Buying a house is an exciting time. If you can’t pay for it in cash, though (and let’s face it, most people can’t), you’ll have to apply for a mortgage. Securing a mortgage requires a lot more than filling out an application, though. Here are a few of the things you’ll need.

A Decent Credit Score

One of the first things that a lender looks at is your credit score. If your score is less than ideal, there are steps you can take to improve it:

  • Check your credit reports and report any mistakes.
  • Pay down existing debt.
  • Make payments on time.
  • Don’t take on any new debts.

Money Down

Most mortgages require a down payment. While they don’t typically require the 20% down that some financial experts recommend, many require at least 3% to 3.5%. Providing 20% down, however, does help you avoid the need for private mortgage insurance. One of the only types of mortgage loans that doesn’t require a down payment (or private mortgage insurance) is a VA home loan.

Essential Documents

Along with your credit history, you will need to provide proof of income. You may need a P60 form (which shows a summary of how much you earn), as well as three months of bank statements and payslips. Another essential document you’ll need is proof of homeowners insurance Glendale AZ. Lenders require insurance before they’ll approve a mortgage loan.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, start your search for potential mortgage lenders first. Researching your options and getting preapproval first will help you know how much a bank is willing to lend. You should also create a budget to figure out how much you can afford. Doing your homework will allow you to find a house you love and that you can comfortably afford.