You're ready to start thinking about getting a new house in the State College region. You have your eye on the perfect one - big front porch, lots of natural light, and tall ceilings. It has the exact number of bedrooms to accommodate your growing family, and the location is ideal. Congratulations, you have officially found a great Central Pennsylvania house. Now on to the next step: finding a great mortgage company in State College.

D. Shane Whitteker is a broker and owner at State College-based mortgage company Principle Home Mortgage (PHM). PHM specializes in helping their clients get great mortgages. According to Whitteker, there are a few things homebuyers can do to help improve their chances of getting a great mortgage. Here are the tips he shares with his clients to improve their chances at a mortgage that's just right for them.

Get your credit score up

The first one seems kind of obvious and that is managing your credit score. When you’re aware of your score, you’re more likely to take the steps necessary to increase it. A good credit score is essential to getting a great mortgage in State College, or anywhere else.

“Checking your credit once a year is a good idea,” Whitteker says. “However, checking it too often can hurt your score.”

Click to learn great tips for increasing your credit score.

You’ve got to work it

If you are looking to get a great mortgage with a great interest rate, your work history plays a big part. The lenders are looking for consistency, with total income important as well.

“Consistent income ensures more options when it comes to obtaining a mortgage,” Whitteker says. More options means a better chance you’ll be able to get the great mortgage you’re looking for.

20% can mean big savings down the road

If you’re able to, putting 20% of the purchase price in the form of a down payment can save you big down the road. A 20% down payment means the homebuyer doesn’t need to pay for mortgage insurance.

“When you consider how much you will pay over the life of a loan, mortgage insurance adds up,” Whitteker says. “20% down can help you to avoid having to pay for this.”

Keep a rent record

If you’re going from renting to buying, it’s a good idea to have a record of your rent payments. This helps to establish you as a person who pays their debts on time and in full.

“For a purchase having a rental history paid by check helps, especially if you have had past credit issues or don’t have much credit depth,” Whitteker says.

Keep it in reserve

Savings can help get a great mortgage, by showing lenders that you’re a stable, responsible mortgage prospect. Anything you can do to illustrate how you’re a low risk mortgage candidate will help increase your options and help get you that great mortgage you deserve.

To learn more about ways to increase your likelihood of getting a great mortgage in State College, contact D. Shane Whitteker at Principle Home Mortgage today. They can be reached by phone at 814-308-0959 or you can email them, fill out a contact form, or visit them at their offices at 2125 E. College Ave. in State College.