When many college students think of money, they think of scrimping and saving throughout their college career to afford tuition and rent. Preparing for a mortgage is rarely on their mind. However, what college students likely don’t consider is that their future home can depend upon their current financial decisions.

The first thing to consider is the inevitable credit score check. Students should be conscious that whatever credit patterns they establish now can affect their eligibility for a future home loan. Mortgage companies do want some credit history; but they also want good credit history. Not ever taking out a loan or credit card may seem like the trick to avoid debt, but it can also leave students with no credit score. This can be almost as detrimental as a bad credit score.

In addition to establishing good credit, mortgage companies look closely at debt-to-income ratio. Produce written documents to show lenders what the payments will be each month. If not, many assume five percent as a monthly payment on student loans which can result in ineligibility, especially if one also has auto loans or other forms of debt.

Most mortgages also require a down payment, in addition to closing costs and other expenses. Establishing saving habits now can put students in a place where they are more likely to have a payment ready shortly after graduation.

Keeping these simple strategies in mind throughout college can decrease the hassle that comes with buying a home. Beating mortgage stress is not impossible—all it takes is a little preparation.