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Purchasing a home is a very exciting process! As the housing market becomes more competitive, it’s even more important to be prepared so you can obtain a mortgage with the best rate. Part of this preparation includes knowing your credit score and understanding the role it plays in the mortgage process. Different types of mortgages have different credit score requirements. For example, conventional mortgages typically require that borrowers have a higher credit score, such as 720 or above, while FHA mortgages can allow for scores down to 560 (depending on the investor and other qualifications).

With that in mind, here are 7 steps you can take to prepare your credit before applying for a mortgage.