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Step 2

Exploring your loan choices

Don’t wait until you find a home to start thinking about how to finance it. Take time now to explore your mortgage choices so that you’re ready when the right home comes along.

Goals for this phase

  • Contact multiple lenders to explore your choices
  • Select the type of loan that fits your needs
  • Place an offer on a home

Action steps

Follow the steps below to meet with lenders, ask questions, and decide what kind of mortgage is right for you. Getting a preapproval letter helps you show sellers that you are a serious buyer–but it doesn’t commit you to a lender. In the next phase, you’ll compare offers from different lenders and choose the best deal. Once a seller accepts your offer on a home, you may have as little as a couple days to line up financing, so shopping for a mortgage beforehand is key.

Tools for this phase

Interest rate explorer

Our tool lets you explore rates for different loan options.

Explore interest rates

Visit our sources page to learn more about the facts and numbers we reference.

The process and forms described on this page reflect mortgage regulations that apply to most mortgages.