lower interest rate when you apply for a mortgage. You’ve worked hard to pay bills on time and use credit responsibly.
Your credit score rates how responsible you’ve been with past credit. Access your FICO credit score and learn more about other scores a lender uses when reviewing loan applications. Request a free credit report from the three major credit-reporting agencies at
Question 1 of 5
Am I financially ready to buy a home?
How much debt (such as credit cards, student loans and auto loans) do you have?
Mortgage lenders will look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is a measure of your monthly minimum debt payments compared to your monthly income, so it’s important to reduce debt as much as possible. Learn how to calculate your debt-to-income ratio.
In general, the lower your debt-to-income ratio and smaller your debts, the more likely you are to potentially qualify for a mortgage. Having fewer overall debts may also make your monthly mortgage payment more manageable for your budget.
Question 2 of 5
Am I financially ready to buy a home?
Do you feel prepared to make a down payment of up to 20% of the home's value?
A 20% down payment on the home price is not required. Still, you may want to try to save more. A down payment of less than 20% may require mortgage insurance, which may increase the cost of the loan and your monthly payment. Some loan types offer lower down payments, and you may qualify for down payment assistance.
A 20% down payment on the home price is not required, but the larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment may be. Be sure you keep enough money to pay closing costs and cover the first few months of your mortgage payment.
Question 3 of 5
Am I financially ready to buy a home?
Have you put together a budget for being a homeowner?
You’re doing great and feeling confident about having enough money available every month to be a homeowner. Don’t forget your budget should always include setting aside some money in case of an emergency.
Even if you’re not planning to buy a home, it’s a good idea to create a budget to track your income and expenses. This can help you understand what you may be able to afford as a monthly payment.
Question 4 of 5
Am I financially ready to buy a home?
Have you researched other homeowner expenses, such as repairs and utilities?
You can often contact utility companies to find out the average monthly cost based on previous bills. Be sure to also allocate funds for potential home repairs — a good rule of thumb is to have 1% of your home’s value set aside for maintenance every year.
You can often contact local utility companies to find out the average monthly cost for the home you’re considering. Learn more about the ongoing costs of being a homeowner, and be sure to set aside funds for potential home repairs—a good rule of thumb is to have 1% of your home’s value set aside for maintenance every year.
Question 5 of 5
Am I financially ready to buy a home?

You are well on your way

Working hard to pay down debts, increase your credit score, and save for a down payment will put you on the right track for buying a home. Now, you have a short list of how to strengthen your financial situation. Remember, the most important part is that you have a plan to secure a down payment and cover the cost of your mortgage each month.

Next steps

No matter what your quiz results told you, the fact that you’re thinking critically about your financial situation is a great first step to becoming a responsible homeowner. A home mortgage consultant can help you understand what aspects of your finances lenders will review, and a prequalification may help you see if you’re on track. Knowing that you have a strong financial base can make you more confident that you’ll be able to manage your money successfully as you purchase a home and move forward in your life.

Here are some next steps you can consider:

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