7 Ways to Snag a Home Loan

Home-shoppers might be forgiven for being nostalgic for the boom years, when credit flowed like water and anyone with a pulse could qualify for a home loan. These days, lenders have swung to the other extreme, denying credit to all but the very safest applicants. That's caused many people to shy away from applying. For the last two weeks of December, loan applications fell by 22 percent from the previous week, even after adjusting for the holidays, according to The Mortgage Bankers Association's recently released weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

So how do beat the odds and snag a home loan? The ideal loan applicant is a "triple threat" -- meaning they have excellent credit rating, large down payment, and low debt to income ratio-with steady significant income. But even if you don't have the loan equivalent of a trifecta, you don't have to rule out future home ownership. Even those with a foreclosure or bankruptcy under their belt, or who have previously been turned down for a loan, can get funding. There are hurdles, for sure. But read on for Housingwatch's tips for overcoming the road blocks and getting a mortgage in today's economy.