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Welcome to CENTURY 21 Realty Specialists. Call Us at +1 (808) 949-6322

How to Finance

Getting Pre-qualified

Before you begin to shop for a new home, you should set up a time to meet with your loan officer to figure out how much you can afford.  This will put you in a better position as a buyer.   To get pre-qualified for a loan, your loan officer will collect information about your income, assets, and debt.  They will also look at your credit history and assess goals for a down payment and get an idea of different loan programs that would work for you. It is important to understand that a pre-qualification letter is just an estimate of what you are eligible to borrow, not a commitment to lend.

Understanding the Qualifying Ratio

Typically conventional loans have a qualifying ratio of 28/36. The first number in the qualifying ratio is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be applied to housing (including loan principal and interest, private mortgage insurance, hazard insurance, property taxes and homeowner's association dues).

The second number is the maximum percentage of your gross monthly income that can be applied to housing expenses and recurring debt. Recurring debt includes things like car loans, child support, and monthly credit card payments.

 For example: 

With a 28/36 qualifying ratio:

Gross monthly income of $3,500 x .28 = $980 can be applied to housing
Gross monthly income of $3,500 x .36 = $1,260 can be applied to recurring debt plus housing expenses

Remember these are just guidelines.  A high credit score or a large down payment may allow you to exceed the standard qualifying ratio.  On the other hand, a low credit score or a small down payment may require qualifying ratios of less than the general guideline.  This is the reason why it’s always a good idea to get pre-qualified before you begin looking for your new home.

Your Credit Score

Credit History - How long have you had credit?
Payment History - Do you pay your bills on time?
Credit Card Balances - How much do you owe on how many accounts?
Credit Inquiries - How many times have you had your credit checked? 

Each of these are assigned a value and a weight.  The results are added up and distilled into a single number.  Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with higher being better.  Typical home buyers likely find their scores falling between 600 and 800.

What can you do about your credit score?  Unfortunately, not much.  Since the score is based on a lifetime of credit history, it is difficult to make a signific change in the number with quick fixes.  The most important thing is to know your credit score and to ensure that your credit history is correct.  Conveniently, Fair Isaac has created a web site ( that let's you do just that.  For a fee, you can quickly get your FICO score from all three reporting agencies, along with your credit report.  Also available is some helpful information and tools that help you analyze what actions might have the greatest impact on your FICO score.  Each of the credit services offers similar services on their web sites:,, and

Armed with this information, you will be a more informed consumer and better positioned to obtain the most favorable mortgage available to you.




(Provided by Pinnacle Funding Hawaii JT)    


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