Homeownership seems like a distant dream for college graduates that have just finished their education with a mountain of debt. Even if you have managed to find a decent job and put your degree to work, your dream home might seem completely out of reach. But if you are fed up with renting, the good news is, it is possible to buy your own property.

In general, college graduates are waiting longer to buy their first home for a number of reasons. Concerns about debt or a desire to focus on their career first mean that people are renting for longer. But if you are keen to buy your own home as soon as possible, there are some challenges you need to overcome. Finding a mortgage is particularly difficult, but it can be done, as long as you follow these tips.

Save Enough Money

Regardless of whether you are a graduate or not, you won’t get a mortgage unless you have the money for a deposit. But it’s not just the down payment you need to consider, it’s all of the other closing costs involved, as well as the cost of being a homeowner. If you can’t afford the monthly mortgage payments, you will regret rushing into buying a house straight out of college. So, use a mortgage calculator to work out exactly what you can afford. If you can comfortably afford the down payment and the monthly payments, you are fine. But if it’s going to stretch your finances and clear out your savings, you might need to wait.

Providing Work History

Usually, when you apply for a mortgage, the bank will ask for a two-year work history. The thing is, if you have just graduated and you’re about to start your new job, you don’t have two years of work history to show. The good news is, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage. Instead, you need to show them the offer letter from your job and, if it is related to your degree, take your college transcripts too.

Use Your Rental History

During the underwriting process, lenders are trying to establish whether you are reliable enough to make the mortgage payments on time every month. They will look at a lot of different things, including your income and your credit score. Their decision determines whether they will give you a mortgage in the first place, how much they are willing to lend you, and what the interest rate and repayments terms will be. If you have never had a mortgage before, your rental history can be very useful here. It shows that you are able to meet the repayments and a long-term rental contract will boost your credit score, so show proof of your rental history to lenders.

Getting a mortgage as a recent graduate can be difficult because it’s harder to prove that you are reliable. But if you can build up enough savings and you have a job offer on the table, it is possible.

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