When applying for a mortgage, lenders may look at your credit report, credit score, income statements, and other documents that are relevant to your financial situation. If your financial picture is less than perfect, meeting with a lender can get you a headstart so you can make the necessary improvements. You may need months or years to repair your credit, pay your debts, or save up for a down payment, so the earlier you start, the better. Improving your credit score can help you lock in a lower interest rate and qualify for loan programs.
Moreover, remember that aside from a down payment, there are several upfront costs you'll need to prepare for when you’re buying a home. Working with a lender can give you a clearer idea of what else you’ll need to budget for and how much they’ll cost, including lender fees, title and insurance, appraisal fees, and other closing costs.