August 5, 2021

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What Is the Ideal Credit Score to Secure a Mortgage?

Excellent credit score indicator

Image: Olivier Le Moal /

Buying a home is certainly exciting, but there are many things to consider as you start to get the ball rolling. One thing that is important from the start is yours credit-worthiness. This can make or destroy your dreams of owning a home, so understanding what the ideal credit score is that you need to secure a mortgage is important.

What is a good credit score?

One of the first questions to ask yourself when searching take out a mortgage is whether your credit score meets the lender’s requirements. Different lenders and mortgage systems have different credit approval requirements, but they all have one thing in common: a Minimum threshold for creditworthiness.

Many lenders use FICO® Credit Scores to determine whether a prospective homebuyer is eligible for a mortgage loan. These values ​​range from 300 to 850 and are divided into the following categories:

  • 579 or lower: poor
  • 580 to 669: Fair
  • 670 to 739: Well
  • 740 to 799: Very good
  • 800 or higher: Out of the ordinary

But even if your credit rating is not within that Well 670 to 739 range, that doesn’t mean that Home ownership is becoming inaccessible. In fact, many lenders will accept a 620 credit score if you choose to buy a house.

The ideal credit score will be vary from lender to lenderSo the idea of ​​the ideal home varies from buyer to buyer. Depending on the case, you may find that your credit score is too low for a traditional loan, but it can be used to secure a government-secured loan instead.

Minimum credit rating by credit type

Let’s take a closer look at the main types of mortgage loans available to homebuyers and their credit requirements for each one.

Conventional Loans

A conventional loan is a mortgage loan that is not covered by any government agency. This type of loan is provided by private credit institutions such as banks and mortgage lenders. The The minimum creditworthiness required for a conventional loan is usually 620.

FHA loans

A FHA mortgage is a Federal Housing Administration supported loan provided through an FHA approved lender. FHA loans have some of the most lowest creditworthiness requirementsbut the numbers are tight tied to the deposit amount.

For example, you may qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score of 580 or higher and a 3.5% down payment. However, if you increase the down payment amount to 10%, you can qualify with a credit score of just 500.

USDA loan

USDA loan are made available by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and promote affordable home ownership in rural areas. Although the USDA does not set a minimum credit rating for the loan, the private lenders who make the loans do. The average is The lowest credit score required by lenders for USDA-backed loans is 640.

VA loan

A VA loan is supported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and issued by private lenders. As with USDA loans, the VA has no minimum credit requirements; however, the private lenders it works with do. The amount can vary depending on the lender and you can expect this to be the case minimum credit rating in the range of 580 to 640.

Jumbo Loans

A Jumbo Loans is a type of loan that exceeds the maximum amount you can borrow from a conventional mortgage. The larger the loan amount, the greater the risk for the lender, which is why jumbo loans are one Minimum credit rating of 700.

Why is good credit important?

When you apply for a mortgage loan, whether or not your application is approved depends on several requirements. The Deposit amount, Credit volume and Debt-Income Ratio are just a few of the requirements considered. But the The first thing all lenders will check is your creditworthiness. And because first impressions count, a good credit rating can bring you one step closer to home ownership.

Your credit score will also be one direct impact on your monthly mortgage payments. For example, lenders charge higher interest rates for bad credit scores. They also take your creditworthiness into account when determining your PMI costs and eligibility. As a result, you will pay thousands of dollars more every year if your credit score is too low.

Any type of loan presents a potential risk to the lender and your creditworthiness is essentially used in the risk assessment. While you can get a home with a 550 credit score, you can face penalties as lenders try to minimize the risks associated with such a low number. On the other hand, having a credit score of 740 or higher increases your mortgage terms and gives you access to perks like lower interest rates.

How To Improve Your Credit Score

Both with lenders and borrowers the higher the credit rating, the better. Increasing these numbers may seem like a daunting task at first, but there are several ways you can improve your credit score.

Step 1: Understand

The first step is to analyze and understand your credit report. Your credit history shows you what helps or harms your creditworthiness. Usually the perpetrators are easy to identify: a late payment of the invoice or a overdue account. Others are a little more insidious, like for example make too many credit inquirieswhich also deducts points from your credit score.

Step 2: act

If you keep your credit utilization at around 30% or less, your credit report will look great, too. Try whenever you can keep the outstanding balance below 30% and do several smaller payments every month instead of letting them build up by the due date. Also, keep in mind that closing old accounts will decrease your available balance keep your credit cards open.

Step 3: check

Last but not least, remember to check for errors. Mistakes happen sometimes and, in the worst case, can seriously affect your creditworthiness. Check your report for mistake errors and Deny inaccuracies can only give your creditworthiness the boost it needs.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial, or investment advice or solicitation of any kind. Always consult a licensed attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent, and real estate agent before purchasing any property or insurance.