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Many newbies to the mortgage process probably don’t realize all the various factors that can affect their ability to obtain this highly sought-after loan.

Some of the main necessities before starting the process include having a significant chunk of money saved for a down payment, a career that provides steady income, as well as a good credit score.

What people my not consider, however, are the various things they could be doing to harm their chances at getting a good rate on your mortgage, or getting one at all. Following are a few of the factors you should keep in mind if you’re considering obtaining a mortgage to obtain a home in the near future:

1. Consider going solo on the mortgage.

Sure, it seems taboo if both you and your spouse or partner isn’t included on the mortgage, but it doesn’t always make the best financial sense. For example, if either you or your spouse has a particularly low credit score due to extreme debt, lack of credit history, or even identity theft, it could become be difficult, or impossible to be approved for a joint mortgage.

Of course, on the other side of the token, it can also be more difficult for a single person to be approved on a mortgage versus a couple. If you leave your spouse out of the equation, then you’ll be applying for a mortgage based on only your income, so there’s a lot more weighing on your shoulders.

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to talk with a financial expert about which scenario would be the best choice for your particular situation.

2. Don’t lie to your lender: it’s not worth the risk.

You may think it’s harmless to tell some half-truths or withhold certain information in order to make yourself look like a better financial candidate for a mortgage loan. But in all situations, this is a bad idea.

Lying on a mortgage application is both illegal and considered fraud and could trigger criminal charges from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. More than that, your lender could immediately demand full repayment of the loan and threaten to move your property to foreclosure if you’re unable to pay.

Trust me, being dishonest when it comes to your mortgage is a risk that’s just not worth it. If find yourself facing foreclosure or criminal charges, then you’ll be worse off than before you decided to take a risk on buying that piece of property.

3. Resist the urge to open a new line of credit.

It may be tempting to sign up for a new credit card with a great introductory interest rate in order to purchase things for your new home. But this is actually one of the key things that can hurt your chances of obtaining a mortgage loan.

First of all, your credit score drops a little each time you apply for new credit, and you need every point you can get when applying for a large loan for a new home.

Applying for new credit alongside a mortgage can also throw up red flags for lenders. They may see that new credit line as something that puts you over-the-top where they are comfortable with your debt payments, causing a delay on your mortgage loan or a rejection of your application altogether.

The bottom line: A mortgage is something you should definitely look before you leap into. Make sure you have your finances in line, and you’re prepared to handle such a loan in a responsible manner before deciding to apply.

Author Ron L. Brown, CFP®

Ron is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of R.L. Brown Wealth Management. He specializes in retirement, estate, and business planning for professionals and entrepreneurs. Ron assists his clients with creating a financial plan to ensure they are able to live their ideal lifestyle during retirement and leave a strong legacy for their family. Ron has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, US News, Yahoo Finance, Investopedia, and numerous other high profile financial publications.

More posts by Ron L. Brown, CFP®
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