If you’ve outgrown your current living situation, or are ready to transition from renting to owning, there’s one thing you need to do before you start house shopping: get a copy of your credit report and fix any errors that you find.

Unless you’re paying for your new home outright, you’re more than likely going to apply for a mortgage to cover costs. Getting pre-approved for a loan lets you know how much money you can borrow from the bank. It also tells buyers that you mean business and expedites the home buying process. One of the most important factors that lenders look at when negotiating terms is your credit score. If there are errors on your report, your score will be affected and you could end up with a higher interest rate.

Fixing errors on your credit report doesn’t happen overnight, so plan on pulling your credit report at least six months in advance of applying for a pre-approval. You can get your credit report for free from www.annualcreditreport.com.