3 Tips for Getting a Mortgage in 2023

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  • Qualifying for a mortgage often boils down to having good credit and an income that can support the loan you're taking out.
  • You'll also need to put some money down at closing.
  • Increasing both your income and your savings can be assets to the home-buying process.

These moves could be your ticket to mortgage approval.

Although it's possible to purchase a home without signing a mortgage, most people don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash just hanging out in their savings accounts. So chances are, if your goal is to buy a home in 2023, you'll need a mortgage to make that purchase possible.

But getting approved for a mortgage isn't always a breeze. Mortgage lenders, by nature, give out large sums of money. And so they tend to be very careful about who they approve. If you want to increase your chances of getting a mortgage in 2023, here are some key moves to make.

1. Boost your savings

If you're applying for a conventional mortgage, you'll need to prepare to put some amount of money down at closing. You don't necessarily have to put down 20% -- though doing so will help you avoid private mortgage insurance, which is an added cost you'd probably rather steer clear of. But you may need to put down 10% of your home's purchase price. And given today's home values, that's a tall order.

Your best bet, therefore, is to give your savings as much of a boost as possible. The more you're able to put down on a home, the more equity you'll have from the start. And lenders like to see candidates who have a decent amount of money to put down, as it means they're taking on less of a risk.

2. Boost your credit score

Your credit score tells lenders -- mortgage and otherwise -- how reliable you are from a borrowing standpoint. A higher score sends the message you commonly pay bills on time and manage your debts well, while a lower score sends the opposite message.

It takes a minimum credit score of 620 to qualify for a conventional mortgage. But some lenders are apt to want a higher score than that. 

Also, while a 620 might allow you to get a mortgage, it won't necessarily render you eligible for a mortgage at a competitive interest rate. So if you're able to give your credit score a lift, it could make mortgage approval much more possible.

3. Boost your income

Maybe your credit score is downright outstanding. But when you're asking to borrow a huge sum of money, great credit isn't enough. You also need to be able to show a lender that you're capable of paying for a mortgage. And so the higher your income is, the more likely you are to qualify to borrow for a home.

So how do you raise your income if your company won't budge on salary? The answer could come down to getting a side gig on top of your main job. If you earn an extra $1,000 a month, for example, that's income that will count toward your ability to repay a mortgage.

Qualifying for a mortgage certainly isn't a given. But if you make these moves, you can set yourself up to not only get approved for a home loan, but potentially have different lenders fighting for your business. 

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