Do Student Loans Affect a Mortgage Application?

Lenders don't necessarily view education debt as a bad thing. Your ability to buy a house when you owe student loans depends largely on your credit score and how much money you make.

I'm in my early twenties and I'm thinking about buying a house. I don't have any credit-card debt, but I owe about $20,000 in student loans. Will that hurt my chances of getting a mortgage?

Not necessarily. When you apply for a mortgage, lenders don't just look at how much you owe; your income is also a factor.

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Janet Bodnar
Contributor

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.