The American Dream —Your First Home

Key Takeaways

  • Before you embark on the dream of owning your own home, make sure there are no errors in your credit score or financial history.
  • If you can’t come up with a 20 percent down payment, you can often still buy a home—but you’ll typically need mortgage insurance.
  • Many new homebuyers underestimate how much they’ll pay in ongoing maintenance—budget $1 per square foot per year in addition to PITI.

Know Your Loan Basics

Key Takeaways

  • Four basic components of any type of loan are time, interest rate, loan amount and payment.
  • Young adults tend to have four types of loans: student, auto, credit card and mortgage.
  • A good credit score will give you much better terms on any type of loan—and save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

Used Car—Double the Benefits!

Key Takeaways

  • Don’t tie up your cash when you’re young, but you have to be smart about your loan terms.
  • Making slightly larger, or more frequent, payments than you’re required to can add up to HUGE savings down the road.
  • A used car is often better than new when you’re young—especially when the savings is applied to higher-rate student loans and credit cards.