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Step 1

Preparing to shop for your mortgage

Buying a home is exciting. It’s also one of the most important financial decisions you’ll make. Choosing a mortgage to pay for your new home is just as important. Don’t rush into it.

Goals for this phase

  Determine how much you want to spend on a home

  Decide if it’s the right time to buy a new home

  Gather your application paperwork

Action steps

Before you start shopping for a home and a mortgage, set yourself up for success by taking time to prepare. Use our step-by-step guide to check your credit, assess your finances, set your home-price budget, and more.


Tools for this phase

Credit report checklist

Review your credit reports early so you have time to correct mistakes.

Spending tracker

Track your spending to know how much you can afford for a monthly payment.

Interest rate explorer

The interest rate you expect to receive is an important factor in deciding how much to spend on a home.


Visit our sources page to learn more about the facts and numbers we reference.

The process and forms described on this page reflect mortgage regulations that apply to most mortgages.

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