It’s graduation season and that means many people are emerging from academia, degree in hand, ready to start their “real” lives. If you’re among those who are lucky enough to be done with their school and starting a career, it’s also time to start thinking about the next stage of your life: home ownership. The rising generation is one of the most reluctant to purchase homes, but as the economy begins to swing upwards again, they’re also one of best poised to do so. If you want to start saving for a home and achieve the next part of the American dream, here’s how:
Learn your credit score. Most people in college and, by extension, most new graduates, have no idea what their credit scores are. Now is the perfect time to find out. If you have a credit card and have used it, you have a credit score. Get your credit report and score and keep paying attention to it as you continue to use your credit, start your job, and start your life.
Continue building your credit. The longer your credit history is, the easier it will be to secure a mortgage for a home. Use your credit card routinely and pay off your balance immediately. Avoid overspending or carrying a massive load of debt on these cards and don’t be late with your payments. Any of these things can make it very difficult to maintain a positive credit history and be able to secure a mortgage in the future.
Pick a job with home buying in mind. As you start looking for jobs or continue looking for better jobs once you’ve found one, you’ll want to look for one that provides you with the financial support and perks that you’ll need in order to buy a home. That means one with a retirement plan and insurance.
Unload any lingering debt. If you’re one of the many, many graduates who is leaving school with debt, it’s time to start paying it off. While you might not have to start paying it off for a few more years, depending on what kind of loan you obtained, you can start paying it off immediately so that you will no longer be carrying that debt when you want to apply for a mortgage.