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To buy your first home, you likely will need a mortgage. In fact, before you even start looking at houses, you should look into your mortgage prospects.If you have good credit, a healthy income and money in the bank, you’ll be able to securemortgage preapproval quickly and proceed straight to the homebuying process. But if you have less-than-stellar credit, are self-employed or have little cash to bring to the table, you’ll want to start the process way before you look at houses – maybe more than a year before.“You have to get a copy of your credit report,” says Don Frommeyer, chief executive officer of the National Association of Mortgage Professionals and a mortgage broker in Indianapolis. “You have to know what’s in there.”The free credit report you can get annually, while it helps you identify problems, won’t show you the same credit score your mortgage officer will see.The score is invariably higher than what you get when someone in the mortgage company runs it,” says Casey Fleming, author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage” and a mortgage broker in the San Francisco Bay Area.

That makes meeting with a mortgage officer (or two or three) at the start of the process crucial. In competitive markets, agents won’t even show homes to buyers without mortgage preapproval.Be prepared to produce documents, and lots of them, starting with several years of tax returns and many months of bank statements. Lenders will want proof of your income, and they will want to know about all your debts. They also will want to know the source of any big deposits. If your parents give you money for a down payment, they will need to write a letter documenting that.

Could you please simplify the whole two highlighted sentences in simple English. Now that is really hard to understand.

The free credit report you can get annually, while it helps you identify problems, won’t show you the same credit score your mortgage officer will see. The score is invariably higher than what you get when someone in the mortgage company runs it.

  • You can get your "free credit report" every year. The report is helpful because you can see your (financial) problems on the the report. It will tell your something called "credit score" (a number that says how good your credit is; usually the higher, the better). But your "mortgage officer" (someone who will approve or disapprove your mortgage) will see a different score. The score on your "free credit report" will always higher than the score your "mortgage officer" will see (when he or she runs it, i.e. when looking at your credit data on their computers). – Damkerng T. May 18 '15 at 10:39
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The free credit report you can get annually, while it helps you identify problems, won’t show you the same credit score your mortgage officer will see. The score is invariably higher than what you get when someone in the mortgage company runs it.

Every year you will receive a credit report every year. You do not need to pay for this report. The report will help you see how good or bad your personal finances are. The report will give you a 'credit score'. A credit score is a number which describes how risky it is to lend you money. A high score means you are low risk. If you are low risk, a bank will be more likely to give you a better deal. The mortgage company will create their own report. Becareful as the credit score on your free report will probably be higher than on the report produced by the mortgage company.

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Use the free credit score number as a guide rather than a fact as the bank will run their own credit score. Their credit score will probably make you look worse than the free report did.

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