Ask Terry Questions buying a first home

buying a first home

By Terry Savage on May 30, 2015 | Housing / Real Estate

My husband & i are trying to buy a home.Both our credits are not good, b/c we dont have any.What is the next step beside trying to build our credit should we do in order to get a nice home?

Terry Says:  There are three requirements for buying your first home:  good credit, good income, and enough savings for a down payment (unless you or your spouse is a vet and can get a VA loan with zero down payment).

So, you need to pay attention to your credit.  Go to and get a credit report for each of you.  Do you have bad credit — or no credit?  If you don’t have a credit history go to and search for a “secured card”.  That’s a regular Visa that requires you to put money into a savings account at the issuing bank.  Your bank deposit (typically minimum $1,000) becomes your line of credit — and guarantees the bank won’t suffer a loss.  Then charge a little bit on the card every month and be sure to repay EVERY month in full and on  time.  That way you will build a good credit report.

Then start saving for a down payment.  There are some programs offered by state housing authorities (in Illinois it’s the Illinois Housing Development Authority) for first-time homebuyers.  But do try to save at least $10,000 so you will have a small down payment and money for the inevitable expenses that come with home ownership.  It’s a great goal — and the time to start is NOW.



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