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- Document everything and be prepared to show it. New mortgage rules require banks to be tougher. For mortgages they will want to know the source of all recent bank deposits to prevent loans for down payments. They will want bank records, tax returns, W-2s, investments and other assets.
- Lock in your rate as soon as possible. Rates will probably rise this year.
- Shop around. Look at points, interest rates and closing costs. Banks will be tougher this year but also more competitive for qualified applicants.
- Banks like credit scores of 720 or more. 680 will still qualify but at a higher interest rate.
- Do not run up credit cards before loan closing. Banks will watch up until closing. Debt must be less than 43% including mortgage and property taxes.