We hear it all the time. “I’d like to buy, a house, but…” followed by the issue (or issues) that make it seem impossible. However, some of the things you thought were preventing you from buying a home may not be obstacles after all. Let’s examine a few common misconceptions.

I need to be earning lots of money to buy a home.

Well, you do need to be earning money, but an annual income of only $20,000 and a history of two years or more at your job is enough to qualify you for certain types of USDA financing. However, you must also have a reasonably good credit score, preferably around 640.

I don’t know what my credit score is.

You can find out your credit score for free on creditkarma.com. You can also get a free copy of your credit report (not your credit score) from annualcreditreport.com.

My credit score is bad and there’s nothing I can do about it.

There are things you can do to improve a credit score, such as paying off debt and establishing revolving credit accounts.  It will take some time, but it’s doable.  If you need help making that happen, free credit counseling is available from places such as the Consumer Credit Counseling Services (moneymanagement.org).

Keep in mind that it’s never too late to pay off outstanding bills. Companies want to be paid, and may even be willing to settle for a lesser amount just to get debt off their books. It doesn’t hurt to call them and ask.

My credit is OK, but my spouse’s credit is terrible.

That’s not a good situation for your spouse, who should work on improving it (see above), or for the both of you as a financial unit. Nevertheless, as long as one spouse meets the qualifications of the lending program then purchasing a house may be possible.  

I’m too young (or too old) to buy a home.

While it is possible to be too young – in some states you need to be at least 18 to own property – you can never be too old. After all, it’s illegal for lenders to discriminate based on age. At Maine Source Homes, we’ve worked with people as young as 19 and as old as 82.

It’s true that some circumstances, like an undischarged bankruptcy or high student loan balances, can prevent you from buying a home. But don’t throw obstacles in your own path. Talk to a knowledgeable Broker and find out what is possible instead of just assuming the worst.

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