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Getting started

Deciding how much you should borrow

Mortgage principal

Learn how the two parts of a monthly mortgage payment — mortgage principal and interest — work.

Self-employed buyers

Know what some of the extra steps in buying a home when you’re self-employed might be.

Mortgage amortization

Watch and learn a few things to keep in mind in regards to paying off a debt, in this case your mortgage.

How much home can you afford?

Take the first step and get prequalified.

Here’s how you can decide how much to borrow:

Your income

Do you expect your income to remain stable or increase? If there’s a chance you could be laid off soon, or if you’re not 100% confident you’ll be able to pay your mortgage every month, it may make sense to consider another option.

Your monthly budget

Will your current income and expenses allow you to take on the responsibility of a mortgage and the additional monthly expenses that come with homeownership? Find out how much house you can afford.

Your savings

Do you have money saved to cover the down payment, mortgage origination fees (usually 1% of the purchase price) and the closing costs? Will you still be able to keep the monthly mortgage payment within your budget?

Here’s how banks decide how much to lend you:

How much money you make

The more money you bring home every month, the more you’ll be qualified to borrow. You may also want to consider a co-borrower, whose assets can be included with yours.

The value of the home you choose

The home you purchase will be used as collateral. You can use the Chase Home Value Estimator to get an estimated value of any house.

Current interest rates

When rates are low, it costs less to borrow the same amount than it would at a higher interest rate. See current mortgage rates.

Your other debts

The amount of debt you carry on credit cards, revolving charge accounts and installment loans will impact how much additional credit a lender is willing to extend to you.

Your credit score
Banks use your credit score to predict how likely you are to repay your mortgage.