Liz Pulliam Weston has done a solid job of outlining the changes in home financing since the subprime lending scare began. Of particular note is this.
At the height of the lending boom, you could be zero for three — lousy credit scores, little or no down payment and unable to prove your income — and still get a loan. Today, “you better be two for three,” LendingTree.com’s Svinth said. Good scores, a down payment of 10% or more and a steady, provable income put you in the best position to get a loan.
While this largely affects those of us with low credit scores, even homebuyers with great credit can benefit from this advice. Of the “big three,” a large down payment is the most powerful.
Build your down payment. The more cash you can bring to the table, the better the loan you’ll secure. Shoot for 5% as your minimum, but 10% is even better, and 20% is great if you can swing it.
Nothing beats cash for buying power. For some, a down payment of 5% is a required part of getting the loan. But why stop there? Putting down more will improve every aspect of your buying process and will reduce the total amount of debt you are accepting.
Most often it just takes the discipline of putting money aside every month and pushing off the purchase. This is not something we like to hear, nor is it new, but every so often it’s healthy to hear the many benefits of lowering one’s debt.