Understand Your Budget – Shop for a home you can afford. First-time homebuyers might not be able to buy a huge home with a pool. Be realistic about your monthly debt and be prepared to buy in your price range.
Reduce Recurring Debt – As you begin to plan for your home purchase, pay down credit card and auto loan debt. These additional debts drain your credit and your monthly paycheck.
Lower Your Student Loan Payments – Consider ways to reduce the monthly cost of your student loans. Consolidation and refinancing are great ways to reduce the interest on loans and lower your monthly payments.
Pay On Time – This rule applies to all your debt, but demonstrating responsibility for your loans helps lenders see you as good borrowers and could lower your mortgage interest rate.
Save a Little Longer – larger down payment will help reduce the monthly cost of the mortgage; if you can save for 20% down, you will also save in Private Mortgage Insurance which is added to all loans with a high Loan-to-value.