Applying for a home mortgage can often be an overwhelming task. This will probably be the biggest loan you take during your lifetime. Not only are the personal stresses big, so to are the pressures of understanding terms and getting all of the paperwork ready in order to get through the process. There are common mistakes that can be avoided in order to make this process go a bit smoother.

1.) Not Fixing your credit. Before you can apply for a mortgage, you have to be aware of your credit score. Get a copy of your credit rating several months in advance. This will give you time to adjust any mistakes. It will also give you time to get down debt if you have too much. Your credit score is a major influencing factor in whether you get the mortgage or not.

2.) Not seeking out federal or state grant programs. There are a number of programs in place that help first-time home buyers get through the process. You may find that you qualify for grants that aim to help first-time home buyers that will help cover down payment and closing expenses.

3.) Ignoring the pre-approval rule. The pre-approval rule is making sure you do not mix up getting a pre-approval with a pre-qualification. Getting pre-qualified for a loan is only a prediction by the lender of how much money you can borrow based on your income to debt ratio. On the other hand, getting pre-approved means you have already gone through the application process and have secured an actual loan to purchase a house.

4.) Living beyond your means. Often, first-time home buyers will take out a loan that is way beyond their financial means, just because they were approved for this amount. Owning a home is much more expensive than renting, there will always be surprise expenses that may pop up. So, dealing with a big mortgage payment can lead to financial strain. Make sure you are in tune with your finances before you overspend on a home.

5.) Taking the first loan that comes your way. Shop around and get to know what kind of interest rates are available to you with the credit rating you have. You will probably end up paying more if you take the first loan that comes your way without researching your options thoroughly.

6.) Paying too much for service fees. Sometimes lenders will add on service fees for illegitimate reasons. Make sure you are well-informed about the fees are you are being charged.

7.) Not being prepared for closing expenses. Too often these costs can be overlooked by a home buyer. However, these costs can be staggering. As a home buyer, when it is time to seal the deal on the home, known as "closing", you are expected to pay a number of expenses and fees. These fees include taxes, title insurance, and other lenders' charges. Get an idea of what closing costs will run early on in the process in order to fully prepare.

8.) Not having money on hand for a rainy day. Too often home buyers spend all of their money getting into the home, that by the time they're in, there's no more money left in the bank. When you become a home owner, you have to be financially prepared for any surprises, like the water heater breaking. You want to be able to comfortably make your home mortgage payment on time and have additional savings put aside for unexpected surprises. Welcome to home ownership!