If you have perfect credit with an excellent credit rating, you’re very fortunate and will likely get some good offers when you seek out a mortgage. If you’ve had credit issues that negatively impacted your credit rating, welcome to the real world. Even those with the best of intentions can encounter bumps along the road that wreak havoc on the credit score. Whether you have good credit or your score is not so good, here are some things you can expect from the process.

People with good credit ratings usually get better offers when it comes to interest rates and loan terms. That’s just a fact of life, but it doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do if you have less than perfect credit.

Save – If you’re looking to buy a home but your credit rating isn’t great, start saving as early as you can. The more you can put down on a loan, the more likely you are to get better terms, including interest rates. In some cases, lenders who would have denied your mortgage loan altogether may be more receptive if you’ve proven your commitment to making the loan happen by saving a significant down payment.

Take the terms – If you’re really committed to getting the loan, you may want to resign yourself to accepting the terms being offered. After you’ve made your payments on time every time for a year or two, the same lender who was less than enthusiastic about this loan may be more willing to make you a better deal. Remember that this depends on your ability and willingness to make the payments on time, indicating to the lender that you’re committed to meeting the terms of the mortgage loan.

Shop – Remember that not all lenders are the same. One of the big differences is that some lenders will focus on different points of a credit rating. For example, some lenders check the numbered credit score and care little about the details of the credit report past that point. Others will look more closely at the recent credit activity. Even if your credit score is not good or you had credit issues several years ago, you may find some lenders more lenient if your recent credit actions were positive.

Negotiate – If you’ve found a lender who isn’t offering the rates you want, ask what you need to do to achieve those more favorable terms. You may find that simply asking gets you something, but you’ll at least know what’s important to this lender. It could be that you’ll get better rates if you wait a few months to take out a loan when you can put more money toward the down payment.

Check your credit report – Know what’s on your credit report before you apply. That way, you’ll know what the lender is going to see when he checks. You should also be sure your credit report is correct. There’s nothing worse than being offered poor terms because of a mistake on your report.

With most lenders, you’ll get better rates and terms if you have good credit. But don’t give up on the idea of a mortgage loan just because you’ve had some credit issues.

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