Let’s close the gap.

It’s no secret that financial institutions have played a historic role in creating wealth inequality, including access to homeownership. At U.S. Bank, we acknowledge that history and we’ve made a commitment to help close the racial wealth gap. We’re calling it Access Commitment, and we’re eager to share our expertise and resources with you, wherever you’re at on your path to homeownership.

Find your starting point.

No two paths to buying a home are identical, but understanding your current financial strengths is a solid first step. U.S. Bank offers a financial assessment that asks eight questions about saving, spending, borrowing and planning. Answering the questions may help you decide what to do next.

Connect with a professional.

Preparing to buy a home is a big deal. Luckily there are professionals ready to help answer questions and provide direction, no matter the stage you’re at.

Goals coaches

U.S. Bank offers free, personalized goals coaching to help you explore what you want and how to get there, through in-person or virtual conversations. If homeownership is your chosen destination, your coach can guide you wherever you are along the way.

Mortgage loan officers

If you’re ready to find the best mortgage for you, it may be time to find a mortgage loan officer (MLO). An MLO can help you determine which mortgage will best suit your needs — and guide you from your application all the way to your home’s closing.

Build your financial foundation.

Our Financial IQ articles offer strategies and inspiration for your financial growth.

Saving: Turn it into a habit.

Your end goal might be buying a house, but if saving money is a regular part of your daily life, you’ll be prepared for the little things that come after the purchase, too.

Budgeting: Know where your money goes.

Keeping track of how much you earn and spend might not sound like fun. But when you create a budget that works with your lifestyle, you can buy the things you want with financial confidence.

Building credit: Make credit work for you.

Understanding how credit works is your first step in building it, improving it and using it efficiently. It’s an important part of buying a house, and your financial life in general.

Managing debt: Tackle debt with wisdom.

Debt doesn’t have to be a bad word. Its most common forms are auto loans, credit cards, personal loans and — mortgages. When it comes to debt, keeping it under control is key.

Homebuying truths that might surprise you

There’s a lot of information out there about buying a home. If you haven’t had much experience with it, there are a few truths you need to know.

Truth 1: You can have as little as 3% for a down payment.

Having a higher down payment on a home can help you save money in the long run. But you can have as little as 3% of the home’s purchase price for a down payment. And there are homebuying resources and grants to help you get there.

Truth 2: For some mortgages, the minimum FICO® Score you need is 620.

You don’t have to have “excellent” credit to qualify for a mortgage, though a higher score can help you get a lower interest rate. That said, there are government-backed mortgages like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans that have even lower credit requirements.

Truth 3: You can have debt and purchase a home.

Lenders do look at how much you owe against how much money you bring in (known as your debt-to-income ratio, or DTI). And a general rule for lenders is that borrowers try to maintain a DTI of 36% or less. Having flexibility in your budget is important.

Check out our homebuying resources.

What is down payment assistance?

Learn about down payment assistance and how it can help make your dream of homeownership a reality.

What credit score do you need for a house?

Get insights on credit scores, why they matter for mortgages, and how to maximize yours.

Eight steps to take before you buy a home

Before you start to home shop, check these steps off your homebuying to-do list.

How much house can you afford?

Crunch some numbers with our mortgage affordability calculator.

Can you buy a house with low income?

There are options and programs that may make it possible.

Quiz: How prepared are you to buy a home?

Check your grasp of homebuying lingo and responsibilities with this short quiz.

Know your mortgage options.

One type of mortgage does not fit all. You may have heard about conventional fixed-rate mortgages or adjustable-rate mortgages. But there are other options that might work better with your financial background.

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Disclosures

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.