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Boost your credit score

If you don’t have the funds to buy your dream home with an all-cash offer, you’re going to need a mortgage. But with average rates nearing 7% right now, you’ll likely get hit with higher monthly payments.

Still, you can get a more affordable interest rate with a higher credit score — applicants with scores of 740 or higher typically enjoy the lowest rates.

So check your score, make sure you’re paying all your bills in full and on time and work toward clearing any lingering debts you still owe. Having a lower debt-to-income ratio will help boost your credit.

Read more: How can I stop the pain and make money in this nightmarish market? Here's 1 simple way you can protect your nest egg

Stop overpaying for home insurance

Home insurance is an essential expense – one that can often be pricey. You can lower your monthly recurring expenses by finding a more economical alternative for home insurance.

Officialhomeinsurance can help you do just that. Their online marketplace of vetted home insurance providers allows you to quickly shop around for rates from the country’s top insurance companies, and ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your home insurance.

Explore better rates

Park your cash in a high-yield savings account

It’s a good idea to set some cash aside each month, whether you’re saving for a down payment or for the entire home price. So, consider stashing it in a savings account that offers higher returns.

A high-yield savings account could come with an APY of around 4%, compared to more traditional savings accounts, which will offer an interest rate of around 0.3%.

Just keep in mind that with high-yield savings accounts you may need to make a certain minimum deposit, maintain a minimum balance or pay regular fees — so compare offers first before deciding on which account to apply for.

Compare mortgage rates

Don’t be afraid to shop around for mortgage rate offers from different lenders rather than settling on the first one you see.

Freddie Mac says its research have found that borrowers save an average of $3,000 when they compare quotes from at least five different lenders.

So pay close attention to interest rates, APRs, closing costs and discount points, as well as any penalties, terms and conditions that each offer includes — and pick the one that works best for you.

Don’t forget to get pre-approval from your lender to outline what you can afford and what rate you can secure. It could also get you more negotiating power with real estate agents and sellers when you’re actually in the process of buying a home.


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Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.