Mortgage rates are at 3.75% for the 30 year fixed loan program and at 2.94% for the 15 year fixed. As for variable rates, the 5/1 ARM rate currently stands at 3.25%. Check out FHA and VA rates as well if you are doing low or no down payments.
1. Do you know what loans are available? If you're moving to an eligible area, you may qualify for a zero down payment loan through USDA. Veterans may be eligible for VA loans, which do not require cash down. The content in the paragraphs below should give you an idea of where you may fall.
2. Have you checked your FICO score? Your credit should fall somewhere above 600, but few lenders accept scores in the high 500s. If your credit score needs a boost, work on improving it before you try to take out a mortgage. Once annually, you're able to request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
3. Have you compared multiple interest rate offers from a few Maine lenders? Choose one who not only provides a great offer, but carries a high rating from the Better Business Bureau.
4. Are you pre-approved? Once you've picked a lender, provide income documentation with your last two pay stubs and tax returns from the past two years.
5. Is your budget set in stone? You could be pre-approved for a loan amount that is bigger than you had anticipated, but do not base affordability on the sum provided. Remember - pre-approvals are not guaranteed, and only you know what you can truly afford.
6. Have you found a house? During the shopping process, don't spend significant amounts of money, take out new installment loans, or do anything else that could weaken your credit or bank statements. Lenders will check your accounts again before closing your loan.
If you’re a first time home buyer without a lot to put down, an Maine FHA loan may accommodate you. FHA loans are backed by the government and designed to help home buyers with limited upfront funds receive financing.
You can find additional information about FHA loans on the Maine page of the FHA website.
The United States Department of Agriculture backs home loans for zero down to Maine home buyers looking to move to or live in rural areas. Find out if your buying city is eligible by searching the USDA's property map. Note that popular areas like Augusta and Portland are not eligible.
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