Buying a home with student loan debt is no easy task. Millions of people under age forty are under stress from paying back thousands of dollars after going to college. But even with the staggering statistics there is a road map to getting into Napa Valley real estate or any of the great Napa homes for sale. This involves careful managing of finances and self-discipline, but there is a way to getting on the path to financial stability and the home you have always wanted. With that in mind: here are 4 steps to get you rolling towards your first home or piece of Napa Valley real estate!

Refinance your student loans

Fortunately, both federal and private loans can be refinanced. While some debt is “good” in the sense that it shows creditors that you have the ability to make timely payments and increase confidence in you as a borrower, it does contribute to your credit score which will determine your eligibility for a home loan. Always check with your mortgage professional before making any decisions regarding refinancing your student loan, sometimes there are mortgage options that will enable you to payoff or paydown loans to help your debt to income ratios.

Get pre-approved first

Don’t find your dream house first and then try to build your mortgage around it. To posture yourself as a serious buyer, making informed decisions, get pre-approved for a loan first and then evaluate what your purchase options are. The pre-approval process is easy to start and most lenders or mortgage professionals have online applications to get the process started quickly.

Manage your debt to income ratio

One of the most important factors in your home purchase and securing your mortgage is managing your debt to income ratio. By controlling your spending and paying down outstanding debts timely, you can show a prospective lender that you are a good risk and a desirable borrower.

Monitor your credit score

Your credit score is going to be one of the main factors in your ability to get a home loan. Having a score at 750 or higher means you have excellent credit and anything below 600 means that you will have fewer credit options that could be more costly. In the short term, checking your credit score and cleaning up any fraudulent or erroneous charges under your name will be critical. Your lender or mortgage professional can run a credit report for you and help you determine what items are important to pay down first. Be sure to make all payments on time while paying down any outstanding balance and you will be one step closer to owning your very own piece of Napa Valley real estate!