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Before you shop for a home, it's smart to determine how much of a home you can afford. That's why our Home BuyabilityTM Test is so useful. It should also make you feel more comfortable about applying for a mortgage and save you time when you begin looking for a home. And our Mortgage Payment Calculator will help you determine how much your monthly payment might be based on today's interest rates.
Before you begin shopping for a home, it's always a good idea to get yourself pre-qualified with a bank for a mortgage. Equally important, you should consider doing this before you make an offer to buy a particular home. To make it easy, check our BankSITE® Directory. Many of the banks listed in our Directory have pre-qualification programs for mortgage loans and you'll find them eager to help you.
However, it should be pointed out that "pre-qualification" is not the same as "pre-approval". Pre-qualification is an approximation of how much of a mortgage you may be able to get provided your credit history, employment, property appraisal and other information checks out.
Once you've made your offer on a particular home and it's been accepted, it's time to apply for your financing.
First, decide whether you want a conventional, fixed rate mortgage or an adjustable rate mortgage. And remember that not all mortgages are alike, so do your research carefully. Our section on Mortgage Shopping Tips shows you some of the things you should consider. Then, based on the requirements of the bank, just collect the information you need (we've provided a typical Mortgage Loan Application, but additional information may be required later. You can fill out an application now and print it, so you can drop it off at the bank. Or some banks are set up so you can email it to them.
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