There is a time for ignorance about financial matters. Your parents pay the mortgage and taxes, you go to school, hang out with friends, and blow your allowance at the mall. But you really can't be an adult without understanding finances and that includes mortgages. According to TMZ, Jersey Shore's Snooki Polizzi has no idea of what a mortgage is or how to write a check. And while she gets paid to be a perpetual adolescent, most of us are not so lucky.

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Here are the top mistakes to avoid when you get your first mortgage:

1. Make sure you can afford it. Your best bet is to avoid paying much more for your home than you did in rent. You are used to spending that much for housing so it shouldn't impose a hardship on you.

2. Don't rely on a roommate or future raise to make your mortgage affordable. If your buddy moves out or your boss promotes someone else, do you want to lose your home to foreclosure?

3. Put aside emergency savings -- at least two months' of mortgage payments in case you have financial problems. Do this before you buy your home.

4. Have medical insurance. Part of being an adult is heading off emergencies. Medical expenses are one of the the biggest causes of foreclosure and bankruptcy in the US.

5. Plan for expenses. Home repair and maintenance costs can run one to two percent of your home's value each year. You can lessen the impact with a home warranty. It costs a few hundred dollars and covers most home repairs. Many sellers will throw one in as part of the purchase.

6. Your mortgage payment history is the most important line of your credit report. Pay it on time. By setting up an automatic withdrawal a couple of days before it's due, you can make sure that it is always paid on time and never gets lost in the mail or forgotten.

7. Shop for your mortgage. Shockingly, many people who could have qualified for good credit mortgages got bad credit mortgages at higher interest rates because they took the first loan offered to them. Shop with several lenders, both brokers and direct lenders, for FHA and conventional loans.

8. Get help if you need it. That's what we do here at Mortgage Credit Problems. Write, ask, we'll answer and help.