Most college students require some kind of financing to complete their degree. Student loan debt is a serious commitment, one which can take up to 20 years to repay. But having a student loan does not mean you will be unable to buy a home, in fact lenders are prepared for this kind of debt and can help you find a loan program which suits your needs.
Before you postpone home ownership, talk with a lender and plan for the purchase; then follow these 5 tips to make sure your search is successful.
1. Understand Your Budget – Shop for a home you can afford. First time home buyers might not be able to buy the huge home with a pool. Be realistic about your monthly debt and be prepared to buy in your price range.
2. Reduce Recurring Debt – As you begin to plan for your home purchase, pay down credit card and auto loan debt. These additional drains on your credit and monthly paycheck and add thousands to your home purchasing power.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Save a Little Longer – A 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.
Having a student loan does not prevent you from buying and owning a home. Talk to a lender and learn about your unique situation and create a strategy for accomplishing your home ownership goal.