8 Tips to Find an Affordable Home

Closeup of VISA, Mastercard and Union pay credit cards.

3. Develop a Debt Strategy

With more money in the bank, you can start paying off your debt, but don’t go about it haphazardly. Start with credit cards, as they usually carry the highest interest rates of all.

If you have more than one credit card, tackle the lowest balance and work your way up.
This may take some time, so be patient.


4. Boost Your Credit Score

Efforts to pay off debt improve your credit score, which is another important piece of the puzzle when it comes to a mortgage.

That’s not all you can do, though. Get copies of your credit report and scan it for errors. Also, set up alerts on your smartphone for future payments to make sure you don’t fall behind.

Remember: Lenders consider everything in the credit report; they need to know you can pay off the debt, so don’t give them a reason to believe otherwise.


5. Raise Cash for a Down Payment

By improving your credit score, you’ll boost your odds of being approved for a mortgage, but better terms are possible if you can make a down payment of 20 percent or more.

Of course, the only way to do that is scrimp and save more money, which could take some time — or is it?

There are many ways to raise that cash, including getting a part-time job or taking on a side-hustle. (In other words, selling cakes if you’re a good baker, opening an Etsy store if you want to make a profit from that jewelry-designing hobby, or otherwise capitalizing on your strengths.)

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