Whether you are a first time buyer or someone who is moving up to a more expensive home it's a good idea to start by cleaning up your credit report. Let's say you apply for a loan to purchase a Portland condo, town home, single-family home or any type of Portland real estate. The lender will check out your monthly income and outgo to determine if you can afford to repay the loan. Therefore, it is to your advantage to pay off as many high-interest consumer loans as possible. If you are planning on buying a car, a boat or other major purchase, put it off until after you have bought your selected Portland real estate. Lenders look for certain patterns they consider red flags. These are: late payments, overextension, liens, garnishments and, of course, bankruptcy. Remember, debts reduce the amount of cash you can spend on the Portland real estate you want to buy, so clear the decks as much as possible before applying for a loan.