A credit history plays an important role in obtaining a mortgage in the US.
What is a credit history? It's your financial portfolio based on your banking history and your payment history in relation to credit and charge cards and major store credit such as JC Penny, Macy's, Sachs etc... This is the first step loan institutions will take before negotiating a car or real estate loan and its result will determine the conditions of the loan or may cause you to be denied the loan if the report is negative. Credit card companies also use this system to determine whether you're eligible for credit and will base your credit limit on the results of this report. You may check your credit history for free once a year, which is strongly advised, in order to verify and justify information appearing on your report. You may also consult your credit history if you're denied a loan or credit card to be sure the report is accurate. Experian, Equifax or Transunion are the top three companies recommended in the US for checking your credit history.
Mortgage rates vary from 5.5% to 8.5% according to your credit history and immigration status, citizen or foreigner, and the terms are usually between 20 and 30 years at a fixed rate. Some banks offer 100% financing and your credit history will determine eligibility for this option whereas most banks work with a 10-20% downpayment or deposit. Foreigners are normally required to make a 25-30% deposit and are not required to have a credit history in the US, but rather your income and accumulated assets in your country of origin.
Although a lawyer is not mandatory when purchasing real estate, it is strongly advised to engage the services of a lawyer for the title search, property inspection and assessment, and matters of legal verification. Insurance against robbery, fire, hurricane and other potential damage should be purchased for condominiums and are obligatory when purchasing a single house.