Honestly, when you are struggling financially and living at home still with your parents owning your own home is just a dream you hope to attain but feel will never be reached. Budgeting helps you improve your score. It makes life a lot brighter and you begin to see that homeownership for low-income persons is possible, but takes some work to achieve. If you haven’t pulled your credit score and report yet, do so – pick one of the reporting bureaus to check and review. Only do one every three to four months. Be sure to get your score with the report.
First, Know your Credit Score
Your score must fall into one of the following levels:
- 720 and higher = very good
- 680 to 719 = good
- 640 to 679 = fair
- 580 to 639 = poor
- 579 or lower = badIf you fall between 640 and lower, you have some work today – grab your credit report you just pulled up and copied and begin reviewing. Make sure you have a highlighter to mark anything on your report that looks suspicious or problematic. I pulled my Equifax report first, and the score was slightly below 640 – so I know I have some work to do scrutinizing the report very closely with marker and pen in hand.
Second, Know the Home Loan Availability to Your FICO Score
Here is a list of loans available and the FICO score estimate attached for the best results. However, no guarantees – you must be pre-qualified to receive one of them:
- FHA Loan – 580+ credit score (500-579 score is possible but unlikely)
- VA Loan – 620+ credit score (some lenders require 580)
- USDA Loan – 640+ credit score FHA 203K Loan – 620+ credit score
- Conventional Loan – 620+ credit score
Then, Get Pre-Approved before Looking
Most all real estate agencies have a loan agent on staff or know of one, who you can use to get started. When you are pre-approved you know what your price range is and are aware of your limits. When I graduated from High School I had a goal in mind, if I had not married and had children by 40 I would get my first home. Well, I never anticipated the damage credit cards can do back then, so when I hit 40 I was a prisoner of debt. Sadly I had to accept the fact that I may never get my own place, but at least I had my mom there – her faith and love for her children was what kept me going.
After her untimely death in 2001 due to diabetic complications, I went into my third and thank God final (I hope) down turn. It was my stepdad that gave me the inspiration to find a way for ‘he always saw me ‘as one to achieve’ and now had I let him down? Well, I couldn’t let that happen and found a way, for which I am now trying to help others.
So, now that I have digressed here – make sure you get pre-approved and know what you can and cannot afford.
Finally, Yes! There is a Home Out there for you too!
Now almost 20 years later, I have that home of my own and all the worries that go with it. Loving it though! ;} My only regret is I wish I had done it sooner while mom was still alive – she would have had fun helping me fix it up. Today I own my first real home – a manufactured one but I love it, in the town of Kingston, Massachusetts. So, you see it is possible – but you always need a budget and hard work to keep things going. Oh yes, and have a close walk with God.
Now, Let’s Hear Your Story! Are You Still Struggling?
I hope this has given some hope and inspiration to never give up on your dreams. They are still possible, but like anything take a lot of work and endurance, as well as patience. Now maintaining the budget, well that ensures it will never be taken away. If you have any questions, please leave them with your comments below.