How Do I Get a Good Mortgage Deal?

Figuring out which loan you want is just the start of the challenges you'll face. Finding and applying for a mortgage—and not getting soaked in the process—isn't easy.

You'll face stunning amounts of paperwork, fees that appear from nowhere, and a whole glossary of new terms to learn. It's easy for novices and even more-practiced homebuyers to stumble.

Fortunately, you have plenty of resources to help you through the process. Two of my favorites are Mortgages for Dummies and Home Buying for Dummies, both by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown.

Here are a few suggestions to help you navigate and get the best possible loan:

1. Fix your credit

Pull your credit reports from all three bureaus at least three months—and preferably ...

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