As with the beginning of each year, nearly half of all Americans typically make at least one resolution. Some may include weight loss and getting in shape, while others may have made the resolution to get their finances in order and to start saving for a new home. Whatever your resolution this year, make a plan and stick with it.

Although less than half of us carry our resolutions through year’s end, it’s estimated we’re 10 times more likely to achieve it if we explicitly declare, or even write down, our resolutions. We’d like to help you be a part of the elite few actually completing their resolutions when December rolls around. Although we aren’t in the fitness industry, we can certainly help flex your money’s muscles and get your finances in tip-top shape.

How can we help? If your resolution is to purchase a new home soon, then setting up a solid budget and plan should be in order.

Start by checking your credit score.
Your credit history is an important factor when you decide to apply for a loan. Most lenders rely on the Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) credit score when reviewing your loan application. The score reflects how well you manage your debt. It’s calculated using data from your credit report. A lower credit score often results in a higher interest rate on your loan. It’s important to discuss this, and other factors, with your First Bank home loan consultant.

If you find that your credit score is too low, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your credit score, including:

• Know the due dates of your bills and pay your bills on time
• Only open the lines of credit you need
• Keep your credit card balances below half of your available credit

Get organized.
You’ll then want to start getting organized, including your finances. Getting a loan requires a few different documentations including, but not limited to, pay stubs, tax returns, and financial statements. You’ll also need to provide copies of additional monthly payments such as car loans, credit cards, and student loans. Keep all of this in mind, when you begin organizing. If you have this information readily available when you decide to apply for a home loan, it will make the process much more efficient.

Start Saving!
Set up a designated savings account and start saving as much as you can each pay period to use as a down payment on the purchase of your new home. Although we offer first-time homebuyer programs with little to no down payment, it is still a good idea to have some available funds in reserve to use for a potential down payment, utilities, moving expenses, new home furnishings, or unforeseen emergencies.

With some preparation now, you’ll be even closer to rolling out the welcome mat on your own, new home later. We’re here to help answer any questions to help make that dream a reality. Contact your First Bank Home Loan Consultant today.