4 big money mistakes of first-time homebuyers
Misunderstanding the importance of a high credit score
While most consumers know it's important to have a high credit score, not everyone understands how costly a low score can be.
"All mortgage lending is done with a tier of interest rates and terms based on consumer credit scores," Harrison says. "A credit score of 720 or above will earn you the best rates and can potentially save you thousands of dollars."
A score of 680 to 720 can get you good mortgage rates, while a FICO score of 620 is usually about the lowest score to qualify for most loans, Harrison says.
Consumers should learn about credit scores the minute they start working, Harrison says.
Websites such as Bankrate provide information about how to improve your credit score.
Even after a mortgage approval, consumers must avoid applying for new credit or taking on new debt, Adamo says, because a second credit check is often required before settlement.