With the recent rise in mortgage rates, many Americans who were thinking of buying a home this year may be feeling concerned about how much house they’ll be able to afford. If that describes you, there are a couple of things to remember. First off, even though rates have moved higher over the past several weeks, they still remain low by historical standards. In other words, you’re still getting a better rate than you would have 10 or 15 years ago and locking it in now with a fixed-rate mortgage means you’ll be protected should they move closer toward their historical norm in the future. There are also things you can do to ensure that, when you apply for a loan, you are getting the best rate possible. Number one on that list is doing whatever you can to raise your credit score. Your credit history plays a large role in determining the rate you will end up paying. So it is always a good idea to check your score before beginning the buying process. If possible, fix any errors, pay down any debts, and – as always – make sure to pay your bills on time each month. Though you don’t have to have perfect credit to be qualified for a loan, the higher your score, the better. More here.